The City of Cape Town (CoCT) needs to account for what happened in Clifton beach on Sunday, 23 December 2018, when a paramilitary private security company, Professional Protective Alternatives (PPA) acted unlawfully by asking holiday makers to leave the beach after eight in the evening. Whatever their reasoning, short of an emergency situation, this was a clear contravention of the National Enviromental Management: Integrated Costal Management (ICM) Act 36 of 2014.

From media reports and contradicting statements of the CoCT and PPA it is obvious that the company was acting on tacit agreement with the city’s security arrangements. The CoCT is denying this yet we’ve not seen it institute criminal charges against the company. The Camps Bay Ratepayer Association who’ve been alleged to be the ones paying PPA have also distanced themselves from its actions. It stands to reason that the CoCT would have then laid criminal charges against PPA if they were not in cahoots with them.

If the company acted with any form of arrangement with the CoCT, then the city must explain under which laws the arrangement was made. We urge the relevant national departments and parliament to prioritise the process of bringing the CoCT to book should it emerge that they acted illegally. We also ask that they be put under scrutiny and sharp review in terms of the municipal by-laws, in particular the CoCT to make sure they’re in line with our constitutional imperatives.

Such actions of blocking people’s access to public spaces were always going to produce a vehement outcry from our people in whom the experiences of apartheid are still raw as an open wound.

We commend our people, those in Cape Town in particular, for being vigilant in guarding their human rights. Such actions of pure classism and racial profiling by private and public security personnel around the Atlantic Seaboard are common, but should never be tolerated by poor people in particular.

Cape Town is notorious for racial incidences during holidays, something that should bring shame to most of us who love this city. On the other hand, we’re glad when the whole world is exposed to extant racism that still abounds within this city. CoCT is probably the worst South African city that still operates with apartheid geography, economic access, mores and sociabilities. Black people, in particular from other cities, towns and provinces, feel as though they’ve travelled on a time scale machine into the eighties when they visit Cape Town. Each year we get promises from authorities to clamp down on the scourge racism. Yet it has become so endemic that it is the very city administrators that are now bringing segregation by the back door.

The UDM is a party of all South Africans and with them we stand in the fight against racism and corruption. We urge people of Cape Town in particular to be vigilant about who they vote into power. There are many political parties that are wolves in sheep clothings out there; who’re closet racists that want to bring us back to the dark times of apartheid by the back door.