DA heading to court over closure of Garden Route beaches

DA heading to court over closure of Garden Route beaches

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed court papers in the Western Cape High Court to challenge the government’s decision to close the Garden Route beaches over the festive season.


The Garden Route and Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape have both been declared Covid-19 hotspots as the country battles a second wave of infections.

But while the Eastern Cape has asked for the national government to close its beaches, several organisations are taking legal action over the decision affecting the Garden Route.

The DA had given government until Thursday to provide reasons justifying the closure.

Party leader John Steenhuisen says both the president and Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma failed to respond.

“The fact that national government has requested additional time to prepare a response to our letter requesting reasons for the decision to close the Garden Route’s beaches, only demonstrates that there were none to begin with. It would seem that any reasons now provided would be ex post facto manufactured.

“The DA and our governments across the Western Cape’s coastal municipalities have fought vehemently against any closure of beaches over the festive season, as such a regulation is not in line with the scientific advice available from medical experts and is impossible to enforce.

“This regulation is also proving be the final nail in the coffin for the Garden Route’s coastal economies which are nearing total collapse.”

Listen to  John Steenhuisen below:

He says businesses in the hospitality industry along the Garden Route are already reporting devastating and life-threatening losses to the value of hundreds of millions of rands.

“This is precisely why we are urgently approaching the courts to expedite the overturning of this decision as the livelihoods of thousands currently hang in the balance.  

“In the South African context, poverty can be far deadlier than the coronavirus, and in this instance, national government is risking the livelihoods of thousands of South Africans unnecessarily. We cannot and will not allow this to happen.”

 The case is expected to be heard on Monday.


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