Nude bathing halted at Mpenjati Beach

2016-12-18 06:04
Nudity at a beach in Mpenjati, which is about 140km south of Durban, has been halted for now. (Picture: Tebogo Letsie)

Nudity at a beach in Mpenjati, which is about 140km south of Durban, has been halted for now. (Picture: Tebogo Letsie)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Naturalists wanting to get it all off at KwaZulu-Natal’s first official nudist beach in Mpenjati will have to wait until the middle of next month for the outcome of an investigation by the Public Protector.

The nude bathing was temporarily halted after local religious leaders asked Busisiwe Mkhwebane to strip the 250m of coastline of the official “kaalgat” status it was given by the Ray Nkonyeni Local Municipality.

While the stretch of property at Trafalgar Beach on the south coast has been an unofficial haven for nude bathers for the past 30 years, it received local government approval in 2014 from the local municipality, which was aware of its existence and also convinced of the tourism potential of nude bathing in the Hibiscus Coast area.

However, the proclamation was opposed by local religious leaders, led by Reverend Mike Effanga and other conservative groups, including the Concerned Citizens’ Forum.

Their objection was also motivated by the fact that the bylaw to legalise the beach – about 140km south of Durban – as a nudist venue had not been formalised or gazetted.

Effanga, who could not be reached for comment, asked the Public Protector’s office to investigate the effect of the beach’s nude status on young people in the area. In October, a team from the Public Protector’s office visited the beach, which is adjacent to the 66 hectare Mpenjati Nature Reserve.

Municipal spokesperson Nomusa Zulu said the municipality had been advised not to encourage nude bathing until a decision had been made by the Public Protector.

“The matter is not entirely resolved and things have been put in abeyance until the office of the Public Protector provides us with an outcome,” Zulu said.

“Since everything has been put on hold around the beach, we would not encourage people to use it for that purpose at this stage,” she said.

Zulu said they expected the protection services personnel on duty in the area this festive season to “enforce the law” should people insist on letting it all hang out – which could offend other beachgoers.

Christo Bothma, spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the SA Naturalists’ Association, said they believed the Public Protector would rule in their favour and that a decision was expected by the second week in January.

“We are hopeful that there will be a good ruling. In the meantime, people are still using the beach,” he said.

“We were asked not to promote [nudity] at the beach, but people are still making a point of going nude.”

The Public Protector’s spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, said the investigation was at an advanced stage.

Meanwhile, authorities are geared up for a flood of holiday-makers into the province’s prime beaches in Durban and other tourist hot spots. Durban’s first week of the holiday season went off relatively smoothly, with no drownings reported and 49 bathers rescued by city lifesavers by Friday. The lifesavers and medical staff treated about 120 people for bluebottle stings and other minor injuries.

Beaches are being cleaned up three times a day by 130 city cleaning staff, who had already collected more than 124 500 tons of litter along the Golden Mile by Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala told City Press that tourists were expected to spend around R2.3 billion in KwaZulu-Natal this festive season. They also expected about 162 000 international arrivals and 1.2 million domestic tourists to visit the province this season.

Zikalala said tourism authorities were expecting a 9% increase in tourists compared with last year and said most major hotels were already booked in excess of 75% by Friday.


Read more on:    busisiwe mkhwebane  |  durban  |  nudity

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.