Durban hosts bumper New Year crowds

photo courtesy of Andreas Matthias.

CLOSE to 800 000 people visited Durban’s beaches over the weekend from 30 December 2016 to 1 January 2017.

Approximately 518 people had to be treated for various ailments, mainly blue-bottle stings and cuts while lifeguards carried about around 186 rescues. There was one drowning reported at Mnini Beach on New Year’s Day. The beach is a non-bathing beach and no lifeguards were on duty. The city has urged beachgoers to only swim in designated bathing beaches where lifeguards are on duty.

Despite the fact that about 37 444 child-identification armbands were issued, more than 420 children got separated from their parents and guardians. At the time of publishing this report, three children were still waiting to be reunited with their parents. They are currently being homed a in place of safety. The Department of Social Welfare has been called in to assist with uniting the children with their families.

Despite the crowds, law enforcement officers managed to control the crowds and arrest around 33 people for various offences at the beach, including harassment, public drinking and theft.

An estimated 306 430 tons of refuse was collected over the long weekend.

EThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede said the New Year long-weekend in Durban had been a major success and thanked all patrons for their continued co-operation with law enforcement officers. “As we endeavor to position Durban as one of the top tourism destinations in the world, we rely on our locals to ensure that visitors feel the warmth and hospitality of the City. This will ensure that visitors keep coming back to spend their holidays and this in turn has a good effect on our economy.”


Wanda Daly

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