THE Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (NMBS) did not have the necessary approval to host their surfing trials at Kitchen Windows in Jeffreys Bay.
According to Kouga Municipality spokesperson, Laura-Leigh Randall, the municipalityâ€™s Tourism Directorate looked into the matter after the article Sewage and litter flush surfing trials in the Kouga Express on October 1, and established that the NMBS staged the event at Kitchen Windows – which is not part of the Blue Flag beach – without the necessary approvals as outlined in the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act, 2010. The Act aims to keep participants and spectators safe at events.
â€œHad the Association followed the law by putting in an Event application to the Kouga Events Planning Committee, they would have been advised that Kitchen Windows was not suitable for their event due to the heavy rain during that period which led to the sewerage spill,â€? says Randall.
According to Randall, the Tourism Directorate works closely with the Jeffreys Bay surfing clubs. â€œWhen an application for a surfing event is approved, the application is referred to the local clubs to identify a suitable venue. However, the NMBS did not follow the proper procedure and submit an application, hence, this could not happen,â€? she says.
â€œWhile the municipality regrets the negative experience of the NMBS, the unpleasantness could have been avoided had they followed procedure. We would, therefore, like to encourage them to familiarise themselves with the procedure and to apply for the necessary approvals, as required by law, so as to avoid embarrassment on the side of both the organisers and the local authorities.â€?
According to Randall, the NMBS addressed their letter of concern to the Cacadu District Municipality,consequently, Kouga was unaware of what had happened until contacted by the Kouga Express