Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to shut down all beaches in the Eastern Cape, Garden Route, and KwaZulu-Natal over the festive period.
In his address on Monday evening, Ramaphosa declared the Sarah Baartman and Garden Route districts as coronavirus hotspots.
He further announced beaches and public parks in areas with the highest infection would be closed from tomorrow.
This apples to all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route district in the Western Cape. In KwaZulu-Natal, beaches and public parks will be closed on what are traditionally the busiest days of the season: 16, 25, 26 and 31 December 2020, as well as 1 to 3 of January 2021.
The beaches and public parks of the Northern Cape and the Western Cape – with the exception of the Garden Route – will remain open to the public over the festive season, said Ramaphosa.
But Ndlozi says the new regulations have no sense of urgency.
“He didn’t have a plan. Such an underwhelmed performance. There is absolutely no sense of urgency created. Life will be normal and the virus will spread! Cape Town = White Privilege,” he said.
The Western Cape has been trending on social media since, with some South Africans saying all Western Cape beaches should be closed to avoid an influx of visitors.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said the province has a special management system in place with all the municipalities to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“This summer season we’ve had to put a special management system in place with all the municipalities, mayors and municipal managers, and the province so that we can continue to manage Covid-19 as we go through the festive season. We’ll play our part as government; you need to play your part as citizens,” said Winde.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the province would intensify screening as tourists visit the province during the festive season.
He told PowerFM on Tuesday morning that the province would send a clear message to its people to embrace the new measures announced by the president.
The province was also preparing for an increase in Covid-19 cases over the festive season. While the province had no incentives in place for informal traders who might suffer due to the closure of beaches, Zikalala said he was in touch with the tourism sector to ensure the impact on traders was minimal.
The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) has also reiterated its commitment to industry’s compliance with stringent health and hygiene protocols.
“We need now the full compliance of the health and hygiene protocols that have been put in place by the sector, no compromise.
“It’s up to us to ensure we don’t go back to where we were before and that means proper implementation of the comprehensive protocols that have been devised specifically for our sector and managing the compliance of our customers, guests and travellers. It really is that simple. It’s in our hands,” said CEO Otto de Vries.
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