Cape Town - Cape Town, renowned as a sun-worshiping hotspot, has become a hotbed of conflict between beachgoers who want a dog-friendly beach environment and those who complain about the negative impact of dogs on the city's beaches.
Alderman Belinda Walker, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects says the City of Cape Town is trying to sort out the conflict with its proposal to establish demarcated animal zones on beaches, which reflect the desires of beach users.
“The intention is not to ban dogs from beaches,” said Walker.
But a large degree of conflict between various user groups at the beach has arisen, Walker said. These include an increase in incidents of small children being bothered by dogs on the beach, elderly people concerned about being knocked off their feet and multiple complaints due to dog faeces being left on beaches.
The list of more serious incidents reported to the City include the brutal attack of a child on Clifton Beach in January 2012, an attack on horses by dogs on Hout Bay Beach during May and July of 2010, the attack on penguins by a dog at Seaforth Beach in June of 2011, the attack on a child on a beach in Green Point during November of 2011 and a dog fight on Fish Hoek Beach during May of 2012
“We recognise that beaches are an important recreational space for many dog owners. However, the City wants to optimally manage beaches as shared recreational spaces."
The city if now calling for public participation to establish dedicated pet-friendly zones on beaches.
According to the City, animal zone signage has become outdated over the years and these areas have not be clearly or adequately demarcated.
"It became imperative to formalise animal zones through a process prior to signposting and enforcing regulations,"said Walker.
The areas under consideration are detailed as follows:
Kommetjie – proposed change at Long Beach, Kommetjie from free-running to no dogs
Soetwater – status quo, no dogs allowed
Witsand – status quo, dogs free-running
Misty Cliffs – minor change - Dogs on leash before 09:00 and after 18:00
Millers Point – status quo, no dogs allowed
Fisherman’s Beach - proposed change to no dogs
Frank’s Beach – proposed change to no dogs
Windmill Beach – proposed change from free-running to dogs on a leash
Burghers’ Walk – status quo, dogs on a leash
Water’s Edge Beach – proposed no dogs allowed
Seaforth Beach – proposed no dogs allowed
Long Beach, Simon’s Town – status quo, dogs free-running
Mackerel Beach – status quo, dogs free-running
Shelley’s Beach and tidal pool – status quo, no dogs allowed
Glencairn Beach and tidal pool – proposed change to no dogs allowed
Fish Hoek Beach – status quo of no dogs in the corner on the Jaggers Walk end of the beach, proposed dogs on a leash from the lighthouse to the start of Clovelly Beach
Clovelly Beach – proposed change from a free-running area for dogs to time restrictions for free-running dogs - Dogs on leash between 09:00 and 18:00
Wooly’s Pool – status quo, no dogs allowed
Kalk Bay Tidal Pools – status quo, no dogs allowed
Dalebrook Beach and tidal pool – proposed no dogs allowed
Danger Beach – proposed change from free-running area for dogs to dogs on a leash
St James Beach and tidal pool – status quo, no dogs allowed
Muizenberg Beach including Surfer’s Corner – status quo - Dogs on a leash December - March before 09:00 and after 18:00. Dogs on a leash April – November
Sunrise Beach – status quo
Sonwabe Beach – proposed dogs on a leash with horses at all times
Strandfontein Beach – status quo, no dogs allowed
Nine Miles Beach – proposed dogs on a leash with horses at all times
Blue Waters Resort – status quo, no dogs allowed
Beyond Blue Waters Resort – Dogs free-running at all times
The city said thus far, Subcouncils 8, 16 and 1 have taken decisions on these demarcations within their areas. Therefore, the coastline from Silwerstroomstrand to Hout Bay, including the West Coast and Atlantic Seaboard beaches and the Helderberg coastline from Strand Beach to Kogel Bay have undergone this process and this process is currently underway in Subcouncil 19.
Subcouncil 19 had received recommendations in November 2014.
“A presentation of the recommendations was given to the public at an Activity Day hosted by Subcouncil 19 on 02 December 2014 and further public engagement during the month of April 2015 will result in the compilation of an amended recommendation to Sub council 19 for their consideration and decision,” Walker said.
Beachgoers have until 30 April to add their input by contacting Helen Jordaan, Professional Officer: Beach Amenities Coordination Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 1691
Fax: 021 425 4705