- Yet another High Court has dismissed an attempt to overturn the closure of beaches
- This time, AfriForum was on the losing team after it approached the North Gauteng High Court
- Numerous beaches have been closed in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19
AfriForum has lost its attempt to overturn the closure of beaches as part of the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lobby group had submitted a motion to the North Gauteng High Court to have the regulations declared unconstitutional.
AfriForum had argued that the restrictions are a restriction of a basic human right with Monique Taute, head of campaigns, commenting that:
“It is unconstitutional and discriminatory to close certain beaches given the enormous economic impact it will have, especially on the coastal towns, which have already suffered greatly throughout the year due to the restrictive regulations."
With lockdown impacting the economy, the group pointed out that this was an opportunity to begin recovery:
"The December holidays are an opportunity to recover their economies to some extent and the closure of beaches will lead to enormous, irreparable damage to the business people in these towns."
Afriforum even argued that beaches are a healthy form of entertainment and a better alternative than busy malls:
“Visiting beaches is a form of entertainment that takes place in the open air and exposes people to the sun that contributes to a healthy immune system. The alternative is for people to turn to places such as shopping centres and restaurants that pose a much higher risk of spreading the virus.”
Nevertheless, the attempt fell flat after the High Court dismissed the application on Tuesday.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance has lost its bid to overrule the closure of the Garden Route's beaches.
Instead, the Western Cape High Court has opted to amend the hours of beach operation from 09:00 to 18:00, to 06:00 to 19:00.
The order was awarded with 50% of the DA's costs, with DA leader John Steenhuisen commenting that:
"South Africa’s coronavirus response must always take into account the delicate balance between lives and livelihoods. Our country cannot endure any regulations which harm the economy and cut citizens off from their means to make an honest living in a safe and secure manner."
Steenhuisen called for the regulations to take science and medical advice into account:
"Regulations imposed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus must be within reason and backed up by scientific and medical advice. Anything less is a reckless assault on the livelihoods of millions of South Africans in an economy which is already on its knees."
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