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Durban’s Innovative Safety Initiative: Custom Wristbands & Dedicated Childminders for Beach Security



The wristbands will contain the contact details of parents or guardians to ensure quick reunification if a child is separated from the parents.

In anticipation of the high number of visitors expected at Durban beaches, the eThekwini Municipality has procured about 200,000 wristbands and employed 38 childminders to look after lost children.

The wristbands will contain the contact details of parents or guardians to ensure quick reunification if a child is separated from the parents.

The festive season is an exciting time for residents and holidaymakers as many choose to enjoy their summer holiday at the beach.

Unfortunately, it’s also during this time of the year when a high number of children get separated from their parents or guardians during visits to the beach. Drownings at pools and beaches were also prevalent during this period.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda pleaded with adults accompanying children to the beach to ensure that every child wears a wristband that contains the details of their guardians. “If a child is separated from their guardian, there are 38 childminders who have been employed to look after lost children. Children will be kept in seven receiving tents until they are reunited with their guardians,” he said.

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Kaunda said 65 beach guides will be stationed across the various Durban beaches to aid visitors. To prevent drownings, Kaunda said an additional 160 seasonal lifeguards will be deployed to beaches. “Law enforcement will also be out in force with about 168 contract security personnel employed for the duration of the festive season.

“Metro Police officers, South African Police Service, security personnel, and beach law enforcement officers will conduct regular patrols around the city, including on beaches. About 62 new Metro police vehicles were unveiled and will be used to patrol the streets during the festive season and beyond to keep our communities safe,” said Kaunda.

The mayor has appealed to residents and visitors that while they enjoy their holidays, they continue adhering to safety precautions and by-laws.

This includes not swimming at night when there are no lifeguards on duty, swimming at non-bathing beaches where there are no lifeguards stationed, and not swimming under the influence of alcohol. He said there are designated areas for spiritual activities, reiterating that the slaughtering of animals or burning of candles at the city’s beaches is prohibited.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has also appealed to swimmers, hikers, sailors, paddlers, fishers, and boaters on coastal and inland waters to have safety at the top of their minds.

Beach bathers, we are appealing to you and your families, to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards. Swim between the safer swimming areas [denoted by beacons] posted by lifeguards

We are asking parents and children, with our hearts in our throat, to ensure responsible adult supervision for children when they are in and around water, and don’t be distracted — watch over the children,” said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

Lambinon said NSRI, lifeguards, police and the emergency services will be on high alert.

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