City geared up for the festive season

CITY OF CAPE TOWN   18 NOVEMBER 2015   STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE

The festive season period is upon us and we look forward to seeing residents out and about in celebration of this much-anticipated time. We are also pleased to welcome the large numbers of local and international tourists who will be visiting our shores.

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As a well-run city, we will ensure that we are prepared to deal with the risk that accompanies larger crowds and increased internal movement. It is incumbent upon us to ensure the public safety of our residents and visitors, and see to it that the delivery of services continues uninterrupted.

Yesterday, our Festive Season Preparedness Plan for 2015/16 was approved by the City’s Mayoral Committee. The vehicle check point that I participated in this morning is the first of many which will be held over the coming months to ensure safety on our roads.

A Festive Season Coordinating Committee has been established, comprising representatives from all relevant directorates. They are both mandated and equipped to play a city-wide coordination role in readying Cape Town for the festive season.

The City will make the following services available:

  • 1 612 Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Traffic Services officers will be deployed to patrol all public spaces and conduct safety operations. This is an increase from the 1 430 officers deployed last year.
  • The City’s 849 professional firefighters will be available to respond to major incidents
  • A minimum of 240 firefighters will be on duty at any given time at the City’s 30 fire stations
  • An additional 120 seasonal firefighters will be deployed at designated fire stations to assist the full-time firefighting staff, along with 35 volunteer firefighters who are on standby to provide assistance
  • 10 permanent City- employed lifeguards and 153 seasonal and part-time lifeguards will be stationed at our beaches. This service will also be boosted by lifeguards who are facilitated through clubs
  • 2 338 temporary staff members have been hired to enhance the City’s cleansing services capacity. This represents an increase of 474 from last year.

The Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) will coordinate the response to major incidents or disasters. In addition, on high-risk days, DRMC personnel, volunteers and resources will be deployed across the metropolitan area at beaches, swimming pools and popular tourist destinations to offer crowd control and first-aid assistance.

We are grateful for each and every single employee and volunteer who will be sacrificing their festive season to ensure the safety of their fellow residents. In order to ensure that they are adequately supported, we have arranged for dedicated trauma practitioners to provide them with uninterrupted trauma counselling services during this challenging time.

I would like to use this opportunity to urge residents to work with us in order to ensure their safety over the festive period. Residents are also encouraged to make use of the services and assistance that will be provided:

  • Call 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone for all emergencies
  • The 24/7 alcohol and drug helpline is available on 0800 435 748
  • The street people call centre is available on 0800 827 201
  • To donate R10 to organisations that assist street people, as part of the Give Responsibly campaign, SMS ‘Give’ to 38802

For the full Festive Season Preparedness Plan for 2015/16, please see: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/MediaReleases/Documents/City_Festive_Season_operational_plan_2015.pdf

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Note to editors: photos are available on request to Pierrinne.leukes@capetown.gov.za

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Pierrinne Leukes, Spokesperson for the Executive Mayor – Patricia de Lille, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1382 or Cell: 084 272 7614, E-mail: Pierrinne.leukes@capetown.gov.za