MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02/01/17
Patrons welcome the New Year with fun and festivities.

As thousands of locals and visitors ushered in the New Year, skies in Durban were converted into a fountain of colour with the detonation of colourful firecrackers. Others joined the plenty of festivities that took place at various places within the Municipal area. This ensured that both locals and visitors were kept entertained.

With sunny weather conditions throughout the long-weekend, beaches were packed to capacity, as families and friends enjoyed the surf. Needless to say, lifeguards, law enforcement officers and other officials were kept on their toes and had to work hard to offer assistance where it was required and ensure that law and order was maintained.

Close to 800 000 people visited the various beaches during the long weekend (30/12/16 to 01/01/17). Approximately 518 people had to be treated for various ailments, mainly blue-bottle stings and cuts. Up to approximately 186 rescues were carried out.

One drowning of a 34 year old male was reported at Mnini Beach on 01/01/17. The beach is a non-bathing area and was not manned by lifeguards. Patrons are urged to only swim in designated bathing beaches manned by lifeguards. They should also listen to instructions from the lifeguards because it is for their own safety.

Approximately 37 444 child-identification armbands were issued. Children who got separated from their parents and guardians amounted to 424. At the time of publication, three children had not been re-united with their families and are currently being kept at a place of safety. The Municipality has engaged with the Department of Social Development to assist with the re-unification of the children with their families.

Approximately 33 people were arrested for various offences at the beach, including harassment, public drinking and theft.

An estimated 306 430 tons of refuse was collected over the long weekend.

EThekwini Mayor, Cllr Zandile Gumede said that the New Year long-weekend in Durban had been a major success and thanked all patrons for their continued co-operation with law enforcement officers. “As we endeavor to position Durban as one of the top tourism destinations in the world, we rely on our locals to ensure that visitors feel the warmth and hospitality of the City. This will ensure that visitors keep coming back to spend their holidays and this inturn has a good effect on our economy.”

ENDS

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Deputy Head of Communications, Mandla Nsele.

For more information contact Vuyo Ndlovu on 031 311 4838, vuyo.ndlovu@durban.gov.za