Humairaa Mayet | 27 November 2018 | Image: The South African
Following health and safety concerns regarding the area around the Durban beachfront, Ebrahim Vadachia; chairperson of the Urban Improvement Precincts (UPI), has confirmed that the city is making considerable efforts in keeping crime and grime under control.
Durban experiences an influx of holidaymakers every December with majority of the people concentrated around the promenade, which is approximately six kilometres long.
In an interview with Ebrahim Gangat on Salaamedia, Vadachia stated that the influx of foreign nationals, substance abuse of both alcohol and drugs, and poverty and unemployment, resulting in an abundance of vagrants, all contribute to the degeneration of the beachfront.
The issue of needles lying in the sand and on pavements is a pressing one. Vadachia claimed that a non-governmental organisation has been giving out free needles and syringes in an attempt to quell the surge of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS which plagues the beachfront. However, these amenities have been abused, resulting in contaminated needles lying around on the promenade.
Vadachia described the beachfront as “fertile ground in which criminal activity can flourish,” but has declared that numerous measures will be implemented in order to ensure that vacationers enjoy their time in Durban.
The permit system has been done away with, but manned boom gates will be put into place this year. However, the booms will only be dropped once the beachfront is overcrowded; as opposed to the permit system which closed off the promenade even before overcrowding occurred.
To confirm that all criminal and undesirable elements are eliminated, Vadachia declared that private security firms and governmental law enforcement agencies will be deployed to the beachfront in December to control crowds and halt nefarious activity. Vadachia was confident that an “integrated approach” would be ideal, with multiple organisations and departments assisting in keeping crime and grime at bay.
Finally, Vadachia claimed that the city is ready to host the large influx of holidaymakers this December, and measures that will be implemented will guarantee that everyone will enjoy their stay in Durban.