Reasons why our beaches are in disarray

2016-08-10 06:00
Winklespruit beach after the storm. Photo: TANIA SANDBERG

Winklespruit beach after the storm. Photo: TANIA SANDBERG

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LOOKING back at the floods and the heaps of rubbish left on our beaches, Councillor André Beetge said the recent unexpected rainfall and subsequent devastation couldn’t have come at a worse time - amid a municipal election marred by political infighting and intervention into administrative processes in an attempt to enhance the profile of the city’s newly elected leadership.

He said while departments remain stretched to the limits to address washed-away roads and embankments, burst water and sewage lines, due to soil movement and blocked drains, eThekwini’s 98km of beaches, stretching across four municipal districts from north of Scottburgh to south of Ballito only have one serviceable 4x4 vehicle available for beach-cleaning operations among them.

“Granted the rain, and the extent thereof, is an anomaly at this time of the year, but to withdraw all vehicles prior to replacement during a period when the council is not in session to ratify purchases bears testimony to some of the worst planning.

“The city manager’s reluctance to react in accordance with recommendations tabled in an emergency report to hire vehicles in for the interim, speaks volumes for the dedication to service delivery as opposed to pleasing the newly elected, yet to be inaugurated, political leadership,” he added.

Beetge said they had also previously revealed that various capital expenditures and projects had been put on hold until after the elections, thus affording the newly elected leadership to expend the budget in accordance with their decisions as opposed to implementing decisions from the previous council.

“While the beach cleaning teams, with the wonderful and much appreciated assistance of the community, continue to clean the beaches manually, we still await response from the city manager regarding the hiring of 4x4 vehicles as those allocated to, but also used by Aquatic Safety to cargo bags and debris that continue to arrive on a southern current off the beaches, are during the mini-holiday period rather prioritised towards life saving activities,” he added.

Residents who wish to assist, but are unable to remove bags to landfill sites are requested to stockpile bags above the high-water mark or in the corner of beach parking areas from where it will be removed by the municipality.

For further information, contact Beetge on 082 718 8137. - Supplied.

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