Cheeky cheers to breaking law on beaches

Nomzamo Yuku

BRAZEN boozers on Nelson Mandela Bay’s beaches are creating a headache for authorities.

And the cheeky drinkers at Wells Estate and St George’s Strand say they are not going to stop their holiday antics, despite knowing they are breaking the law.

Large piles of empty alcohol bottles littered the two resorts and their beaches last week after revellers partied the night away, leaving cleaners contracted by the municipality to clean up the mess.

Yesterday, beach-goers at the same two beaches were adamant they would not adhere to the “no drinking [alcohol] in public” municipal bylaw.

The authorities admit policing the bylaw on these beaches is a major strain – but called at least for the illegal drinkers to be careful.

Officials are most concerned about “drunk drownings”.

Municipal spokesman Ongama Mtimka said officials had been successful in controlling the use of alcohol along the Bay’s southern beaches, but Wells Estate was a challenge.

He blamed this on overcrowding on the popular northern beaches and at adjacent campsites.

Mtimka said “being drunk on the beach is a risk to individuals because it makes them vulnerable to many things, including rape, child molestation and drowning”.

 He added: “Drinking also causes other problems which could be avoided if the perpetrators or victims were sober.” The problem could lead to a higher workload for already overburdened police officers, lifesavers and municipal safety officials.

But one person’s problem is another person’s opportunity, as Motherwell entrepreneur Mandla Jakavula has discovered.

For Jakavula and his mother, the littering means more gain and less financial strain, because they collect the empty bottles and hire a truck to transport them to Cape Town’s Consol glass factory for recycling. Jakavula’s mother, Nondzondelelo, said: “This is not an easy business, but at least I know exactly what I earn when I have so much work.”

She said the family earned up to R7000 a load for the recycled glass.

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