Team effort keeps areas clean in festive season

* Johan Lotter of Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), Ricardo Thompson of Solid Waste and manager of MID, Chevone Petersen, at 6am doing a clean-up with smiles.

The handling of the festive season in the far south has been hailed as a success with a more than 80% reduction in beachfront litter reported.

For many, the measure of that success came in the form of a notice from environmental activist Kevin Rack on Monday December 31 that the traditional New Year’s clean-up by volunteers was actually not needed; and therefore cancelled.

Mr Rack, who holds the environmental portfolio on the Muizenberg Lakeside Residents’ Association (MLRA) said the festive season safety and cleaning plan had involved active citizenship.”Many different civic and government stakeholders prepped months in advance for a common goal of making our beaches safer and cleaner for our visitors to the greater Muizenberg area.”

He said an 85% reduction in beachfront litter was achieved this year.

“Many of us worked our holidays from as early as 6am on New Year’s Day till late at night. On January 2, clean-ups continued among the late night revell-

Cara Dowling, an auxillary law enforcement officer who was on duty over the festive season, said that on Tuesday January 1 alone, R62 700 in fines had been issued; 192 units of alcohol confiscated and 83 children reported lost, while 968 children had been safely tagged on the day.

“Law enforcement and traffic managed to restrict the flow of taxis into Muizenberg by channelling them into the East Beach parking ‘drop and go’ area, which allowed for much freer flowing traffic through Muizenberg, but precipitating the unintended consequence of the occupation of Axminster Road by many taxis who blocked driveways and created a noise and alcohol nuisance for the residents of that road and the surrounding area,” she said.

Trying to stop children swimming in the dammed river mouth had proved futile, and there had been greater contraventions to deal with, she said.

Mayoral committee member for water and waste services, Xanthea Limberg, said additional cleaners had been employed, more litter bins placed across all beaches and mechanical sweepers used to head off the anticipated litter tsunami.

Councillor Aimee Kuhl said: “I am extremely grateful for the amazing work our auxiliary officers, neighbourhood watches and other volunteers did over the festive season.”

ManagerofMuizenberg Improvement District Chevone Petersen said a WhatsApp group had helped to ensure a hot spots were tackled with a “sense of urgency”.

Brian Youngblood, of the Fish Hoek Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association, said while Fish Hoek beach had been crowded there had been no major incidents and the beach had been kept impeccably clean by municipal staff.

The only negative he could list was at the entrance kiosk which had had long delays, traffic backed up and no cash controls.

MLRA chairwoman Catherine Dillon said law enforcement’s visible presence at the beach, the Zandvlei braai and picnic area and along several roads, had been a deterrent to those who had brought alcohol, although there had been “several altercations when alcohol was confiscated”.

The SAPS Equestrian Unit had also worked hard along the beachfront and Zandvlei, she said.

“A big thank you to all MLRA exco members who gave of their time and money this season,
whether it was making sandwiches, removing litter bags, cleaning the beach or confiscating alcohol.
You are fabulous humans,” she