Durban — ActionSA eThekwini spokesperson Alan Beesley asked eThekwini Municipality council sitting on Thursday about the closure of the popular recreational route stretching for a kilometre north and south of the Ohlanga River mouth, an exclusion zone that was established after the riots and burning of the UPL warehouse in July 2021.
“This exclusion zone prohibited all recreational activities from taking place in the zone. Furthermore, guards had been positioned in this area to prohibit people from entering it.
“With the beach area between uMhlanga and Umdloti falling with this exclusion zone, residents and tourists have been prohibited from walking and running on this extremely popular route.
“This route has been closed to residents and tourists for two years, and frustrations are building as to this continual closure of this route.”
Beesley stated that to get a better understanding of the lengthy closure of this popular walk, he formally submitted questions in terms of Section 27 of the Rules of Order at a council meeting held on July 13.
Beesley said that while not all questions were answered, two key answers were:
- There is no law or by-law prohibiting people walking the section of beach between uMhlanga and Umdloti.
- The guards on duty have no authority to stop people walking in this area.
Based on the answers given in council, Beesley added, it was evident that once again the municipality had been misleading the public as there was in fact no law prohibiting people entering the area, and that the guards employed had no authority to stop people from utilising it.
“The tourist industry in eThekwini has been on the backfoot due to beach closures and it is disappointing that the ANC-led municipality can continue to peddle untruths that continue to harm this sector.
“The residents, businesses and tourists of the city deserve better than a municipal leadership that continues with falsehoods. That the truth has finally emerged is another victory for ActionSA, and more importantly for the residents and businesses of eThekwini,” he added.
He further said that there was no law or by-law prohibiting people entering the area. The guards on duty had no authority to stop people, he said.
“EThekwini Municipality did not answer who was paying for the security guards,” Beesley said.
WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.