The George Municipality is ready for the summer holiday season, says George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha. “Our town and beaches are starting to fill up with holidaymakers – visitors from out of town as well as locals making the most of good weather and time off.
“The George Municipality has a Festive Holiday Plan in place, which includes the appointment of more traffic officers, law enforcement and beach monitors as well as lifesavers on all beaches and additional firefighters on standby for the fire season.
“The George Municipality invites everyone who lives, works and plays here to have a fun-filled but responsible summer holiday season. Please don’t drink and drive, don’t drink and swim, and abide by traffic rules and beach rules – it may not seem so cool, but it may save your life,” said Mr Botha.
George Tourism Manager Joan Shaw said the office was preparing for a busy 2018/19 season with about 100 000 tourists, domestic and foreign, holidaying in the greater George area over December and January – with many more visiting from neighbouring holiday spots for shopping and other attractions. “Accommodation establishments have indicated an average occupancy rate of 75- 80% from 15 December with an increase to about 95% for the peak period 18 December to 4 January 2019. We are expecting this to increase as last-minute travellers are still making plans,” said Ms Shaw.
George Tourism is kicking off their annual summer campaign on beaches in the George area on 18 to 20 December, running daily competitions to keep beachgoers entertained and give them more information about the area.
George Municipality Protection Services Director, Steven Erasmus, said traffic on the roads is expected to triple in and around the municipal area during the school holiday period. “All George Traffic Department operational staff, including 50 traffic officers, will be on duty during the school holiday period. Traffic officers will focus on high visibility, enforcement of the law, road safety as well as drunken driving. A zero-tolerance approach will be followed towards road traffic offences,” said Mr Erasmus.
Traffic officers will also be deployed at strategic hotspots to encourage road safety as well as deal with serious offenders. The department also has a dedicated Rapid Response Unit that will focus on various aspects of public transport and related offences. A speed management team will also be out in full force at various locations.
Law Enforcement increases to 50 people to patrol beaches, maintain order and implement bylaws including the prohibition of alcohol and firearms.
Lifesavers have been on duty on beaches from 1 December, increase to 80 lifesavers this week, and will be on duty until 31 January 2019.
Refuse collection dates affected on public holidays:
Monday 17 December 2018 will be collected on Tuesday 18 December 2018
Tuesday 25 December 2018 will be collected on Thursday 27 December 2018
Wednesday 26 December 2018 will be collected on Friday 28 December 2018
Tuesday 1 January 2019 will be collected on Wednesday 2 January 2019
Caption: Victoria Bay will be a hive activity as swimmers and surfers flock to this popular beach this summer. Photograph: Melanie Mare