Dirty beach charge

2012-12-01 00:00

A CASE of criminal negligence has been opened against Hibiscus Coast municipal manager S’bu Mkhize for pollution in the Ramsgate lagoon.

Yesterday, Mkhize dismissed the charge by AfriForum Lower South Coast leader Carlo Viljoen as “completely unfounded”.

Viljoen lodged his case on November 28 at Margate police station. Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid confirmed the complaint.

Viljoen alleges “Mkhize personally, whilst performing in his capacity as the municipal manager, was, and still is, polluting the water resource of the Ibilanlhlohlo River that feeds the Ramsgate lagoon for at least the past year. This pollution is the direct result of negligence.”

Mkhize hit back at his accuser. He said various initiatives have been employed to address the potential for pollution from the stream, including using a pumping system that will be commissioned on December 7.

Mkhize emphasised Ramsgate beach continues to retain its Blue Flag status, which depends on a number of stringent criteria, one being testing of sea and lagoon water every two weeks by an independent laboratory.

Viljoen, however, claims AfriForum sent lagoon water samples to a laboratory accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (Sanas) for testing.

On November 28, E.coli counts were allegedly 10 times higher than they should be in the Ibilanlhlohlo River, which feeds right into the lagoon.

Mkhize is adamant that the water is safe on Ramsgate beach and in the lagoon.

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