Letter: Move the free concerts?

I write this as an open letter to the organisers of the free Salt Rock music concerts.

The authorities must consider moving the concerts away from the residential area of Salt Rock. Many bylaws are broken over the two nights of the concerts.

The Thursday night concert is of major concern.

The authorities are unable to control the unruly, undisciplined, and inconsiderate crowd hell-bent on causing as much disturbance and irritation to residents and holiday makers as possible.

The concert is supposed to stop at 11pm and the area cleared before midnight.

On Thursday night, the screaming, shouting, hooting and revving of motor car engines went on into the early hours of Friday morning with total disregard to any law and order, not to mention the filth and litter left behind.

The unruly behaviour is getting worse year on year.

Due to the terrain and the nature of the residential area it is impossible for law enforcement to move in and control the unruly crowds and render assistance, this fact alone should be a red light to the organisers and authorities that this is a disaster in the making.

The roads and the entire area become grid locked and has anybody considered:

  • How the medics will get to a gravely ill person in the area?
  • How will the fire department get to a house fire?
  • How will law enforcement get to a housebreaking, murder or unrest in the area?
  • How are the security companies’ reaction units going to respond to emergency calls and break-ins?

It is our constitutional right as citizens, residents and rate payers to live in an area that is safe and protected by the laws and bylaws of the country and area.

I suspect that most Salt Rock residents will agree that this is a major problem and something needs to be done.

Move the concert away from the residential area (an industrial site or some field) or do away with it completely.


KDM responds:

KwaDukuza Municipality and its partners note the concerns raised by Mr Chart.

These comments are taken in good spirit with the broad understanding and acknowledgement of the excellent work done by our law enforcement agencies during the entire two weeks of Ballito Pro festivities.

The Ballito Pro is the mainstay tourism event in the North Coast which continues to draw patrons from various walks of life. The Ballito Pro Music Festival which took place on Thursday and Friday, 5th and 6th of July 2017 respectively, demonstrated social cohesion and integration of our youth. These concerts are free to the public, which makes them accessible to everybody in the area.

They provide a platform of cultural exchanges among our community and tourists.

It is unfortunate that on Thursday it took time for the crowd to disperse after the event was officially closed at 11.30, as per the events permission granted by the SAPS Commissioner.

The event attracted more than the expected number of people, due to the headline artists who were performing at this event. KwaDukuza Municipality would like to extend its apology for the inconvenience that was caused to the residents of Salt Rock after the event.

The law enforcement agencies led by KwaDukuza Municipality Traffic and Crime Prevention Units did a sterling job of ensuring that the crowd dispersed peacefully.

There were no major incidents reported after this event.

The municipality will be doing its debriefing exercise with all law enforcement agencies where such complaints will be considered in order to avoid future occurrences.

Our community will continue to appreciate the fact that events such as the Ballito Pro have positive socio-economic spinoffs to local businesses and entrepreneurs. Let us continue to engage constructively to ensure that our public amenities are drivers of tourism and economic growth.

KDM Executive Director – Economic Development & Planning, SIKHUMBUZO HLONGWANE

The North Coast Courier

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