Beach braai’ers clash with police

Damage caused by an open fire at the beach.

Visitors expecting to braai at the beach at Ballito have been clashing with law enforcement because open fires are not allowed.

KwaDukuza municipality bylaws prohibit open fires because they are a safety hazard and the remains of the fires leave an unsightly mess on the beach.

Police and Ballito UIP security guards trying to enforce this bylaw have been meeting with resistance from visitors.

One of those people was Thembani Mdlalose from Groutville who came to Ballito on Reconciliation Day with her family to take a swim and have a braai.

“We hire taxis and buy a lot of meat to braai. However, to our surprise the police told us we cannot braai our meat at the beach. Now if this is against the municipal laws, why did the municipality not inform us? Can’t they even set up strong penalties for those who are caught littering or throwing the ash or coal on the grass?

“Not all of us are irresponsible. It just that most of us did not know about this bylaw,” said Mdlalose.

He added that many people could not afford to buy replacement food after arriving at the beach with braai meat.

Visitors having an argument with police and the the UIP security guards on December 16 at Clarke Bay.

Visitors having an argument with police and the the UIP security guards on December 16 at Clarke Bay.

Despite the complaints that they did not know that braaiing was not allowed all of KwaDukuza’s main beaches are fitted with signage clearly stating that open fires, drinking of alcohol and camping are strictly prohibited.

Police have been very strict to those who want to have a braai and they stopped a number of residents who arrived armed with braai stands.

KwaDukuza lifeguard supervisor Bongani Xulu said there were specific beaches with braai stands available to be used by the public, including Tinley Manor, Blythedale, Zinkwazi and Black Rock Beach.

Umhlali SAPS spokesperson Vinny Pillay said the issue was not with braai’ing, but doing so in a safe manner that did not detract from other visitors’beach experience.

Above: Prominent signs prohibit open fires at any of KwaDukuza's beaches.

Prominent signs prohibit open fires at any of KwaDukuza’s beaches.

According to KwaDukuza’s bylaws (chapter 25.8): No person shall, contrary to a provision of a notice, bring into a public amenity any alcoholic or any other liquor or any food of whatever nature.

Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) no person shall on, in or at a public amenity, contrary to a provision of a notice, cook or prepare food of any kind whatsoever, except at places set aside for such purposes by notice: Provided that the preparation and cooking of food in or at a public amenity shall be done in a clean and sanitary manner so as not to give rise to excessive smoke or other nuisances or entail any danger to health: Provided further that no live animals, poultry or fish may be killed or skinned on, in or at a public amenity.

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Sboniso Dlamini

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