27 November 2012

East London gears up for the festive season

The coastal city of East London is well prepared for the multitude of holidaymakers who will visit its beachfront over the Christmas holidays.

Children playing in East London beach Children playing on an East London beach

The metro’s theme for this festive season is ‘2013 awaits you, be responsible’. - East London executive mayor, Zukiswa Ncitha

The festive season will soon be upon us and holidaymakers from all over the country are making their way to South Africa's magnificent stretch of coastline.

The city of East London is currently finalising preparations to ensure that its beachfront offers the best possible experience for visitors. The beachfront appearance has been spruced up for the festive season and arrangements have been made for improved security.

In place of the usual Christmas lights lining lamp posts, the Buffalo City Metro has opted for wire Christmas trees to decorate the esplanade this year.  Wirework has become a traditional South African craft and the attractive trees catch the eye by day and night. Similar ornamentation has been set up in nearby King William’s Town.

The municipality has undertaken to keep the beachfront spotless at all times. Keith Ngesi, head of communications for Buffalo City Metro, told the press: 'The metro will make it its responsibility to keep it clean all the time. There will be no washing of cars at the beach area, nor the carrying of alcohol or loitering.' The city’s ‘no bottles on our beaches’ campaign will also be intensified.

The city’s executive mayor, Zukiswa Ncitha, has also announced measures to control crowds at beaches this season. The metro’s theme for this festive season is '2013 awaits you, be responsible'.

Road closures leading to Eastern Beach, Bonza Bay Beach, Nahoon Beach, Leaches Bay, Kidds Beach and Gonubie Beach will be in force between 31 December and 2 January, as a form of control. 'We do this to ensure that our visitors and citizens are in a safe environment and to ensure unrestricted access for emergency vehicles to the areas,' Ncitha said.

A joint operations centre consisting of police and law enforcement officers, traffic officers, and ambulance and disaster management staff will be situated at Osner Hotel. Over 120  personnel will be on duty 24 hours a day to ensure the general safety of members of the public.  

East London’s festive lights were switched on this past weekend at a celebration that included musicians Lloyd Cele and Jaziel Brothers. In King William’s Town, the switch on will happen on 1 December, with singer Lira performing, along with local artists.