KZN beaches a health disaster in waiting

December 21, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

ANC KwaZulu-Natal apparatchiks are nursing their wounds from the party’s Nasrec conference… but the dangerous and misleading words some of them have uttered should not be forgotten.

And those have nothing to do with politics but everything to do with health – although presenting an erroneous picture of your province as a good holiday destination choice definitely stokes a political ego.

This week, it was announced that the beach at Ballito, north of Durban, had its blue flag status – for its clean and safe water and beach – withdrawn, because of pollution by E.coli bacteria from a sewage spill.

ALSO READ: Durban’s sewage-polluted beaches pose threat to holidaymakers and the environment

This followed a public demonstration by eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda that his city’s surf was top-class – by swimming in the waves for the benefit of cameras.

Even as he did so, E.coli levels were horrifyingly high across the area, while Durban residents and visitors posted photos on social media of the decaying cesspit which the beachfront has become under ANC municipal neglect.

Swimming pools remain empty – save for fetid rainwater collecting in puddles in corners. Fixtures and buildings display broken pieces and peeling paint.

Yet, according to Kaunda – and to Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) acting chief executive officer Nhlanhla Khumalo – the province is open for tourism. Earlier this month, Khumalo went as far as assuring visitors that KZN beaches “are safe and ready to welcome visitors who will be keen to dip into the ocean.”

While many beaches are safe, some are still polluted by sewage – because municipal authorities have failed to repair purification systems damaged by floods earlier this year.

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Water quality tests are being done more regularly – but that doesn’t deal with the real issue. Those KZN beaches are going to see hundreds of thousands of visitors over Christmas and New Year… a public health disaster waiting to happen?