South African authorities set up system to prevent children lost on beach

World Today

Five hundred children got lost on Cape Town’s beaches on New Year’s day, a City of Cape Town official said on Friday. All but 70 of them were reunited with their parents, local official said. The unclaimed children were handed over to police. After the world-shocking news, the local authorities set up on an identification program that helps parents keep tabs on their little ones. CCTV America’s Rene Del Carm reported from Cape Town.

South African authorities set up system to prevent children lost on beach

Five hundred children got lost on Cape Town's beaches on New Year's day, a City of Cape Town official said on Friday. All but 70 of them were reunited with their parents, local official said. The unclaimed children were handed over to police. After the world-shocking news, the local authorities set up on an identification program that helps parents keep tabs on their little ones.CCTV America's Rene Del Carm reported from Cape Town.

At Strand Beach on the False Bay Coast near Cape Town, law enforcement officers and other officials were out in full force.

“It brings a lot of challenges that we have to manage large crowds that’s congregating at all our beaches. That is our focus over the festive season, to ensure maximum safety and security of everybody attending the amenities that we have,” Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, the acting head of Cape Town Disaster Management, said.

Authorities said they’re determined to keep a close eye on beach-goers and their children, and families are being encouraged to provide personal details about themselves and their kids as part of the Identi-Kids programme.

“When the people register their children, we record the child’s name, what he was wearing, the description of the child, and in particular who they’re with, either with the parents or guardians. So parents can come to the stand. People get tagged. There is a unique serial number, and the tag is water resistant. The children can go swim. The numbering, the wording and everything that’s printed there do not come off,” Solomons-Johannes said.

Although the Identi-Kids initiative is not compulsory, many families said it helps give them peace of mind that their kids won’t go missing.

The City of Cape Town said it’s been planning the entire year to ensure maximum safer at its beaches this festive season. So far there have been two confirmed drownings and two reported cases of people believed to have been swept away at sea, which was much lower fatalities than in other years.

Strict law enforcement will remain in place at beaches and swimming pools in and around Cape Town until the end of January.