Ethekwini reassures citizens on safety of beaches
from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – THE Ethekwini Municipality has dismissed allegations that local beaches are unsafe.
The rebuttal follows the circulation of videos of sewers shown overflowing into the beaches.
“The safety of residents and visitors is a priority for the municipality,” EThekwini spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, assured.
Mayisela said beaches that were opened met the quality standard for safety of bathing water.
“Water quality tests are conducted regularly to ensure the safety of both residents and visitors. Beaches that do not meet the safety standard are closed.”
He said the damage caused by the April floods to the city’s water and sanitation infrastructure was extensive.
Mayisela stated that repairs of most of the infrastructure were underway while work in some areas had been completed.
He said dome infrastructure and pump stations had been vandalised while some were extensively damaged leading to overflows when pumping.
Mayisela reiterated that beaches that did not meet safety standards, would remain closed.
He said a team of scientists regularly tested the water.
Mayisela said for example, Ethekwini tested uMhlanga Beach and found it compliant on four consecutive occasions before declaring it open.
“However, subsequent tests showed that it was no longer compliant, and it was then closed,” the spokesperson clarified.
Another test of uMhlanga Beach with an independent organisation was done on December 8.
“Results are pending,” Mayisela stated.
The beaches in Ethekwini are undoubtedly the most popular in South Africa.
Bumper crowds are expected this festive season, which is set to be the first since 2020 to be marked without a lockdown.
– CAJ News