Findings against nudist beach

2017-11-16 06:00

CONCERNED Citizens’ of Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (CCRNM) opposing the authorisation of Mpenjati Estuary, declared a nudist or naturist beach, met with the public and media at Marburg Haven on Monday to discuss the findings of the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkwebane.


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Mkwebane’s findings follow an investigation on whether Ray Nkonyeni Council followed the correct procedures before approving the KZN Naturists Association’s application to make Mpenjati Beach a nudist beach.

Many issues were raised regarding the decision, which led to Mkwebane investigating and giving a report on the proceedings in terms of its constitution.

According to the report RNM did not follow the required procedures. The council just approved the request before making an application to the Department of Environmental Affairs and KwaZulu-Natal Ezemvelo, as required by law. The report clarifies that municipal by-laws are amended and adopted through a formal process in terms of the Local Government Systems Act.32 of 2000.

In this case, the municipality simply relaxed its own policy without formally amending and adopting same, which means they violated and unlawfully breached their own law.

Chair of CCRNM Reverend Mike Effanga said the Public Protector in the report makes it clear that the nudist beach is not only illegally a contradiction of municipal by-laws, but also to national acts.

Another factor which the report speaks of is that of public consultation.

The public was given an opportunity to express views on the nudist beach proposal, however, the report says the procedure was not correct.

It says the allegation that the municipality failed to follow a proper consultation process, and improperly failed to consider objections to the establishment, is substantiated.

According to the report the views of the majority, who ruled against the nudist beach, were not considered when the final decision was made and no legal and factual reason was given decision-making stages. As a result, the conduct of the municipal council constitutes improper conduct as envisaged in section 182 (1) of the Constitution, and maladministration as envisaged in section 6 (4) (a) (i) of the Public Protector Act.

The report said within 30 days of submission of the report on October 23, the RNM council should reconsider the its Municipal Council Resolution C127/10/2014 and the municipal manager submits an implementation plan to the Public Protector regarding the outcome after reviewing the establishment of the Mpenjati Estuary Nudist beach, consulting with constitutional Acts and overviews of the public.

Effanga said as CCRNM they believe the Public Protector has been unbiased in the report and everything has been substantiated for.

“We hope that RNM sees that the issue of the nudist beach is dead and they should just let it go.”

KwaZulu-Natal Naturist Association’s (KZNNA) chairman Christo Bothma said its is very disappointing that the Mpenjati nudist beach had been approved and all of a sudden has been stopped, however, they will re-apply.

“We are busy drafting a new application and this time we will go through the public protectors report to ensure that all legal procedures are followed for the application to be legally approved,” said Bothma.

RNM spokesperson Simon April said the municipality is still studying the report but said the municipality had previously said when the matter was referred to the Public Protector, that they will accept whichever finding.

He added that once the municipality has thoroughly looked and considered the report, it will then make a formal media statement,

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