DURBAN – Over four days the eThekwini Municipality closed beaches, reopened them, closed other beaches and then told the public which beaches were open to the public.
To avoid confusion, on Saturday, the eThekwini Municipality said the following beaches were opened to the public:
- Northern beaches: uMhlanga Main Beach, Bronze Beach, Westbrook Beach and Umdloti Beach.
- Central beaches: Point Beach, Ushaka Beach, Addington Beach, South Beach and Wedge Beach.
- Bluff beaches: Brighton Beach and Ansteys Beach.
- Southern beaches: Reunion Park Beach, Pipeline Beach, Amanzimtoti Main Beach, Warner Beach, Winkle Beach and Umgababa Beach.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the municipality closed seven beaches following concerns over E coli.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said that in the interest of public safety they had closed access at South Beach, North Beach, Bay of Plenty, Suncoast Beach, Country Club Beach and Umgeni Beach.
He said the levels of this bacteria have been compounded by the unceasing vandalism of one of the city's sewerage pump stations, and abnormal heavy rains that were washing waste from multitudes of informal settlements along the Umgeni River into the water course.
Mayisela added that the public would be informed when the beaches were reopened.
This was after the eThekwini Municipality had immediately closed and then reopened the northern beaches between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
On Wednesday night, in the interest of the public, the city decided to temporarily close North, Bay, Battery, Country Club 1 and 2, eThekwini and Laguna beaches after the Umgeni River had discharged very abnormal murky water to the beach.
Tests that were conducted revealed that the beaches were safe for bathing and all sporting activities, and beaches were reopened.
The results revealed that the water was free of any pollution that may pose a threat to life. The water was murky because of hyacinths, which usually increases during summer months.