KNYSNA NEWS - Ahead of the festive season, the Knysna municipality has an Integrated Seasonal Readiness Plan (ISRP) in place that was implemented from 1 November until 31 January.
Municipal Manager, Dr Sitembele Vatala said the plan focuses on the delivery of a number of services, including traffic management, law enforcement, fire and rescue, parks and recreation and waste management.
He said, “The ISRP defines clear responsibilities of relevant municipal sections. Effective implementation of this plan will promote a safe environment for residents and visitors, ensuring that services are delivered throughout the busy season.”
The plan will focus on traffic, “While we welcome our visitors, we have to make provision for the increase in vehicles on our roads. Temporary point duty officers will be deployed to relieve traffic congestion.”
Law enforcement will patrol Greater Knysna’s beaches, public recreational areas, ensuring that everyone enjoys a safe and secure summer.
“Summer is always a busy time in Knysna, and we do not expect this year to be any different,” he said. “While we welcome our visitors, we have to make provision for the increase in vehicles on our roads. Temporary point duty officers will be deployed to relieve traffic congestion.”
Seasonal celebrations are often associated with traffic accidents, and the ISRP aims to curb these incidents as zero tolerance will be shown to traffic offenders. The Municipal Traffic Section will participate in joint operations between traffic officials, law enforcement officers, fire officials and the South African Police Services to promote traffic management and general compliance.
“Special attention will be given to moving violations, speed monitoring, roadworthiness, defective lights, public transport, visibility of pedestrians at night, driver fatigue and visible policing,” said Vatala. “Incidents of driving under the influence spike during this period and our officials will conduct alcohol blitzes as well as vehicle stops and checks. They will also assist with the enforcement of selected, critical by-laws, offences and contraventions.”
“Our Law Enforcement Officers will be performing their regular duties with the assistance of newly trained officers,” he said. “15 new officials have been appointed for the next 12 months, with another 30 having been appointed as seasonal officers.”
These officers will enforce municipal by-laws. They will also assist in combating crime by participating in special operations with SAPS, the traffic- and other relevant departments. They will create a safe and conducive environment for residents, visitors and businesses. They will also patrol Greater Knysna’s beaches and public recreational areas, ensuring that everyone enjoys a safe and secure summer.
Fire and rescue
The Knysna Fire and Rescue Services continuously perform their functions of firefighting, rescue and fire prevention activities. “In terms of the busy holiday season, our firefighters will be on duty and standby on a 24-hour basis at the Knysna, Sedgefield and Concordia fire stations,” Vatala said. “Municipal staff will perform standby duties in Rheenendal and at the Karatara fire station.”
Smaller vehicles will be manned by a minimum of two staff members, with a minimum of three members manning the larger vehicles. The staff complement consists of 43 professional firefighters and leave over the summer period will be managed and minimised to ensure that services run at an optimal level. There will be no extended leave granted or training interventions staged during this period to facilitate maximum staff availability.
“The Knysna Fire and Rescue Services will be working closely with other regional and local authorities and organisations during the summer period,” Vatala continued. “Agreements with neighbouring municipalities are in place to facilitate mutual assistance in case of large-scale events. Two helicopters, three spotter planes and two air tractors will also be available within the Eden District Municipality for at least a five-month period, starting on 1 December.”
The popular Greater Knysna beaches, vleie and lagoons, as well as the Karatara Swimming Pool, will be under lifeguard supervision from 1 December until 15 January.
As the amount of household waste generated generally doubles during the holiday season, additional refuse collection staff will be appointed over this period. The domestic refuse collection schedule and disposal guidelines will be advertised in the local newspapers, and refuse will be collected from all areas at least once per week.
“The street cleaning teams are always busy sweeping or collecting litter from residential and central business district (CBD) streets,” he said. “The CBD, recreational facilities and beaches will be cleaned on a daily basis. Operational hours will be extended during this time and additional staff will be employed to assist during this period. We will appoint 60 members from our unemployed database, representing all wards.”
Maintenance will be performed at all public restroom facilities throughout the municipal area. Additional staff will monitor restrooms throughout season and additional toilets will be sourced for recreational facilities. Clearing of illegal dumping will take place along with grass cutting.
Parks and recreation
“Service providers will cut the grass in all wards to maintain neatness,” Vatala said. “All public amenities had been attended to by the end of September, with all benches having been repaired and painted. A maintenance team will inspect and repair all defects on our boardwalks and play parks on a weekly basis. Our dedicated officials will be on standby to clean all public facilities on a daily basis between 1 December and 15 January.”
“We know that you have worked hard throughout the year and are looking forward to enjoying your well-deserved summer vacation, he said. “To ensure that you and our visitors all get the most out of your holiday, please respect the rule of law and abide by our by-laws at all times. We can all enjoy a fantastic festive season if we all consider and respect those around us.”
“Our officials and members of staff will be working hard to ensure that our services allow you to make the most of your summer,” he concluded. “Thank you to those staff members who will be forgoing their own summer fun and quality time with friends and family to work for our benefit. You are truly helping to make Knysna an inclusive, innovative and inspired town.”
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