Confusion over beach regulations in Kouga

The Kouga Municipality has applied to the courts to open the beaches in Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay. This application will be heard in the High Court today.

In the meantime confusion as to what areas the public can use and what is closed is rife with conflict developing between the South African Police and residents over the weekend.

“We have engaged with the Jeffreys Bay SAPS for clarity as to what places they consider closed or open to the public in terms of the amended COVID-19 regulations, as published on 15 December.

This follows the police operation in Jeffreys Bay over the weekend during which residents and visitors were dispersed from not only beaches and public parks, but also from lagoons and parking areas,” said Kouga Mayor Horatio Hendricks.

Following these deliberations, we ask that the public take note of the following:

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* The entire 60km stretch of pristine beaches along Kouga’s coastline are closed till 3 January 2021 in accordance with the national regulations.
* Public parks are also closed till 3 January 2021. Notices are being put up at those parks that are deemed closed in terms of the national regulations. Anyone caught defacing the notices will be issued with a fine.
* Parking areas are not closed.
* Lagoons and rivers are open, but they may not be accessed through public parks, as would typically be the case at Kabeljous and Paradise.

“While Kouga will be opposing these harsh regulations in court, we have no choice but to adhere to them in the meantime.
Residents and visitors are further advised that SAPS are fully empowered by the Minister of Police to enforce the regulations and to issue fines. They do not take instructions from me or from the municipality,” added Hendricks.

The affected public parks are:

1. Kabeljous, Tecoma, Supertubes (where the recycling penguins used to be located), Pagoda, Pellsrus, Paradise lagoon park and Dawnview in Jeffreys Bay.
2. KwaNomzamo Park in Humansdorp
3. Shore Road 1 and Granny’s Pool in St Francis Bay
4. Seal Point in Cape St Francis
5. Yellowwoods, Patensie Park and Gamtoos Mouth Park in the Gamtoos area

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