Umtentweni beach: fences in shocking condition

2011-10-18 00:00

WHILE much attention is being given to the dilapidated Port Shepstone beachfront, it seems Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) has forgotten about Umtentweni Beach, just a few kilometres away.

Port Shepstone beachfront is undergoing a R12 million upgrade.

However, it is evident that Umtentweni Beach is also in need of care.

Fences that were erected in 2007 remain on the beach, but are rusty, broken down and generally in terrible condition.

Vandals have broken tables and stolen braai grids.

The fences were erected to protect beach vegetation growing on a sand dune.

Some beachgoers destroyed the vegetation by accessing the car park through it.

Children would also use it as a short cut to the parking lot.

An Umtentweni resident who wished to remain unnamed said the beach is neat and tidy, but the dilapidated fences mar its appearance.

“Yes, the beach has been vandalised, but that is beyond anyone’s control … however, the rusty fences is no way to welcome tourists.”

HCM spokesperson Simon Soboyisa agreed that the fences are an eyesore.

“The department that is dealing with maintenance and repairs will decide whether to fix or remove the fences,” he said.

This will be attended to as soon as possible, he added.

Meanwhile, Umtentweni ward councillor Mike Henderson said he has tried to set up a refurbishment project through HCM for a month, but nothing has come of his attempts so far.

“We have managed to neaten and paint the parking lot, but there are other minor facilities that need fixing,” said Henderson, adding that he hopes a solution will be found soon.

The chairperson of the Umtentweni Ratepayers’ Forum, Leila Edwards, said the forum is working with the ward councillor to get the beachfront up to standard again.

“We pay our rates and would like to see the municipality put it to good use,” said Edwards.

She said the local tourism department should also become involved in the project to get the beach maintained.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of the South Coast. We need our beaches to be in good condition,” she said.

Edwards added that managers and heads of departments should drive around the Ugu district and see which areas need work.


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