Beach Wheelchairs Available at Nine City Beaches this Festive Season
The City's Department of Sport, Recreation and Amenities will for the first time make nine (9) beach-friendly wheelchairs available at nine (9) of its beaches this festive season, which is sure to provide hours of fun for disabled citizens.
The beach-friendly wheelchairs will be available at the Bikini, Strand, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Camps Bay, Big Bay and Silwerstroomstrand Beaches between 16 December and 31 January, as well as during the Easter holidays. These beaches were carefully selected based on various criteria, including the presence of lifeguards, accessibility of the beach to wheelchair users, designated parking space and ablution facilities for people with disabilities.
The lightweight aluminium beach wheelchairs are coated with epoxy powder and are designed make beaches and pools easily accessible to people with disabilities. The wheelchairs can roll across sand, can be used as beach lounge chairs, and can be pushed into open water for swimming.
"At least three point five percent (3.5%) of the city's residents are disabled and it is important to us that they too can enjoy easy access to Cape Town's beautiful beaches. The provision of the beach wheelchairs underscores the City's commitment to enhance access to natural resources to all its citizens," said Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services.
To ensure the safe use of these wheelchairs, users are urged to adhere to the following:
- The certified maximum weight of the user must not exceed one hundred kilograms (100kg).
- The wheelchair is strictly for beach and swimming pool use.
- No other activities are allowed on the wheelchair, such as fishing.
- One person in the wheelchair at a time.
- Users must have the emergency numbers with them at all times.
- The wheelchair must be utilised only in the area patrolled by lifeguards, and between the lifeguard flags.
Wheelchairs will be available between 10:00 and 16:00, but only when lifeguards are on duty.
The user must be accompanied by a carer, who must be eighteen (18) years or older and a fit and able person. The wheelchairs will only be given to the carer if he/she can provide proof of identification and the carer must accompany the user at all times.
People will only be allowed to use the wheelchairs for one (1) hour at a time. However, if there is no great demand for the wheelchair, a user may extend the session by thirty (30) minute intervals, or any length of time as allowed by the issuing official. The City wishes to alert the public to the condition that use of the wheelchair is at the user's own risk.
"I would like to appeal to the public to make use of these wheelchairs, but to do so responsibly and with care. The City is viewing this as a pilot project, with the view to assess its performance and improve on it for the 2011/2012 festive season. We hope that the project will go from strength to strength," said Herron.
City of Cape Town
Councillor Brett Herron
Mayoral Committee Member
Tel: 021 400 1298
Cell: 082 518 3264
Sport, Recreation and Amenities
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 5090
Cell: 084 222 1242