George Municipality is expecting yet another bumper festive season for December 2023 with accommodation booking figures for the area up by 12% on last year already. The municipality continues to focus on safety and service delivery during the festive season and the annual Festive Season Monitoring Committee has already met in October and November in preparation of the daily meetings to be held from 1 December.
The multi-stakeholder committee includes representation from all of the Municipal departments as well as SAPS, SANParks, NSRI Wilderness, and Lifeguard representatives. Issues such as lifesavers, water quality, parking, safety at beaches, alcohol, fireworks, events and standard municipal service delivery will be dealt with efficiently each morning to ensure the safe and positive management of our beaches and CBD during this busy period.
George Municipality is the proud recipient of three blue flags for Wilderness, Herold’s Bay and Victoria Bay Beach. Leentjiesklip Beach is a new pilot blue flag beach and the Gwaiing Beach and River Mouth has been awarded a Green Coast Award. The Blue Flag season runs from 1 December 2023 to 31 January 2024 and compliance includes high standards of water quality monitoring, public safety and lifeguard services, and well-maintained coastal amenities. The public is reminded that no dogs or other animals are allowed on the beaches, unless there are signs, which identify any allowed times and areas.
Our lifeguards start their daily duties on the 1 December 2023 and will be deployed at the municipal blue flag beaches Victoria Bay, Herold’s Bay, Wilderness Main beach and Leentjiesklip as well as Gwaing River Mouth, Wilderness Lagoon and Steps from 9am – 5pm until the 8 December and from the 9 December to 31 January from 7am-7pm. The lifeguard teams are easily visible at our newly branded lifeguard towers.
George Municipality has a zero-alcohol policy applicable to Beaches and other Public areas, which will be strictly enforced by our law enforcement officers ably assisted by beach monitors to ensure safe beaches for everyone. The control, searching of vehicles and bags access at municipal beaches is implemented under “The access to public premises and access of vehicles Act (53 1985)”. Members of the Public are warned that prohibited substances, weapons, alcohol, fireworks etc. will be confiscated and that fines can be issued.
We encourage all beachgoers to co-operate with our officials to ensure their visit to the beach is a safe and enjoyable experience.
George has strict firework legislation and according to the Bylaw no person/s may discharge fireworks, firecrackers, flares, paper lanterns and other such paraphernalia outside of a designated Fire Works Area.
No designated Fire Works area has been made available in George and should someone be caught discharging a firework, a flare or lighting a Chinese lantern an immediate fine of R1000 is applicable as well as a potential charge of arson. Law Enforcement Services together with other roleplayers have already started with a compliance campaign and inspections at shops in all areas. Confiscation notices and Fines will be issued to non-compliant shops and confiscated fireworks will be handed over to the SAPS Explosives unit for disposal.
Traffic flow and the prevention of illegal parking will be undertaken at all beach areas and the successful Drop and Go systems will once again be implemented at Victoria Bay, Herold’s Bay, and Wilderness. An additional 30 pointsmen/women are already assisting at busy traffic intersections and shopping malls, at beaches to close off roads, and with Drop and Go areas.
Municipal offices will remain open throughout the festive season apart from the public holidays on the 15 December, 25 and 26 December and 1 January 2024.
George Municipality After Hours and Emergencies: +27 44 801 6300
TOLL-FREE George Disaster Management Centre: 087 152 9999
Garden Route Disaster Management Centre: +27(0)44 805 5071
International Tourist Safety and Support: Ilze Jacobs +27 82 972 2507 or Ilze.Jacobs@westerncape.gov.za
South African Police Services: 10111 from a landline or 112 from a cell phone
George Police Station: +27 44 803 4400 / 4733
AMBULANCE / HOSPITAL
Medi Clinic George (private hospital): +27 44 874 6777 (Emergency Department)
George Hospital (public hospital): +27 44 874 5122
Ambulance – National Number 10177
National Sea Rescue Initiative (NSRI) +27 87 094 9774
Local NSRI Emergency Number +27 82 990 5955
George Municipality Fire Department: +27 44 801 6311
Emergencies 082 378 7348
Office 044 878 1990