Thu, 30 April 2020

Local surfers in Elands Bay have met and agreed to help the police enforce the no surfing rule in Level 4 after a few surfers were bust as the swell charts stack up a sublime run of swell.


COP SPOT: Greg Bertish with members of the SAPS in Elands Bay. Photo Supplied

elands-in-Covid-19-by-GregBertish-007The point is not whether we should be able to surf. We should. But we can't. The regulations are clear. The cops in Elands Bay have set up roadblocks because everyone up there is trying to keep their community safe - away from western and city travellers who could bring in the virus. Over to Greg Bertish, who is in Elands Bay spearheading a feeding scheme through his Little Optimist Trust:

"The surfing families of Elands Bay South, with The Little Optimist Trust team, did a massive delivery of face masks in the village and to all the school kids earlier this week. We are doing a further big hamper and food drop on Wednesday and Thursday to over 150 more families. Thanks to Wavescape and all the surfers who helped us with raising awareness, money and donations.

"We have raised over R75,000 to buy food, help the school feeding programme and make over 1,000 face masks, with the help of families, the farmers and the community. The farmers, SA Social Services Agency (SASSA), the police and the NPO’s are doing an amazing job to keep the people healthy and fed. This community is battling though. There is massive unemployment and many very young kids and very old people. Lots who’s immunity is compromised.


TEMPTATION: It's hard to resist the siren song of this peeling lefthand point. Photo Supplied

elands-in-Covid-19-by-GregBertish-003"There has been testing happening up here and everyone is trying to keep this community safe and away from western and city travellers who may bring in the virus. The police have now set up road blocks into Elands Bay. Also in Veldrift, Picketberg, Langebaan, Lambert’s, Arora, Graafwater and more. They are desperate to keep non local travellers out of the rural communities. They know these people (surfers/ holiday makers / fishermen ) will potentially bring the virus from the city to a fragile and poor community (as has happened in Brazil).

"We have been working closely with the police and the community for 6 weeks now and we all want to help ensure their safety.

"Like everywhere else, it’s been cooking and unsurfed 99 % of the time. Many local surfing families have been up here for over 5 weeks and are getting involved in this initiative of helping the community. There have been run ins of late with a few surfers who have not been able to stay out the water when it cooked for the last few days. Some tried their luck.

"The first evening they were warned and given a chance by the police. The next evening, the police hit the beach in full force with quad bikes and 4x4s and spot lights into the night to flush them out.

"Most that were in the water that evening were kids between 15 and 18 years old - they got away with a massive fright and a long cold evening they will not forget. It has been laid down by the police that jail or R5000 fines will be dished out going forward. Sure you can Take the risk, but be prepared to pay the price.

"Officially, like everywhere else, the beaches are not open and surfing is not allowed, is the stance by the police. And more importantly, it is not right ( or legal) to travel out of your metropole (specially a high risk one) to a fragile and rural community thathas been in lockdown for 5 weeks."


littleop-snapscanThe Covid-19 lockdown has eliminated the livelihood of many families in Elands Bay. The Little Optimist Trust, in collaboration with the Elands Bay Environmental and Development Action Group (EBEDAG), 9 Miles Project, surfing families, local police and community leaders, have been feeding local families. The drive has raised more than R75,000, with many donations coming from surfers - those who live and those who have surfed here. The money will be spent on masks and food hampers. Donate via Snap scan above and reference it ELANDSBAY or go to www.thelittleoptimisttrust.org/donate/


Toby Hewlett
0 #6 MrToby Hewlett 2020-05-21 07:11
Its great to see surfers putting effort into protecting a vulnerable community and if we have to stay out of the water to save lives then i support it 100%

However we also have to be cognisant that the lock down is becoming increasingly unpopular and doing ever more damage to both our economy and our fragile democracy. There is no scientific evidence that the lock down is of any further benefit and more people are probably going to die from the lock down fall out then from the actual covid.

Also we must remember that the SAPS and SADF have abused and even murdered people in order to enforce the lock down.
Adam Ford
+1 #5 SirAdam Ford 2020-05-14 10:23
Where's the social distancing and face masks for the Police in the image above?
Julian W
0 #4 On the contrary...Julian W 2020-05-05 16:05
I reserve my right to wholeheartedly disagree.
No comments, Spike, or are you condemning us all to cyber oblivion?
I know my last comment was a little hot headed but I haven’t lost the plot entirely yet!
Ian Macduff
+1 #3 noneIan Macduff 2020-05-04 12:50
Taking a hammer to kill a fly may make sense when you have nothing else to kill it with, only just, and maybe only once. But if you on keep using it pretty soon you will have demolished your house. Isolating vulnerable communities makes sense. Banning surfing does not. Stupid laws diminish authority. Smarten up, CR.
0 #2 MTerenceh 2020-05-03 08:03
We need to push back against this stupid ruling that we cant surf. We should be allowed to surf under strict guidelines. I think surfers breaking the law have done more for our case than just complying at least they got us a headline.
Julian W
+1 #1 SurferJulian W 2020-04-30 20:29
“Local surfers betray fellow surfers shooting themselves in the foot defying all logic and abandoning common sense” should read the article headline. Well done guys. Give yourselves a pat on the back. There’s no rational argument for stopping people from surfing provided they go solo. All arguments against are spurious and should be treated with contempt.
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