Kouga local municipality
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Last modified: 16 Jan 2020
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Team work makes for safe holiday

08 January 2020
Kouga's lifeguards helped to keep holiday-makers safe at the beaches.

Kouga's lifeguards helped to keep holiday-makers safe at the beaches.

Team work helped to keep locals and visitors safe in Kouga this past festive season.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said compliments had been pouring in for Kouga's lifeguards, who kept a close eye on bathers while the NSRI’s pink buoys helped to save the lives of two teenage boys at Jeffreys Bay who got caught in a rip current.

Sadly, a local resident of St Francis Bay passed away while surfing on Christmas Day.

He said a Joint Operations Centre (JOC) had been established to coordinate the efforts of all roleplayers.

“The JOC met every morning, including Saturdays and Sundays, for roleplayers to report back on what has been happening in their sectors, identify problem areas and roll out solutions,” he said.

Key roleplayers included the municipality’s Security, Law Enforcement, Traffic, Fire and Disaster Management sections, the South African Police Service (SAPS), Community Police Forums (CPFs), neighbourhood watches, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and private security companies.

“The dedication shown by these men and women is simply amazing and we are very grateful to them for taking hands with the municipality to help keep residents and holiday-makers safe. 

“I would especially like to salute the many volunteers who was involved, who gave of their time and resources without expecting anything in return. You are true heroes.” 

He said additional safety measures had been rolled out for the festive season, including, regular beach patrols by foot or quad bike while all-terrain and 4x4 vehicles were used where permission could be obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Look-out points were also erected at high-risk areas to improve visible policing.

"Our beaches are one of the region’s greatest attractions and the safety of visitors to these areas was, therefore, a priority.

“One attack on the beach is one attack too many, as it could have a devastating impact on our Tourism industry, economy and employment opportunities," he said.

The Mayor extended a special word of thanks to the municipal Law Enforcement Officers for doing the best they could to curb illegal fireworks.

"The late patrols, working unholy long hours and putting their lives at risk so others could feel safe, are appreciated.

“On behalf of the Council and municipality, I would like to thank everyone for their contribution and tremendous effort during 2019’s festive season.

"We look forward to providing improved quality of service, building on this success and welcoming even more visitors to Kouga, the Events Capital of South Africa, next year,” he said.