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31 December 2011

SAWDIS Holiday Alert 2011/2012

Cape Town prepares for New Year celebrations

The City of Cape Town has made eight sites available for the setting of fireworks.

Saturday night between 9pm and 12am residents will be allowed to set off fire crackers bought as part of New Years Eve celebrations.

It says all residential areas will be patrolled in order to make sure people are not discharging crackers outside of the designated areas.

Cape Town Fire Service spokesperson Theo Layne says, “The city’s fire safety officers and law enforcement officials will be patrolling these areas from about 8pm to 1am.”

Layne adds people will face hefty fines for setting of fires in residential areas.

“The fines are dependent on the circumstances surrounding what the law enforcement officers find at the time, so each individual incident is handled on its own merit.”


'Don't drink and swim'

Lifesaving Western Province on Friday appealed to beachgoers not to swim under the influence of alcohol.

Officials said the beach was a common place for people to go on New Year’s Eve once their house parties were over.

They said people often had a lot to drink and then attempt to swim.

Lifesaving Western Province's Keith Matthews said, “People tend to lose sense of direction, so we urge them to remain on shore instead of swimming at night.”


'We are ready for any eventuality when it comes to the 31st'

WHILE the sounds of firecrackers usually welcome the arrival of the new year in other places around the country, gunfire and the crashing of appliances such as fridges and TVs on pavements signals the festivities in Hillbrow.

The place has become synonymous with crime and mayhem. For residents in the area new year celebrations are an anxious countdown where disposable goods get thrown from high-rise buildings.

South African Police Service spokesman Tshisikhawe Ndou said the police had already drawn up their festive season operations since September.

The police will also be inviting various media bodies to Hillbrow to take part in their patrols that will demonstrate the concerted efforts by police to keep the area safe.

"Various policing strategies will be put in place, which include patrols and stop and searches. This is to make sure that we secure the area," Ndou said.

The Metro police department has also confirmed that it will be active in Hillbrow and the Greater Johannesburg areas. They have warned that any noisemakers and rowdy parties will be shut down after 2am on the 1st.

Ndou said that businesses selling liquor would have to do so within the confines of the liquor act and police would clamp down on businesses operating illegally.

"We are ready for any eventuality when it comes to the 31st," he said.

Ndou also said that police were happy with their efforts in Hillbrow over the years.

"The strategies we have put in place are working. There has been a drop in illegal activities," he said.

Both the national and the Gauteng department of health have also joined the party.

They launched the Hillbrow Prevention of Trauma and Injuries Campaign that kicked off yesterday. The departments plan to curb excessive celebrations that result in serious injuries.

- The Sowetan