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NO DRUNKS will be allowed in fan parks near the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal during the Fifa Soccer World Cup in June, according to MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu.
"Going to the beach drunk is dangerous and you run the risk of drowning," Mabuyakhulu said yesterday.
He said the police would be out in full force to arrest anyone who broke the law.
"There will be fan parks around the beaches, and on the North Beach (Durban), but I must insist that no drunk fan will be allowed to enter the beach," Mabuyakhulu said.
"The police will be there and so will volunteers and marshals, because we all know how dangerous it is for a drunk person to go on to the beach."
The MEC was on a tour with media of the beach where the KZN Sharks Board unveiled its plans to protect bathers from shark attacks ahead of the tournament.
The board changed old nets as part of comprehensive safety measures.
Mabuyakhulu said beach tourism was an integral and most accessible form of leisure that the province had to offer.
"In any given year, our beaches attract more than 2million people during the festive season.
"With KwaZulu-Natal playing host to some of the most exciting games of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, we can expect this number to increase exponentially."
He said this was shown by the fact that in 2008, 52percent of all the people who visited the province also took some time off to enjoy the beauty of our beaches. In 2009, 64percent who spent their holiday in the province also visited the beaches.
He said it was because of this that the government took a well-considered decision to implement practical and long-term measures to ensure that the beaches were more than up to the task of providing a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable experience, particularly during the World Cup.
KZN Sharks Board head of tourism education and marketing Harry Mbambo encouraged domestic and international tourists to come and enjoy themselves in the province's beaches.
He said the beaches would now be even safer than in the past.