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eThekwini halts swimming at Durban beaches following ‘abnormal murky water discharge’ at Umgeni River

BEACHES along the Durban north coast have been closed to bathers. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

BEACHES along the Durban north coast have been closed to bathers. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 6, 2022

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Durban – Beaches along the Durban north coast have been closed to bathers.

Yesterday, eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela, said the decision means bathing and any sporting activities are prohibited until further notice.

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“In the interest of public safety, the city has taken a decision to close temporarily North, Bay, Battery, Country Club 1 and 2,  eThekwini and Laguna beaches. This after the Umgeni River discharged a very abnormal murky waters to the beach,” he said.

eThekwini  is conducting tests, the outcome will determine its next course of action that will be communicated to the public.

“The city sincerely apologises for the inconvenience this is going to cause to the public,” Mayisela said.

Last year, the city banned swimming, fishing, surfing and water-related activity at beaches along the north coast after chemicals seeped into the water following the UPL chemical spill in July.

The beaches were later re-opened to the public after officials were satisfied that the water was safe to swim in.

Mayisela confirmed that 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.

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He said while there has been some degree of success, the effects of the contamination will take years to remediate.

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