Coast KZN

22 Jan 2024

Festive season-Nothing short of brilliant-

(South Coast Herald) Picture: Stephen Herbst. Lucien beach looking spectacular during the festive season

Overall it seems the South Coast fared well during the 2023/4 holiday season. Alice Brandsma, centre manager of Hibiscus Mall in Margate said they had a good season with a 10% increase in foot count for December.

“Our shopping centre now has a Capitec and a new Wimpy. This may be a reason why we had more shoppers, but I also think we had more holidaymakers than last year.”

Jayne Munro, centre manager of the Southcoast Mall said tenants generally had a good season.
Zimkita Mabovula, marketing manager of Shelly Centre said the foot count for December was 541 282 as compared to 538 403 in December 2022, so we only saw a 0.53% growth. However, in November 2023, the foot count was 347 744, which saw a 55,66% increase, this can be attributed to holidaymakers visiting the coast.

“It wasn’t a significant increase despite the roadworks being completed before the festive period. However we’re slowly but surely reaching pre-pandemic numbers and even with the small increase in the current economic climate we’re in. We are hopeful that numbers will continue to increase year on year,” she said.

Zimkita Mabovula of Shelly Centre.


Vicky Wentzel of Wozani Africa Events said their Ramsgate New Year’s Eve event was exceptional and well supported by locals and visitors, with record numbers being reflected for a KZN South Coast NYE party.

“As a general rule, the South Coast has seen an equal to upward trend and most business owners are feeling optimistic. We believe that many visitors left early because of the bad weather over some of our beach festival days,” she said.

She said Margate beach is still seen as the KZN South Coast’s ‘Eiffel Tower’ and it’s important that the good work being done by the various roleplayers continue.

“If we want to host events of Africa Bike Week’s calibre, which is very doable then we need to make sure that Margate is still the ‘goose that lays that golden egg’.”


Stephen Herbst of Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate said they truly feel the festive season was ‘nothing short of brilliant’.

“Despite the financial crunch and the terrible stigma surrounding Durban beaches being contaminated with sewage, our beaches have been incredibly clean and inviting, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated team.”
Additionally, Herbst pointed out that the extensive festive safety plan enforced by the SAPS, law enforcement, and security companies has made a significant impact on the overall experience of beachgoers.

He said this season has proven that with determination, hard work and collaboration, challenges can be overcome to create a safe holiday season for residents and visitors alike.

“The efforts put into ensuring the cleanliness and safety of our beaches have not gone unnoticed, and the positive feedback from the community is testament to the success of our initiatives. The sense of joy and relief among beachgoers is palpable, and it’s heartening to see families and friends enjoying our beaches without any concerns.”

Overall, the festive season has been a resounding success for Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate.
“We look forward to continuing to maintain our beaches for years to come.”


Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise said that while the official tourism statistics will only be released later this month, they have received favourable responses from bigger tourism establishments, with many noting 100% occupancy rates over the Christmas and new year period.”
“The KZN South Coast is home to the highest number of Blue Flag beaches and tidal pools in the province, which is a major drawcard for holidaymakers. We also boast two of the world’s top dive sites at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, as well as a wide range of hinterland offerings, making this a top tourism destination.
“We’re optimistic about the start of our tourism season and look forward to a positive trajectory in 2024.”


The district had a remarkable increase in visitors during the festive period, which was a good spectacle for tourism and business, however it also placed a huge demand on water and sanitation services.
Despite this, Ugu’s spokesperson France Zama said the municipality pulled out all the stops to ensure that visitors had a hassle-free stay.

“The adopted Festive Season Preparedness Plan championed by the leadership of the municipality remained a lodestar towards the attainment of the municipality’s commitment of providing a stable supply of water and sanitation services.

“Major water supply systems across the district have been kept at optimal levels throughout the festive period and as we look towards the new year, we are certain that our astute technical personnel are up to the task to maintain water and sanitation systems at their current optimal condition.”
Zama said the leadership of the municipality thanks the excellent cooperation of residents; councillors and their committed staff.

“We look forward to joining forces with our residents in the new year to continue transforming our district into a sustainable, resilient, and successful district that we can all be proud of.”