Saldanha Bay concludes 2018/2019 festive season operations
Saldanha Bay Municipality’s department of public safety (traffic operations, law enforcement and security services, fire services and traffic management), in collaboration with the South African Police Services, Department of Transport and Public Works’ provincial traffic department, South African National Parks and the Saldanha Bay Tourism Organisation recently concluded its 2018/2019 festive season operations for the Saldanha Bay Municipal area.
Together, the departments developed a holistic integrated festive season plan to conduct and execute joint traffic law enforcement operations and to prevent fires within the municipal area of jurisdiction.
The 2018/2019 festive season plan was implemented in three (3) phases: Pre-holiday phase, festive season phase and post-holiday phase.
The pre-holiday phase was introduced in October 2018 by conducting awareness programmes, increasing visibility in towns and executing joint law enforcement operations. During the Vredenburg and Saldanha unrest in November, the department worked together with all law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of residents within the municipal area, including the employees of Saldanha Bay Municipality through the deployment of operational officials at municipal buildings and resorts.
Critical dates were identified at the commencement of the festive season in December 2018 to ensure the presence of multiple forces during the execution of operations.
The table below highlights the identified dates:
Paternoster, Saldanha and Langebaan were identified as high priority towns due to the influx of visitors to the various beaches. This resulted in the deployment of additional auxiliary officials to the three towns.
Special Youth Placement:
The law enforcement section coordinates the special youth placement programme initiated by the Western Cape Government’s Department of Community Safety. A total of twenty (20) students were recruited during December 2018 to assist the law enforcement section with beach patrols duties along beaches within the municipal area of jurisdiction.
The new recruits underwent peace officer and traffic warden training, arranged by the Department of Community Safety, and was placed at the municipal law enforcement section from 15 December 2018 to 15 January 2019.
A total of ten (10) traffic wardens were deployed with to provide assistance during the festive season period. These officers were deployed under the direct supervision of permanent traffic/law enforcement officers and conducted the following duties:
- Identify illegal house shops
- Conduct foot patrol duties in the different towns
- Conduct access and exit control at beaches
- Identify illegal informal traders
- Identify illegal parking within the different towns
- Identify un-prohibited behaviour at public amenities
- Issue 314 notices in terms of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996.
The Saldanha Bay Municipal Fire Services ensured that measures were put in place for open communications between fire and disaster management services in the event of major incidents related to fire within the municipal area of jurisdiction.
Heinrich Mettler (Municipal Manager), Mario Jacobs (Public Safety Manager), Brigadier Z Bavuma (Vredenburg Cluster Commander), Alderman Marius Koen (Executive Mayor), Phumzile Mbaliswana (Director Corporate and Public Safety Services) and Siphokazi Fihla (Principal Provincial Inspector) at the closure of the festive season operations.
From left to right: Mr Heinrich Mettler (Municipal Manager) and Alderman Marius Koen (Executive Mayor) at the department of public safety’s new fleet of vehicles.
The table below illustrates the activities conducted:
The Saldanha Bay Municipality Fire Services responded to a total of 147 incidents in November and December 2018 which included structural formal houses, informal houses, motor vehicle accidents, and veld and bush fires.
The law enforcement department issued a total of 583 fines during October (252), November (182) and December 2018 (149).
A total of 58 750 vehicles were stopped from which 288 Section 56 Notices (fines) were issued. The monetary value of the fines issued was R 284 350.
Insufficient parking at beaches within the municipal area remains a challenge.
Successes of the 2018/2019 festive season includes:
- Zero drowning incidents were reported during the festive season period.
- The enhancement and high visibility of law enforcement officers (SAPS, traffic and municipal law enforcement) at strategic points within the municipal area contributed to minimum reported incidents.
- The establishment of the Saldanha Bay Municipal control room in Vredenburg contributed to the effective communication amongst all role players.
- Awareness programmes and information sessions conducted in Langebaan ensured that no fireworks were discharged at the main beach on New Year’s evening.
- The daily deployment of fire services vehicles in the various towns contributed to a decrease in fire incidents.
- The confiscation of alcohol at beaches.
The Executive Mayor of Saldanha Bay Municipality, Alderman Marius Koen, thanked all departments and role players for their efforts in ensuring the safety of visitors and our communities.
“Together you have ensured that Saldanha Bay Municipality’s strategic objective ‘To develop socially integrated safety and healthy communities’ is successfully executed throughout the holiday season. It is essential that all our employees know that they too are very important stakeholders and our key ambassadors in service delivery,” he said.