DURBAN – As hundreds of people continue to soak up the Durban sunshine at a number of local beaches, eThekwini Municipality is urging bathers to keep away from the uMhlanga River exclusion zone.
“While beaches in the north or Durban are now open following the UPL chemical spill in July, the public is reminded to please refrain from entering the exclusion zone, situated one kilometre north and south of the uMhlanga river mouth,” said city spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela.
He said the exclusion zone was imposed to ensure that the public do not come into contact with the water in the estuary as it is still considered hazardous.
Mayisela said there is also a ban on fishing, swimming surfing and other recreational activities, collection of mussels and other aquatic life in the specific zone, which includes one kilometre out to sea.
He said extensive efforts have been made by clean-up crews appointed by UPL to reduce and contain the contamination that caused serious environmental damage to the Ohlanga River and uMhlanga River Estuary.
“While there has been some degree of success, the effects of the contamination will take years to remediate.
“The public are asked to comply with requests from authorities. Any inconvenience is regretted however the safety of the public is of utmost importance,” he said.