CAPE TOWN – There is outrage over plans by an events company to shut down Maiden’s Cove beach over New Year’s Eve for a private party. The beach is the traditional spot for beachgoers, especially those from the Cape Flats.
Organiser of the Secrets of Summer Concert Mark Abrahams notified members of the public that Maiden’s Cove would be closed from December 27 until December 31 to host his event.
In the notice he said: “This serves as notification to ensure all stakeholders have sufficient time to communicate and plan around the closure. We have worked closely with the City of Cape Town to ensure that delicate balance between the safety and convenience all those affected are met. As a result the Maiden’s Cove area will be closed to the general public during this time.”
He said tickets for the event would cost between R500 for general access and R700 for VIP access.
“It is a massive concert with a long list of performers and last year we had a concert and it went extremely well and if we get 3 000 people (per day) we will be happy.”
Abrahams said he had received an invoice and paid R30 900 to secure the area for his event.
“The 27th and 28th (of December) will be used for setting up and those days will be open to the public.”
He said the event was “just” over three days and if people had a problem with that then they should also have a problem with the developments that would be taking place at Maiden’s Cove.
“If they are gonna moan about three days what about the development that will take place there?”
The Camps Bay, Clifton Ratepayers Association’s Byron Herbert said they had no word about the event but said it would be “absolutely ridiculous” to close the area.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that such a well-used public facility would be rented out to an individual at the height of the season. The local folk don’t use it, it’s not an area that many local folk go to but you have the greater Cape Town coming in. It’s a historical area.
“For generations people have used Maiden’s Cove, it’s their big outing and is about going out for the day and taking the family to certain places.”
Herbert said it was bizarre that the city would allow for the area to be used for a private event.
“No public facility should be closed for an individual to rent out, period.”
About three years ago there was a similar event and it was not accessible to “ordinary people”.
“Only those that could afford will be able to go there, the locals that have been going there for years will be excluded. Many people will be turned back, there will be buses that will come from all over, that have paid their church outings and the bus will be turned back,” Herbert said.
However Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “No decision has been made to close Maiden’s Cove. An event application for an event on December 30 and 31, 2017 has been received, but has not been approved due to the risk grading from the South African Police Service not being received.”
Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said it was “unacceptable”.
“It’s where the working class communities go to unwind.
“This is the systematic exclusion of people from the city and children are denied the experience. Like in education only the children of the wealthy are able to have these experiences.”
He said that they would bus people in to make sure the area remained open and accessible to the public.
PHOTO: There has been a fresh outcry over the reservation of the historic public space for an exclusive concert. Picture: Willem Law/ANA Pictures