DA secure ‘longer opening hours’ for Western Cape beaches – here’s the new timetable

The DA has recorded a partial victory in court on Tuesday afternoon – after the opposition managed to secure an extension for beach opening hours in the Western Cape. The seaside spots can now stay open for four hours longer, but the party was unsuccessful in trying to lift measures imposed against the Garden Route.

New opening hours for beaches in the Western Cape

The ruling was handed down earlier today. The DA were hoping to challenge the ‘draconian’ rules that are keeping beaches on the Garden Route closed down, but ultimately, they had to settle for the following terms:

  • The Garden Route still has to keep its beaches closed until 3 January.
  • However, all other beaches in the Western Cape can now stay open for four hours longer…
  • The previous 9:00 – 18:00 limit has been replaced – by a 13-hour allowance, which now allows beaches to operate from 6:00 – 19:00.
  • The DA was also awarded 50% of the court costs, as per the verdict.

John Steenhuisen slams ‘devastating blow’ for Garden Route

John Steenhuisen, the DA leader, gave his reaction to the news shortly after the ruling was handed down. Though he expressed his concern for the Garden Route, he welcomed the leeway that was shown to other beaches in the province:

“The DA is still concerned that the blanket closure of the Garden Route’s beaches over the festive season will have far-reaching and devastating consequences for local economies, and for the livelihoods which depend on seasonal tourism.”

While we respect the judgment, we understand that this ruling remains a devastating blow to the thousands of small businesses along the Garden Route which are now at serious risk of collapse. This problem will not go away once South Africa emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, and we cannot ignore the risk to livelihoods.

“South Africa must always take into account the delicate balance between lives and livelihoods. Our country can’t endure regulations which harm the economy and cut citizens off from their means to make a living in a safe and secure manner.”

John Steenhuisen