Intervention needed over KZN's dirty beaches

Intervention needed over KZN's dirty beaches

The situation regarding the beaches in KwaZulu-Natal has reached boiling point.

Drowning, suspected drowning at Durban beaches
Netcare 911

eThekwini Municipality has re-opened some of its beaches, but there are still some concerns about water quality.  

The municipality has made an improvement to the water quality, but the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) is still appealing to the Department of Water and Sanitation to intervene. 

Read more: Some eThekwini beaches reopen

There seems to be a disconnect with the communication of what's going on at the beaches.

If there aren't any solutions being made by the municipality, then the government or department needs to take more steps.

People swimming at a Durban beach, many of which are closed because of sewage discharges and etc.
People swimming at a Durban beach, many of which are closed because of sewage discharges and etc. Image: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency

Rosemary Anderson, who is Fedhasa's national chairperson, has pleaded with the municipality to provide information on the necessary treatment and discharging of wastewater. 

"As an organisation, we urge the Department to intervene urgently to prevent further damage to the environment and businesses," says Anderson. 

Read more: Beach closures around Durban ’has negative impact on tourism’

People feel that the municipality, which is responsible for the safe discharge of wastewater, has not done what it promised to do. 

A couple of months ago there was an incident of sewage waste going into the Umhlanga beach waters.

These are problems that negatively impact tourism and affect the health and safety of local residents. Communities and organisations are demanding answers from the municipality.  

Anderson is hopeful things can return to normal just before Durban's festive period begins.  

"School holidays started on Monday and the closure of the beaches will cause direct economic damage loss to local tourism and hospitality businesses, which will result in further job losses," says Anderson. 

LISTEN: Are we ever going to have normal beaches again?

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, has since alerted the public that several beaches are open for business again. 

A total of eight beaches are now open to the public. 

"Experts recently tested water from the beaches and the results confirmed that water is now at an acceptable standard to swim," says Mayisela.

LISTEN: Litterboom Project wants to step in and help save our waters

Beaches that are now open for swimming are:  

  • Bay of Plenty Beach
  • North Beach
  • Wedge Beach 
  • Ushaka Beach.

In the south of KZN, the beaches that are open are:  

  • Umgababa
  • Umkomaas
  • Brighton
  • Treasure beach

However, the other beaches remain closed until further notice.

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