Durban has pulled out all the stops to ensure that our visitors have a blast in our beautiful City this festive season. From our popular golden beaches to our parks and natural sites, the City is ready to host thousands of people who will visit our shores for a much-needed rest and relaxation. 

Durban’s 100km of coastline is the most popular of attractions and is the reason people keep coming back. Being on the eastern sea board certainly has its advantages when it comes to providing recreation facilities for all to enjoy. With the warm weather, warm sea waters and warm people, Durban is the best place to be this festive season.

In preparation for the influx of holidaymakers, various Units within the City form what is known as the Festive Season Management Committee (FESMAC) which is responsible for smooth operations in the City during this period.  Various stakeholders within the committee design and implement plans aimed at ensuring that all visitors (local, national and international) are able to enjoy themselves in a safe and hassle-free environment.  

Law Enforcement Officers will also be out in full force.  Metro Police Officers, South African Police Services, security personnel and Beach Law Enforcement Officers will conduct regular patrols around the City, mainly at various beaches. The Disaster Management Centre is ready to respond to any situation. 

During peak days at the beach, children can easily get lost in the crowd, which can be a very traumatic experience for the little ones. It is therefore important for parents to always ensure that children are always within eyesight. Parents must also ensure that children wear identification wristbands containing contact details of the accompanying adult person. This makes it easier for officials to re-unite a child that has been separated from their parent.  The wristbands are obtainable from our beach buddies and child-minders who are situated at various points along the beach.  

The City has employed 69 beach buddies and 32 child-minders who are our ambassadors at the beachfront.  They are easily identified by their uniform.  Bathing times at all our beaches are from 6am to 6pm. Swimming pools open from 6am to 7pm daily.  Over and above the 121 lifeguards employed on a permanent basis, additional 52 lifeguards have been engaged on a two-shift system.  The first group will begin at 6am until 2pm when the next group takes over until 6:30pm.   

Several road safety campaigns have been planned to curb the use of un-roadworthy vehicles, drunken driving and irresponsible conduct on our roads.  

To control traffic on the beachfront during peak days, a traffic plan to eliminate traffic congestions is in place and some of the roads will be closed while others will have access control measures in place, such as boom gates operated by safety personnel. Private vehicles will be able to park at Centrum Site and the Mustering Fields while public transport can park at the Old Drive Inn Site.  We have provided a shuttle service which will operate at 30 minute intervals throughout the festive season to ferry passengers between these sites and the beachfront.  This is a free service and one of the ways we are hoping to eliminate traffic congestion at the beach and ensure patrons are able to park in a safe and secure environment.

To respond to the high volumes of litter that will be generated during this period an additional 150 temporary litter-pickers have been employed. Officials from Durban Solid Waste will work 24 hours a day on a three-shift system. The first shift will start at 6am until 2pm, the next group will end at 10pm and the third group will end at 6am the next day.

While the City has a stable water supply, the drought is not over yet.  We therefore urge our residents and visitors to continue to use water sparingly.  Saving water and using as little water as possible is of critical importance during this time.  Some water saving tips include washing the car using a bucket instead of a hosepipe, turning off the tap while washing hands, soaping up in the shower or brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, only running the dishwasher or washing machine with a full load, placing a bucket in the shower to collect water while the water is heating up and placing an object in your toilet cistern to reduce the flush volume.

Enjoy this special natural paradise, take advantage of the warm Indian Ocean that’s perfect for water sports, enjoy the  world-class shopping, fine dining restaurants, unique arts and culture and enjoy the magnificent beach promenade and be charmed by the warmth and sunshine smiles of Durbanites. We have a line-up of most exciting events from in differenet parts of the City including Fact Durban Rocks, Durban Jazz Festival, Woz’eDurban Picnic, Umgababa Beach Festival, Durban Underground, Umhlanga Beach Festival, Sapphire Coast Beach Festival and much more. 

To showcase the City’s state of readiness, Mayor Zandile Gumede hosted the Metro Police Day and Launch of Festive Season on Tuesday, 12 December at Moses Mabhida Stadium.  In the evening of the same day, she hosted a ceremony to officially switch on the Christmas lights on Dr Pixley ka Seme Street.  The ceremony took place at the City Hall and featured the singing of christmas carols and spreading the cheer through prize give-aways, dancing and music. 

EThekwini is ready to host you.  Come and have fun with us, responsibly. Jabula uphephe!  Enjoy and be safe!