Cape Town has ushered in 2021 in a quiet fashion as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Authorities say most people adhered to the curfew restrictions during New Year’s Eve celebrations last night.  

However, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith says, several arrests were executed, nonetheless.

“Sadly, there were still those who chose to ignore the warnings and decided they could risk breaking the curfew restrictions. The Saps, traffic officers and other city enforcement services executed several arrests last night, including those for alleged driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol plays a major factor in increasing the trauma-related injuries in our healthcare system at a time when those resources are vital to overcoming the pandemic.”

Police and law enforcement have been deployed to various areas and authorities say operations to ensure compliance will continue.

Today, most of the city’s popular spots are also quiet.

With beaches closed due to the revised Lockdown Level 3 restrictions, New Year celebrations in Cape Town are not as jovial as usual this year.   

Cape Town officials appeal to tourism industries to adhere to the adjusted lockdown restrictions:

Feeling the pinch

Informal traders in the city have also felt the brunt of trying to make a living in 2020.  

A Malawian artist who usually depends on tourists on the Camps Bay strip to sell his wares, says it’s been a devastating year.   

James Freyela says with barely any people at the beach due to the new restrictions, he is battling to make ends meet.

“2020 was very hard for us. Even now, our living is very hard we just wish that if we can get the transport to go back home.”

Restaurants along the strip are not nearly as busy as they could be. And this could, in part, be attributed to the alcohol ban.   

Some locals and tourists are, however, out and about, but in much smaller numbers.  

Marcellus Conway from Hermanus was sightseeing with his family.

Today, we’ve just come up from Hermanus with visitors, our family from Johannesburg and Kimberley as well. We’re just spending the day driving around Cape Town seeing the sights. We’ve just come down from Table Mountain. Sadly, the cable is closed because of the wind. The atmosphere of joyousness seems to be dampened a bit. People aren’t so keen to wish you happy New Year. It’s like the spirit has been dampened and been lost a bit.

In the city centre, the famous Long Street, with its restaurants, bars and clubs is all but deserted. 

Cape Town ushered in 2021 in a quiet fashion: