NMB residents on beach ban: “A good call but a boring festive season”

Mkhuseli Sizani

The closure of the Nelson Mandela Bay beaches this festive season was given a thumbs up by many residents.

The safety of people first is what many believe the government considered in taking such a decision. 

Eastern Cape is the epicentre of Covid-19 in South Africa with Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City the cities with the highest infection rates and deaths. 

Monwabisi Nkone of Soweto-on-Sea told Scrolla.Africa: “This is a tough decision. But there is nothing we can do about it because our safety comes first.

“People are misbehaving at these beaches and opening them would lead to a disaster. A good call by President Cyril Ramaphosa but a boring festive season.”

Zimasa Lukwe of Walmer township said, “This has spoiled all my business plans. I had intentions to go and sell fast food at Summerstrand since my catering and decor business suffered during the lockdown.

“But there is nothing we can do because Covid is killing us.”

Mthetheleli Maqhutyana of Govan Mbeki Township said, “Our lives are more important than the festive season. There is no social distancing at taverns and how much more at these beaches?”

Thembisa Brukwe of Missionvale said, “Good decision, our people don’t listen. They are putting everyone at risk of being killed by Corona.” 

Meanwhile, concerned residents have praised Nelson Mandela Bay police for dispersing large crowds at illegal gatherings with rubber bullets and stun grenades on Sunday. The crowds had gathered outside Sobantu, Lifa and Mafa Butcheries in Koyana Street and Gqalane’s tavern in Zwide.

The residents said the government should give police more powers to arrest the unruly and irresponsible youths.

Captain Andre Beetge said, “taverns are not the problem but our main problem is people who are drinking outside the taverns.

“They block roads, sit next to their vehicles, drink and play loud music. This behaviour has been going on for a long time way before Covid-19.”

Beegte said this can’t be tolerated especially during these times. 

“There was no social distancing and they were not wearing masks,” he said.

“We are a hotspot and this cannot be tolerated. We will continue dispersing people gathering illegally.”

Picture source: @ecr9495