WE RECENTLY launched the Festive Season Management Programme to outline plans to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the City during the festive season. We anticipate that around 702 000 visitors will be in the City over the festive season. This will result in an occupancy rate of more than 75 percent across accommodation establishments with a direct spend of over R1.5 billion. Furthermore, 7 775 job opportunities will be created.
As part of ensuring that visitors are safe during this period, law enforcement officers will ensure that traffic is well managed with some road closures as well as Park and Ride services for those using public transport. With water quality at several beaches improving and subsequently being opened, we know that people will be flocking to our numerous beaches. In anticipation of this, we have recruited seasonal staff to supplement the City’s permanent staff. These include 160 lifeguards, 135 litter pickers, 20 small plant operators, 67 beach buddies, 48 childminders to care for separated children and 85 pool attendants together with 120 fieldworkers for the beach cleaning programme.
The safety of children is a priority and we have procured seven tents for separated children. An overnight facility for separated children has been secured at Ellis Brown Primary School. The Municipality has also procured 150 000 armbands for easy identification of children. We urge parents to ensure that their children are wearing armbands which contain their contact information in case they are separated. An additional 200 recruits have recently joined the Metro Police and will form part of our festive season integrated safety plan.
The new constables are part of the City’s long-standing commitment to increase police personnel to ensure eThekwini is safe both for residents and visitors. We are pleased to announce that we have also partnered with Etron Electric Motor Bikes who have donated motorbikes to Metro Police which will be used for patrolling during the festive season. We appreciate this gesture from the private sector as it demonstrates that fighting crime is a collective responsibility. To ensure that we are constantly improving our crime fighting initiatives, we hosted the Anti-Crime and Social Cohesion Summit on 6 and 7 December. This important summit was anchored on the recently released crime statistics which paints a disturbing picture about the crime situation in eThekwini. This has a negative impact on the economy of the City.
It was therefore important for the Municipality to bring the police and crime experts together under one roof to develop strategies that will assist the City to fight crime effectively. A tangible programme of action to reduce crime in hotspot areas and to mobilise communities through their structures was the opening of a satellite police station in Inanda, in the eTafuleni area on 7 December. The eTafuleni Satellite Police Station will support the existing Inanda Police Station to intensify the fight against crime in the area.