SA vehicle beach ban to stay

2012-07-17 13:11

In 2002 the government infuriated off-road enthusiasts by implementing a ban on driving on South Africa's beaches.

At the time, the ban added negative connotations to 4x4 owners by creating the impression they were scoundrels.

Since then the ban has remained in effect though 4x4 clubs around SA have appealed many times.


A ban on driving vehicles on beaches will not be reconsidered, says water and environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa.

In response to questions by the Democratic Alliance, Molewa said: "Neither the prohibition nor the restriction of the recreational use of vehicles is being reconsidered due to the positive impact it is having on the ecology of the South African coastal zone."

Molewa said there had been an improvement in the ecology of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, due to the prohibition on driving for recreation,

Exceptions to the vehicle ban include fishing competitions, tourism events and scientific research.

Research is being conducted in Cape Vidal to determine if the fish population, targeted by shore fishermen, had recovered.

Do you think the ban should be lifted or do you agree with Molewa's insistance that it should remain in effect? Share your thoughts in our Readers' Comments section below.

  • maarten.slabbert.7 - 2012-07-17 13:58

    I for one really miss driving on the beach. A hand full of idiots have killed that for the rest of us. That said, there really where some idiots doing major damage to the ecology. So I understand the ban, even if I do not like it.

  • dirk.plooy - 2012-07-17 14:42

    Just imagine how much money can be generated through tourism if the ban can be lifted!If not all areas lift the ban at least on a few areas so we can still enjoy the coast lines as we use to.At the moment South African coast lines became like European countries "look but dont touch"Its sad and boaring.

      lydonmcg - 2012-07-17 15:03

      I mostly certainly "touch" the coastline on a regular basis and don't need some destructive vehicle in order to do that.

      barryjohn.tree - 2012-07-17 15:41

      I agree Dirk, instead of policing the few idiots out there they banned something that was almost like a culture. The one good thing that came out of this is now I take my 4x4 and spend my hard earned money in Namibia where I'm allowed to drive on the beach and catch fish with less crime and better policing.

      dirk.plooy - 2012-07-17 19:10

      I agree there are mostly sensitive coastal areas but in between them there are areas that can be opened up for 4x4.Plus paying for a permit to do so could generate a job or two or more for patroling the area during those times.Imagine just 5km with braai areas for families and security to patrol the area.I remember St Lucia in the good old days businesses did well,everyone wanted a house there and holidays was always packed!Now like barryjohn said we all have to go to Namib or Ponta da ora to to enjoy what once was part of our culture!Wonder if they will ban biltong next.......

      templar.known - 2012-07-18 11:42

      No! Go play in your back yard, stay of our beaches.

  • jake.neumann.35 - 2012-07-17 16:29

    The ban has had several extremely negative side effects as well. For one, abalone poaching escalated in many areas where 4X4 owners used to report suspicious activities. Fact is that damage was done to coastal areas. Ghost crabs increased immensely after vehicles were banned from beaches, but people walking their dogs still have a much bigger impact on seabirds such as the black oyster catcher than vehicles have ever had. Using a beach responsibly cause minimal short term damage as the east coast 'grows' at a rate of approximately 180 meters every 80 years and the west coast shrinks. We should be careful not to over-protect to such an extent that people are totally excluded from the wonders of our environment.

  • jack.trend.3 - 2012-07-17 21:22

    keep them off, please.

  • anton.dwl - 2012-07-18 05:25

    Why don't you yobbo's take up drag racing or some some other brain dead sport? Stay off the beaches!

  • Cyrus - 2012-07-18 07:35

    I have fond memories of driving on the empty beaches with my dad in his 4x4 in the 90's whenever we went on long fishing trips. I understand the ban but could they not remove the ban on some beaches?

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-07-18 08:34

    Keep it that way. Most of the wingers want to drive on the beach because their guts are too big to walk and they do not have permission from their wives to drink at home.

  • D.C. Gouma - 2012-07-19 04:52

    This whole beach ban is total bullsh*t!!, those who don't want it lifted, probably have never driven on a beach before and don't enjoy the beach as much as some of us. Lift the ban for certain beaches!! eg: Amatikulu beach!! can't even fish there because as soon as you walk away from your transport, they break in!! Every F*#king weekend!!

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