Cape Town - With people gearing up to usher the new year, the public have been urged to celebrate responsibly, consider their safety and of those around them.
Last night, Police Minister Bheki Cele, as part of the Safer Festive Season, conducted an inspection tour led by provincial commissioner Thembisile Patekile, of the police’s operations in the City.
This as they seek to ensure residents and visitors of their safety ahead of the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
This week calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the curfew before New Years' Eve grew. The country is currently on Level 1 with the curfew from midnight to 4am.
It appears that these calls were heard as Cabinet in a statement late on Thursday confirmed that the curfew will be lifted. There will therefore be no restrictions on the hours of movement of people.
Furthermore, gatherings are restricted to no more than 1 000 people indoors and no more than 2 000 people outdoors. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with appropriate social distancing, then no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used. All other restrictions remain in place.
Meanwhile, with not a single application received by the City of Cape Town for the display of fireworks, it has warned residents against its illegal sale and discharge.
The City said no illegal fireworks have been confiscated yet, however, 16 complaints since Monday (December 27) around the illegal sale and discharge of fireworks were received.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the City cannot divulge operational details. However, he said the deployment of law enforcement officers would be in line with the City’s festive season plan.
Smith said the City’s enforcement and emergency services were gearing up for the celebrations and increase in visitors to public spaces and party spots.
“The City works very closely with numerous other role-players like SAPS, the Central City Improvement Districts, Neighbourhood Watches and others to ensure that all priority areas are covered,” he said.
He said the public had to abide by the current Disaster Management Regulations in place.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams said despite City regulations and appeals for calm, fireworks would still be discharged on Old Year’s Eve. Abrahams said fireworks were terrifying to animals.
She said the increased alcohol consumption at this time of year also increased the risk of incidents of animal cruelty.