Port Elizabeth sees the destruction of braai/barbeque sites along the popular Marine Drive in Summerstrand. The reasoning behind it focuses on controlling the number of people who gather there and drink alcohol. Apparently, it’s considered a COVID-19 risk. Nevertheless, apart from making it look like an eyesore, people know that portable braai stands come cheap and easily available. And it’s easy enough to dig a pit in the sand and make a fire if necessary. So, social media warriors condemn the wasteful move.
Port Elizabeth Bulldozers destroy braai stands at beaches as an anti-COVID-19 measure
The lifting of the beach ban after the second waves of coronavirus saw many revellers enjoy the freedom of the beach and the age-old tradition of cooking up a braai. In anticipation, we reported on some of the best beaches in KwaZulu-Natal. But in the neighbouring Eastern Cape, officials take away the fun of cooking up a barbeque. Many beaches in the country seem pristine and beautiful. But some of them, particularly around East London fell into neglect and disrepair, In fact, crime and prostitution in the area often limit the number of people who use them.
Now, bulldozers taking the rather extreme action in Port Elizabeth of destroying tax-payer facilities upset a lot of people. Herald Live reported that Helga van Staaden of the DA said, “People aren’t compliant and we can’t put a monetary value to a life.” Well, the unpopular decision worries people. After all, way too many things fall into disrepair or destruction in South Africa. And they remain that way. The decision came after beachgoers flocked there and police claimed they couldn’t control them. So, they believe that depriving people of facilities will help prevent COVID-19.
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Nqaba Bhanga supports drastic action
The outlet also noted that the mayor of Port Elizabeth feels there’s little alternative. Riaan Marais covered the first report of alcohol-fuelled beachgoers. According to his report, the police arrested “three people” this weekend. Plus, the inference is that as a result of these beachgoers, a number of road accidents occurred, one of them “fatal.” Nevertheless, there’s no way of knowing for sure that the 20-odd accidents could be attributed to the beach. They took place across the metro area.
Ar Kings Beach, apparently the officers who tried confiscating alcohol” ended up ‘attacked.” Nevertheless, reactions to the PE destruction of braai sites along the beachfront infuriated a lot of people.
Angry reactions to municipal actions
Over on Twitter, people lambasted the DA for destroying things. While apparently, they plan on reconstructing them at some stage, people immediately think in terms of tenders and profits. And who can really blame them with rampant corruption in the country? Others feel there must be other ways the police can control the number of people breaking the law on the beaches. After all, an apparently unlimited supply of them policed the beaches across the Cape during the ban.
Here’s what some people said about it on Twitter:
@Paratus2014; “Bulldozing braai spots in PE is an act of pettiness and stupidity. If people want to braai near the sea, they will find a way to do so. Also, does the municipality seriously think that people will applaud it for destroying public property? Idiotic to the extreme.”
@samolckers: “Everything in this country must be f–ked or dirty!! Seems people enjoy living in a sh-thole!”
@illegaladverts: “Next year a six thousand & nine fifteen three billionty tender will be awarded for Tamtam’s Nail Salon to rebuild them.”
Absolutely freaking ridiculous!
When I was young we used to make a hole in the sand, wood, matches, friends, a guitar and we had a braai on the beach.
Instead of destroying the places they could have fenced them off. That's an expensive exercise in stupidity!
— Christine Guilhem de Groot (@GuilhemGroot) February 9, 2021
What are your thoughts on Port Elizabeth braai stands being bulldozed to control COVID-19? Sound off in the comments below.
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