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Monday Sep 14, 2015

Petition to 'save Scottburgh beachfront'

More than 1 000 people have added their names to a petition calling on their local mayor to "save the Scottburgh beachfront".

The petitioners want the area to be made a "no-car" zone at night. They also want police officers to be deployed to keep order and protect beachfront users, as well as two large vacant shops in the Pavilion centre to be leased within 30 days, "with full transparency of the processes and negotiations with bidders".

The petition was organised by the DA, which wants to "end the long-standing problems that continue to plague the Scottburgh beachfront".

They say that such interventions have been discussed and agreed on in many forums, including the council, Scottburgh community police forum and local civil associations.

The petition will be handed to mayor Siya Khwela today. A large crowd is expected to turn out at the Umdoni municipal offices for the event.

Petitioners say the sorry situation on the beachfront, which has the potential to spill over on to other beaches in Umdoni, will severely damage the area's image as the "Jewel of the South Coast".

They want steps to be taken to end the public misconduct that takes place at Scottburgh beachfront at night, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays.

The goings-on include lewd and offensive behaviour, loud music being played, engines being revved, and car wheels being spun. The area is often left littered with broken glass.

"The negative impact of this problem on residents and visitors is to make their lives uncomfortable and render the area a no-go zone for law-abiding citizens at night," the petition says.

All of this poses a "serious threat" to the tourism economy, with many visitors publicly stating that they would not be returning.

The vacant shops on the beachfront - a former Wimpy and an erstwhile pub - have "exacerbated the problems and gives the already disillusioned public further reasons to go elsewhere.

"We want to see the dignity, safety and recreational value restored to this beachfront precinct."

The Independent on Saturday

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