Internal Affairs

More beach lifeguards needed

e City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department is doing a second round of recruitment for beach lifeguards. Lifesaving clubs are encouraged to motivate members to sign up.

After a successful first round of recruitment for over 600 lifeguards for pools and beaches, there is currently a shortfall of approximately 63 vacancies for beach lifeguards only.

So far 277 beach lifeguards have been appointed and can be deployed for duty at the start of the season.

‘The recruitment process is stringent, but lifeguards do more than just sit at the beach and watch people swim. Lifeguards play an important role in ensuring the safety of bathers and they’re often the first responders in an emergency at the beach,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

According to the City’s drowning prevention plan, lifeguards will be placed on 29 coastal nodes, deemed the only safe swimming beaches identified this season where lifeguards will be present.

The City has 12 permanent senior beach lifeguards who lead clusters of 600 seasonal lifeguards recruited to patrol beaches and municipal pools from October to April annually.

Applications are now open via e-services from 19 – 25 September 2022. See www.capetown.gov.za for more information

The target for pool lifeguards has been reached with surplus qualifying candidates.

The requirements for beach lifeguards are different, requiring that lifeguards have a valid lifeguard award or equivalent with current retest. It’s always a challenge to fill

vacancies for beach lifeguards, with similar trends observed in previous recruitment seasons.

Although the response to the initial advert was very positive, many candidates failed to pass through all of the stages required to be a successfully appointed including:

Not having the required experience for senior beach lifeguard posts (please note that these candidates were automatically entered into the seasonal beach lifeguard applicant category)
Being unable to pass the swim and rescue tests
A qualification verification check for senior lifeguards
Unable to be cleared of drug screening and criminal record checks

Candidates fell through at all stages, without one component of the assessments, resulting in more disqualifications than the other.

‘Our appeal is to all lifesaving clubs to encourage members who haven’t yet applied, to try out for this season. Those based in the Western Cape have a competitive advantage, having trained at local lifesaving clubs with familiar surroundings,’ said Councillor Van der Ross.

In preparation for lifeguard positions, candidates are encouraged to gain experience outside of their home clubs so that they are comfortable with potentially being offered a place, working at unfamiliar beaches with different weather patterns and surf conditions.

Online applications include a comprehensive questionnaire, which requires that candidates list three beaches where they would prefer to be placed for work.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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