WC ANC condemns 'unacceptable' Clifton Beach clearing incident

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape is crying foul after one of its members was told to clear off Clifton Beach at sunset.

FILE: Clifton Beach. Picture: Facebook

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape is crying foul after one of its members was told to clear off Clifton Beach at sunset.

A private security company employed by the city cleared the beach.

ANC's Dennis Cruywagen: "We condemn this in the strongest terms. This is unacceptable in a democratic South Africa. For those who were around in 1989, they will remember that the mass democratic movement then launched a defiance campaign and part of that campaign was to open up all the beaches which black people were prohibited from using."

There is no by-law that states beaches must be vacated after sunset but city law enforcement officials are allowed to use their discretion in asking people to leave if they believe safety might be compromised.

The private security company involved has spoken to News24.

It denies that it cleared the beach but rather that it was city law enforcement officials.

At the same time, the City of Cape Town says that its festive season safety plan is working well.

Yesterday, the city took the media on a tour of the Transport Management Centre where various control rooms are located.

Gang violence, rape cases and robberies, these are some of the crimes being reported in the City's busy control room in Goodwood.

Team leader for the Neighbourhood Watch control room Trevor Kirby says on their WhatsApp contact list they are in touch with 287 structures and 40 community groups in the city.

These safety groups alert and report crime daily. Kirby says thereafter incidents are escalated to Law Enforcement on the ground.

"Where the camera cannot see, the neighbourhood watch can see what is happening in the community. The hot spot areas are Delft, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain..."

Meanwhile, officials in the ShotSpotter control room say that on Christmas Day their technology picked up 38 shots in seven incidents in Hanover Park alone.

The city's JP Smith: "I think we're very ready. We've done this many times before and we're well experienced with this. We understand the dynamics and we've tweaked the system."