ARROGANT, incompetent and stupid, is how I describe the recent decision of the sport, art, recreation and culture standing committee to ban bathing at Sardinia Bay beach, which serves the residents of the adjoining areas such as Lovemore Heights and Mount Pleasant.
At the meeting on September 6, the ANC majority voted to support beach manager Fernando Cain’s proposal to commission an independent risk assessment of Nelson Mandela Bay beaches and to prohibit bathing at Sardinia Bay beach, and relocate the current car park subject to EIA guidelines.
There has been absolutely no consultation with any role-players before Cain placed this proposal before the committee. In today’s democratic society, a major factor in any public decision is public participation. The local residents association were not consulted, nor was the Ward 1 committee. In fact, my office was not even aware of the proposal until the agenda was circulated. This proposal, and decision, is a farce, and it is an indication of just how ridiculous matters within the metro have become. Here is a senior manager who cannot do his job, so he proposes that the beach be closed to save himself the hassle of providing lifeguards on this beach. What happens when he cannot place lifeguards at other beaches? Will he propose to close them too?
Members of Sardinia Bay Surf Lifesaving Club have patrolled their beach for 32 years, without any loss of life while they have been on duty, and they were also not consulted. In fact, the beach manager stated in his motivation “the beach had the reputation of taking a life annually” and he misled the councillors with such a blatant lie. What he omitted to clarify, was Sardinia Bay has had no drownings, but the adjacent Sylvic Bay has been the scene of some tragedies and drownings over the years. Everyone knows you do not swim at Sylvic, as it is treacherous and the rip currents are very powerful.
Cain’s statement that Sardinia Bay regularly experienced illegal activities and crime is just ridiculous, as Walmer SAPS crime stats for this area are very low.
The Sardinia Bay beach is the metro’s most beautiful and scenic beach and should be a prime tourist attraction.
I still believe we should remove the sand-dunes and reinstate vehicular access to the car-park adjacent to the surf lifesavers clubhouse, as this beach is very popular and our city is growing outwards towards this area.