DA awaiting judgment on Garden Route beach closures

Note to editors: Please click here for a soundbite by the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen MP.

Yesterday, the Western Cape High Court considered arguments made by the Democratic Alliance to open beaches along the Garden Route. The judgement was reserved, and we remain confident that it will be handed down in the coming days.

In the fight to save both lives and livelihoods in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we believe that beach closures do far more harm than good.

The closure of beaches goes against the available scientific advice from medical experts and is thus irrational. Furthermore, the closure of beaches along the Garden Route has had a devastating impact on the region’s tourism economy which is the lifeblood of many local municipalities.

As part of our case, the DA also argued to have the imposition of irrational beach operating hours of between 09:00 and 18:00 overruled. Again, this restriction goes against all medical and scientific advice, and is an irrational and unnecessary policing of the freedom of movement.

We cannot and will not allow irrational restrictions to be passed which impact the livelihoods of millions in our country at a time when the economy is on its knees. We hope that the courts will rule in our favour, and in favour of the millions of lives and livelihoods placed at risk by this irrational restriction.