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Durban’s beaches are safe for swimming

Date: 2023-12-18 16:00:28

Durban’s beaches are safe for swimming

EThekwini Municipality Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda officially re-opened the iconic uMhlanga Rocks Whalebone Pier to much fanfare and public applause in time for the bumper festive season in Durban.

RECENT results conducted jointly with the Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology (IWWT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) revealed improvement of the beach water quality. In addition, the City’s results sampled on 12 December as part of its weekly routine testing also revealed that of the 23 bathing beaches, 20 beaches are e-coli compliant and safe for public use.

This indicates that 20 beaches are compliant with acceptable standards for swimming and other water recreational use. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said this is testament of the City’s efforts to reduce pollution at its beaches. “The safety of residents and visitors remains a priority. With constant testing, we want to assure holidaymakers and residents of their safety,” he said. “These results confirm an improvement in our beach water quality as most are compliant with excellent and acceptable standards for swimming and other recreational use,” said Mayor Kaunda. The City has a team of expert scientists that are hard at work testing the water quality at the Municipal ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. 

The Municipality is transparent with these results which are shared publicly and if there are poor results, the pollution team immediately traces the source so that remedial work is done to stop the pollution. The City also conducts re-sampling to ensure the quality of beach water so that an informed decision is made whether or not to close a particular beach. The City will continue joint sampling with independent organisation such as IWWT and Adopt-A-River, whose samples are tested by Talbot. The City does daily monitoring of all 23 bathing beaches to make an informed decision. However, for joint sampling, only selected beaches are tested, some of which are non-bathing. “Beaches that have poor water quality are closed.

The public is informed when the water at beaches has been tested and if they are safe for swimming,” said Mayor Kaunda This routine weekly testing is continuing and conducted across all the City’s 23 bathing beaches. The following beaches are open; uShaka, Addington, Point, North, Bay of Plenty, Wedge, Battery, South, Country Club, Thekwini, Laguna, uMhlanga Main, uMdloti Main, Bronze, Westbrook, uMgababa, Toti Main, Reunion, Warner, and Brighton beaches. Beaches that are closed are Pipeline, Winkelespruit, and Anstey’s beaches. This attests to the fact that the City is ready to host a safe and memorable festive season for the anticipated 792 410 visitors expected to flock to Durban. The City has beefed up its staff complement as well as increased police visibility at tourism precincts and along the beachfront.

Further bolstering these efforts, is that all Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the inner city are operational. Mayor Kaunda said 34 swimming pools are open. This includes the Laguna Paddling Swimming Pool which was reopened recently after it was closed due to infrastructural challenges. He said repairs at the popular Children Amusement Centre swimming pool, which is along the beachfront, are expected to be completed soon. He said 65 beach guides will be stationed across the various City beaches to aid visitors. An additional 160 seasonal lifeguards have also been deployed to beaches. Law enforcement will also be out in full force with about 168 contract security personnel employed for the duration of the festive season. “The 62 new Metro Police vehicles will patrol the streets,” Mayor Kaunda added.