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Saldanha Bay beach access row hots up

While the mayor says beach access cards were issued to curb vandalism and late-night partying, the ANC says it amounts to blatant racism.

Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The Mayor of Saldanha Bay insists no-one has been barred from enjoying the beaches in the West Coast Town.

Tempers have been flaring in the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led municipality over cards issued last year to around 15 residents living on a street adjacent to the beach front.

People without these cards have not been allowed to use the parking bays on the street.

Saldanha Mayor Marius Koen says the residential cards were issued in an attempt to curb vandalism and late-night partying in the area.

“Nobody was denied access to the beach, they just have to park somewhere else.”

But the African National Congress West Coast regional spokesperson Sammy Claassen is not convinced and has compared it to draconian apartheid-era measures restricting the movement of people.

“They want to deny people from the squatter camp and the coloured areas access to the beach front. There’s ample parking on the beach front, but the few white minority people are now dictating to the majority in terms of access to the beach.”

Claassen says he wants the DA to answer to what he calls an act of blatant racism.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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