No scientific evidence to back closing of beaches, says DA’s Steenhuisen

Winde said he's written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting he reconsider the move.

A beach in the Eastern Cape. © Claudia Schnepf/

CAPE TOWN - CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday stressed the importance of beaches in the Garden Route being open to the public during the holiday season.

Party leaders filed an urgent application in the Western Cape High Court to overturn a government decision to close beaches in the region.

President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced that as part of COVID-19 mitigating measures, beaches in the Garden Route District would be closed until 3 January 2020.

The DA, however, said the move to the beaches has already had a negative impact on businesses in the region.
Party leader John Steenhuisen said he hoped the court would rule in their favour when the matter is heard on Monday.

“This is why we are urging the courts to expedite the overturning of this decision as the livelihood of thousands currently hang in the balance.”

Steenhuisen said there was no scientific evidence to back government's decision to close beaches.

At the same time, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde's also vying for the Garden Route's beaches to be reopened over the festive season.

Winde said he's written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting he reconsider the move because the decision, he believes, would deal a devastating blow to the region's economy which is highly reliant on tourism.

He also agreed the decision was not based on rational, scientific evidence.

The desperate measures have been taken as COVID-19 infections continue to surge.

WATCH: Closed beaches, new hotspots and early curfew - COVID-19 restriction update

These are the areas that form part of the Garden Route District:

Bitou Municipality:

  • Plettenberg Bay

  • Keurboomstrand

  • Kurland

  • Kranshoek

  • Kwanokuthula

  • Nature’s Valley

  • Wittedrift

George Municipality:

  • George

  • Wilderness

  • Hoekwil

  • Glentana

  • Herolds Bay

  • Victoria Bay

  • Haarlem

  • Uniondale

  • Herold

  • Noll

Hessequa Municipality:

  • Albertinia

  • Still Bay

  • Riversdale

  • Heidelberg

  • Slangrivier

  • Jongensfontein

  • Blombos

  • Gouritsmond

  • Puntjie

  • Witsand

Kannaland Municipality:

  • Calitzdorp

  • Zoar

  • Ladismith

  • Van Wyksdorp

Knysna Municipality:

  • Knysna

  • Sedgefield

  • Brenton

  • Buffels Bay

  • Rheenendal

Mossel Bay Municipality:

  • Boggoms Bay

  • Brandwag

  • Buisplaas

  • Dana Bay

  • Glentana

  • Fraaiuitsig

  • Friemersheim

  • Great Brak River

  • Hartenbos

  • Herbertsdale

  • Hersham

  • KwaNonqaba

  • Little Brak River

  • Outeniqua Beach

  • Reebok, Ruiterbos

  • Southern Cross

  • Tergniet

  • Vleesbaai

Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality:

  • De Rust

  • Dysselsdorp

  • Oudtshoorn

  • Volmoed

The Democratic Alliance and AfriForum have gone to court to challenge the move which also affects the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

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