BIRDS that survived a sewage spill in Margate frequent the eNkongweni River.
Durban - A RECENT sewage spill in the Margate area has left a number of animals dead, while some are being monitored by the SPCA to ensure their survival.

This follows the failure of pumps at the station below the Margate sewage plant, which resulted in raw sewage flowing into the eNkongweni River.

Ray Nkonyeni Municipality spokesperson Simon April said due to the extreme contamination in the river, which led to a large number of fish dying and the stench of sewage affecting residents, the river had to be opened to the sea. This resulted in a swimming ban at Margate beach.

Ugu District spokesperson France Zama said they were repairing the pumps.

“We’re attending to the issue and clean-up operations are being done,” he said.

Councillor Dave Watson said the wildlife kill was extensive.

“There was a huge impact on the fish. There are dead eels.

“The kill at the river was extensive, almost all marine life there was killed. Last Monday almost a ton of dead fish was taken away. There are no more fish left to die.”

Watson said he had called the Lower South Coast SPCA for assistance for the birds that remained in the area.

Lower South Coast SPCA operations supervisor Mike Davis said they headed to the river to monitor the wildlife daily.

He said there were three adult geese with one fledgling, plus a Muscovy, duck, which was fine.

He located Egyptian geese on Monday that had two generations of goslings with them. This group was also doing well.

“Every day we go down there and just check that they’re still fine. At the moment we’re looking into putting a freshwater source there for them,” Davis said.

Initially, the SPCA wanted to remove the wildlife from the area, but could not get near the birds to catch them.

“We did try to catch them, but they are very wary. You can’t get near them,” Davis said.

“We contacted Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and they said if the birds felt compromised they would move off.”

Watson said the river was still polluted and a terrible stench remained. Margate beach also remained closed.

“We’ll wait for tests to ensure it’s safe to use. We can’t take a risk,” he said.

Daily News