Umlazi River regularly deposits township trash onto Brighton and Treasure beaches

2013-09-11 00:00

LITTER, debris, and dead animals are an eyesore at the Brighton and Treasure beaches in the Bluff area, says Will Bendix, editor of South Africa’s premiere surf/beach magazine Zigzag. The Umlazi River flows onto these beaches.

This is in sharp contrast to other beaches Bendix says he has visited in the province.

He said the Durban beachfront, which is made up of Addington and Blue Lagoon beaches, is in excellent condition.

“The Durban beachfront has Umgeni River depositing into it. In contrast, the Bluff beaches are in a constant state that varies from dirty to extremely polluted.

“I battle to find this acceptable,” said Bendix.

He said he had been taking pictures of the state of the beaches over the past months, with a recent one taken over the weekend, depicting how the litter on the beaches scars the shoreline.

“This is not by any means an isolated incident and it varies in this state from week to week.

“In one instance a corpse of a dead animal lay decomposing on the beach for ages. There have been others like this,” he said.

He said he had raised the issue numerous times with the South Durban Basin (SDB) and with eThekwini parks, leisure and cemeteries deputy head Christo Swart.

Bendix said he believed that the issue of unkempt beaches comes down to a lack of resources.

“In short, I’ve been told there are not nearly enough beach cleaners allocated to the area and the problem is not being tackled at the source, namely the Umlazi River, which is responsible for a lot of the outflow.

“Jabulani Mdiniso of the SDB informed me that as long as the Bluff area does not have the resources to deal with the problem, it’s simply going to persist and keep being an issue,” he said.

He said the Bluff beaches were among the most neglected and dirty on the KZN coastline.

However, SDB area manager Mdiniso said the source of the problem was rainy weather.

“When it’s raining, the Umlazi River, which runs adjacent to informal settlements, washes debris and all sorts of dirt downstream into the sea. The debris then gets washed out by the sea.

“We are however doing our best to clean where dirt is reported,” said Mdiniso yesterday.

He told The Witness that they were in fact busy cleaning the beach near Virginia Airport yesterday.

Swart was not available for comment.

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