An existing boom gate controlling access to Nahoon Reef and Nahoon Corner must be put into action, says Nahoon DA councillor Jason McDowell.
McDowell has asked Buffalo City Metro council to do this to ease traffic congestion during busy times.
He said a too-full car park when beaches are crowded could create life-and-death situations with emergency service vehicles unable to reach the beach to attend to distress calls.
McDowell’s comments come at a time when regular beach-users are railing against polluting revellers who arrive at the beach, often at dawn, and smash their alcohol bottles and dump their trash in the parking lot or leave it on the beach. They play loud dance music and behave in a drunk and disorderly manner.
McDowell’s motion has come in for sharp criticism from the EFF who accused him of trying to keep black people out of the reserve.
EFF councillor Mziyanda Hlekiso said they rejected the motion because it could allow a series of unfavourable decisions which would block black residents from accessing the beach.
“Everything is being done in favour of white people. This boom gate would eventually isolate or reject black people from accessing the beach, as we’ve seen in Cape Town that blacks aren’t allowed at some beaches,” he claimed.
Regular beach-users are railing against polluting revellers who arrive at the beach, often at dawn, and smash their alcohol bottles and dump their trash in the parking lot or leave it on the beach.
“We don’t want to go back to where we came from where black people had no access to beaches and the likes. If this does happen, we’ll come out in full force as the EFF to remove it physically,” Hlekiso said.
The Nahoon Beach boom gate has been there for years.
McDowell said: “I put through a notice of motion to the BCM council but the EFF rejected the motion. This is not a racial issue — it is not about colour, it is about the safety of everyone at the beach.
“The boom that is there now was paid for by residents and businesses. However, it is has been sitting there since December ready for use.
“It has been there even before I took over from the previous councillor in the area and was in use from time to time when the parking was full.
“The previous boom had been knocked by a car and then replaced with the current one,” McDowell said.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya confirmed that a proposal was sent to their amenities department.
“It was advised that a meeting should sit together with our law enforcement, public safety and traffic services as they are the main departments that have better control. Such a meeting has not yet sat.
“However, we would like to state that there are boom gates on both entrances at the Nahoon beach which we mainly use to control the crowd, especially during the festive season. At times we even hire marshals during our busiest times.
“All motions are processed as per the standing rules of council and it will be for council to take that decision. Furthermore we are currently monitoring our beaches together with the SA Police Service,” Ngwenya said.
If this does happen, we’ll come out in full force as the EFF to remove it physically – Hlekiso
Spatially, Bonza Bay beach would have the same problem of access to the beach as the two beaches have similar entrance designs.
DA councillor for Bonza Bay Marion Mackley said they have been trying for years to get permission to erect a boom gate at Bonza Bay beach.
“I worked with the ratepayers’ association to try to get it done. We sent in a petition with thousands of signatures and a huge motivation letter. The BCM mayoral committee just said a flat no.
“I’ve held many on-site meetings with environment officials. They were also all promise and no action,” Mackley said.
McDowell said that litter left by beach revellers, especially alcohol bottles, on the beach was a source of deep frustration for residents.
In February BCM law enforcement officers, after a tip, confiscated alcohol and warned six people for drinking in public at Nahoon beach.
Two ice cream containers of dagga were found and people were arrested.