Residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) continue to show blatant disobedience of Covid-19 regulations as well as municipal bylaws despite multiple warnings of a looming Covid-19 third wave.
The Border-Kei Chamber of Business recently witnessed crowds of beach goers at three of East London’s popular beaches drinking in public, with zero social distancing, and wearing no masks. Beach signs restricting certain beach activities were also ignored.
Despite all this, there was no sign of any law enforcement officers at either of the beaches, namely Bonza Bay, Nahoon, and Eastern Beach.
Dr Ntobeko Stemele, GM at BCMM’s Public Safety and Protection Services department, told the BKCOB that they were aware of increasing lawlessness among residents, and that they would intensify law enforcement.
“It has been observed by LES and other law enforcement agencies that the public’s behaviour versus the enforcement efforts to enforce Municipal Bylaws and Covid-19 Regulations, lawlessness has increased. Law Enforcement Agencies will be intensifying the patrols,” said Stemele.
Whether or not patrols have been increased, and the reason for the failure to enforce bylaws, remain unknown.
BKCOB Executive Director, Drayton Brown said that the organisation was concerned as any failure to curb the spread of the virus would have serious repercussions, as seen in the past year, for business at large.
“We are deeply concerned that the lack of order within the city might result in a resurgence of the virus, and further restrictions on business operations. Our members have already taken serious strain over the past year, and if law enforcement does not play its part in making sure that protocols are adhered to, we may see more dire effects on life and livelihoods within the city,” said Brown.
The Border-Kei Chamber of Business continues to engage with the municipality on these matters.