Vehicle access restricted in draft document

CANDICE BRADFIELD

FURTHER details of the SAPS’ safety strategy for New Year’s Day were discussed in a stakeholders meeting last week.

It was proposed that the wording in the draft document be changed to “Access control points…be controlled” and not “closed”. The points to be controlled include Van Riebeeck Street, Keey Street, Atherstone Road, George Street, Miles Street, Becker Street, Wesley Hill and West Beach Road.

According to the draft document, minibuses and taxis are to be allowed in through this point in a one-way direction and “no passenger/LDVs will be allowed”.

Under “Reasons for the above requirements”, the draft document specifies that “no access granted for public unless residents have tag/sticker as proof” and that they will “allow only residents using chalets with necessary documentation/permits/stickers”.

Access points will also be controlled at the intersections of Sports Road and Dove Street, Beach Crescent and Putt Road, Putt Road and Brighton Road as well as at Bathurst Road.

Allocated parking areas, which are outlined in the draft document and are still to be confirmed, include the open space at Wesley Hill, the open space in Causeway near the robots (town hall) and the open space in Pascoe Cresent behind the Lounge.

The plan is to transport people from these parking areas to the beach via free shuttle.

Captain Jacques Barkhuizen, who chaired the meeting in station commander Colonel Lizette Zeelie’s absence, said he would check with the owner of the Lounge property to see if he was happy with the proposed plans.

A further reason to control access is to “ensure emergency vehicles access to the areas affected”, as stated in the draft document.

Deputy director of community/protection services, Fanie Fouche, said he would prefer the krantz area to be used as a recreational area only, as they have funds available to put up additional braais and benches.

Chief fire officer Eldridge Baatjies suggested Fouche discuss this with the directors and council and come back with a decision. Chief traffic officer Fred Cannon said he was concerned that blocking at the robots would interfere with traffic using the R72.

Chairman of the Port Alfred Community Policing Forum (CPF), Gunther Johannsen, said residents are advised not to use the access point at the traffic lights.

Barkhuizen said the police would enforce the rule of “no overnight camping along river and beach areas”. He explained that overnight camping refers to tents and marquees.

Access points will be blocked with drums and chains or “candy tape” with a “no entry” sign. These points will be manned by SAPS or MultiSecurity.

Barkhuizen proposed that portable toilets be put up at Shelly Beach.

The draft document states that the public be educated about drinking in public. It also states: “glass bottles and alcohol on the beaches is not negotiable as soccer will be played there”.

Additional signage will be erected at West Beach car park and on the beach to “create awareness and assist with enforcement operations”.

Barkhuizen suggested that 10 shuttle services are required on the day.

“The main aim is to have a healthy and safe environment for everyone,” said Fouche.

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