Decision today on uShaka rave party

2012-12-27 00:00

A DECISION on the fate of a big New Year’s Eve bash at uShaka Marine World in Durban will be taken later today.

The controversial event has attracted the ire of animal lovers strongly opposed to using the theme park as a location, arguing that the marine animals would be disturbed by the noise.

The advocacy group opposing the event delivered a petition to eThekwini municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole on Tuesday. It has garnered more than 7 000 signatures from across the world.

The activists include representatives from dolphin, shark and civil society advocacy groups. They claim to have about 500 members.

Richard Patrick, a spokesperson for the group, said they had not received a response from the municipality by yesterday.

“It was delivered on Christmas Eve and we have not had a response at all. However, tomorrow we are meeting the uShaka management and NSPCA to discuss the rave and the petition. We are willing to reach a compromise and we are going to the meeting with an open mind.”

Patrick said the venue was inappropriate because the loud music would distress the dolphins, which have sensitive hearing and can distinguish different sounds, heightened by the fact the music travels through water.

Also, one of the venues for the party was a restaurant where the wall was a shark tank, which could also cause problems for the animals, said Patrick.

Thabo Mofokeng, a spokesperson for eThekwini Municipality, said Sithole would need time to look at the petition before making a decision.

The party, themed the “Bermuda Triangle”, will have three staging areas and feature 18 DJs to play on the Phantom Ship, Cargo Hold and Moyo restaurants.

Judy Mann, CEO of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, which runs uShaka Marine World, has defended the party in media reports, contending the event would be a safe distance from the animals.

She was quoted as saying the organisation would not allow any functions to be held that might harm animals and senior staff members would monitor the sound levels throughout the evening.

The association is owned by the municipality.

• ayanda.mdluli@witness.co.za

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