Kouga challenges East Cape beach ban

Mkhuseli Sizani

The Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has lambasted Kouga Municipality for playing party politics over the closure of beaches instead of saving lives. 

The municipality is filing an urgent application against the government’s decision to close all the beaches from 16 December to 3 January to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19. 

Kouga’s executive mayor Horatio Hendricks believes the decision was taken without considering its impact. 

He said, “Kouga Municipality is finalising an urgent application to the Eastern Cape High Court, requesting that the decision to close all beaches in the province be overturned. 

“Our court application will be based on the importance of balancing saving lives and saving livelihoods. We, therefore, believe the closure of all beaches was overly-harsh. There is a better way to save both lives and livelihoods. 

“I have also written to the President to plead on behalf of Kouga’s people that the decision be overturned and a more nuanced approach be taken.”

Kouga is part of the Sarah Baartman municipality which has a high infections rate.

Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha spokesperson of the Premier said the municipality was consulted through various inter ministerial meetings. 

“They never objected to this decision during these meetings. What they are doing now is playing party politics because their belated decision appears to be a push from the DA structures. That means, together with the DA, they want to expose the people of this province to covid-19 infections. This is wrong. We are doing everything in our power to prevent the spread of this virus while some people are pushing reckless statements.

“They might as well write in their Court papers that they want the court to grant them a license to spread Covid-19 infections.”