Safety top priority for Cape Town switching on the lights

2017-11-27 18:00 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - As the Cape Town gets ready to host its annual Festive Lights Switch-On event, the City of Cape says safety is a top priority this year and residents are asked to take note of the security plans.

The festive lights switch-on event, now in its 48th year, is the city's long-standing tradition and this year, the City is pulling out all the stops to encourage families back to this annual open-air event.

"Over the years, the festive lights switch-on has always been a family-focused event. However, we’ve noticed more and more young people, often under-age and not accompanied by parents or guardians, choosing to loiter in the CBD after the event and engage in anti-social behaviour.

"Alcohol abuse among the youth and private alcohol sales have been on the increase over the years, which has been linked to crime within the event footprint. We will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour or under-age drinking,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

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With this annual traditional event, the City says it seeks to be inclusive, attracting whole families for a safe and care-free celebration. Security measures have therefore been beefed up to create a secure environment in which young and old can enjoy themselves.

The City says there will be an increased number of law enforcement staff in attendance who will be working to keep everyone safe, monitor anti-social behaviour and manage access control.

"We have given special attention to security measures within the event footprint, especially access control," says Smith. "The event area will be fenced off and entry will be through chutes at secured access points. In addition, patrons will be searched and prohibited items will be confiscated. No alcohol and other substances, glass bottles or weapons will be allowed,"

'A stern warning to anyone who intends to disrupt this outing' 

The Kid Smart Project is also on board this year to provide a more sophisticated monitoring system to help reunite any lost children with their families. 

"I have a very stern warning to anyone who intends to disrupt this fun family outing to think twice. Any disruptive behaviour and intended criminal activities will not be tolerated. The event is for everyone and everyone needs to be given the chance to enjoy it safely. 

"Families are encouraged to come out in their numbers, armed with their picnic baskets, chairs and umbrellas, which were always a familiar sight at this event,’ says Smith.

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The traditional switch-on of the festive lights will ignite Adderley Street at 20:30, followed by a spectacular 3D video mapping experience on the City Hall façade.

"The City is locked and loaded and ready to rock the CBD on 3 December," says Smith, adding that the festive lights switch-on is always a highlight on the city’s annual events calendar that attracts local residents and visitors who are met with a warm and true 'Capetonian reception' – something the city has become known for around the world.

Here are other 5 must-do festive season events to check out 

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts 2017

The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts runs annually from the end of November until the beginning of April. Every Sunday, families and groups of friends flock to the gardens in Newlands to watch their favourite bands play. 

The concerts are held on the lawns at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with spectacular views of the back of Table Mountain and surroundings.

Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and a bottle of wine or bubbly to enjoy whilst they watch the sunset and listen to some of South Africa's best live music performances. 

Cape Town Festival of Beer 2017

The Cape Town Festival of Beer is considered the most comprehensive festival of beer in the entire Southern Hemisphere. This year it makes its return to Hamilton’s Rugby Club in Green Point from 1-3 December 2017.

Participating brewers include well-known stalwarts like Carling Black Label to the exclusive boutique types with a growing populace, Darling Brewery. Visitors can expect to taste the wares of microbreweries, mega-brewers, craft brewers, artisans and backyward brewers.

Corona SunSets Festival 2017

Corona will once again show the Mother City just how a summer festival should be done with the first Corona SunSets Festival that is set to take place on 16 December at the picturesque Bungalow, Clifton.

You are expected to raise your glass to the setting sun, feel the rhythm, and enjoy the moment - the Corona way. 

Hermanus Craft Beer Festival 2017

This festive season is jam-packed with activities and events, but if you’re looking to escape the stress of the Mother City then head out to the picturesque coastal town of Hermanus for a boozy affair. 

The Hermanus Craft Beer Festival is set to take place from 22 December 2017 at the Hermanus Cricket Grounds, Fairways Avenue and Jose Burman Drive. This bustling beer fest has a picnic vibe, so bring along some blankets, camping chairs, hats and sunblock.

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

Stand out in the crowd as you sip on some of SA’s finest champagne at this year’s Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, ‘The Magic of Bubbles’, which takes place on 2 and 3 December. 

Expect exquisite local cuisine, superb MCC and France’s best champagnes, all with the breathtaking backdrop of the Franschhoek Valley. This year’s theme is Black and White with a Splash of Summer, and there’ll be a prize for the best-dressed couple.

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