DA gives Ramaphosa a Wednesday deadline to respond to beach demands

DA gives Ramaphosa a Wednesday deadline to respond to beach demands

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and lobby group AfriForum have added their voices to those challenging the closure of some beaches as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 over the festive season.

Garden Route beaches
Photo: Supplied

The DA has sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asking them to justify the decision to close the beaches in the Garden Route District for the entirety of the festive season.

"We have given the president until 17:00 on Wednesday, 16 December, to respond, failing which we will approach the courts for urgent relief,” says DA leader John Steenhuisen.

"(Western Cape) Premier Alan Winde has told national government repeatedly that beach-going in the Western Cape does not present a significant threat of Covid-19 infection.


"The provincial government has submitted various hotspot containment plans demonstrating that the Western Cape is adequately capacitated to manage the seasonal influx of tourists who visit our province for its beach tourism.”

Steenhuisen argues that the closure of beaches is not in line with the scientific advice available from medical experts, and is impossible to enforce, adding that this regulation will also be the final nail in the coffin for the Garden Route’s coastal economies.


Meanwhile, AfriForum approached the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to have the latest Covid-19 regulations announced by the President on Monday evening declared unconstitutional.

"According to AfriForum the limiting of access to beaches, that are public property, amounts to the restriction of a basic human right," says the organisation’s Monique Taute.

"It is unconstitutional and discriminatory to close certain beaches given the enormous economic impact that it will have on especially coastal towns, that have been suffering the whole year due to the lockdown regulations.

"To visit the beach is a form of recreation that takes place outdoors and people are exposed to the sun that contributes to a healthier immune system.

"The alternative is that people will turn to places like shopping centres and restaurants that hold a much higher risk of spreading the virus.”

All Eastern Cape beaches will be closed for the duration of the festive season while KwaZulu-Natal beaches will be closed on what are traditionally the busiest days of the season, including Christmas and New Year.  

In the Western Cape, only the Garden Route beaches will be closed for the holiday period. 


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