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City of Cape Town gears for festive season

by Vivian Warby
on 12 Nov 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

With over one million visitors expected to arrive in Cape Town between now and January - the City of Cape Town has developed a comprehensive safety plan for the summer holidays.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Councilor Dumisani Ximbi, said the plan would cover all high risk eventualities such as road traffic accidents, fires, safety and security at beaches, power failures, crowd surges and festival events.

A Festive Season Co-ordination Committee, representing various city departments, will monitor the implementation of the plan during the November and December months.

The city has also devised measures to ensure safety and enhance cleanliness and the Disaster Management Team will be on 24-hour full alert and will be geared for all eventualities.

The public may report any emergency, including medical, crime, fire and traffic, to 021 480 7700.

About 1 000 staff from Metro Police, Traffic Services, Law Enforcement, and Security and Specialised Services members will be on duty during this busy time too.

An additional 150 temporary law enforcement staff will be appointed to assist the members in carrying out their duties, including conducting regular safety patrols at popular tourist attractions and conducting operations targeting substance abuse.

Safety initiatives will include partnerships with other agencies such as the city improvement districts and displaced persons support unit.

The summer season is also the fire season in Cape Town and therefore the Fire and Rescue Services will be on high alert with 700 fulltime firefighters at 28 fire stations either on duty or on standby across the city. Another 122 trainee fire fighters are to be deployed.

Two helicopters, one operating from the Table Mountain National Park's fire service headquarters and the other from the Fisantekraal airfield, will provide aerial fire-fighting support. These teams will be reinforced by 112 seasonal firefighters currently undergoing training and 26 reservists.

The Western Province Lifesaving unit will be on duty at 44 beaches. Two hundred and sixty nine multi-skilled lifeguards will be on duty at major beaches, as well as at regional and community pools across the city.

Twenty five shark spotters will also be deployed at five beaches - Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, St James, Noordhoek and Glencairn.

The City's festive season starts on November 30 when the festive lights in Adderley Street are switched on. Thereafter, a series of special events will be held well into the New Year. - BuaNews

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