eThekwini Municipality Committing Tourism Suicide

ActionSA calls on the eThekwini Municipality to urgently address the sewer crisis that continues to trouble the city. This crisis is made evident by the unending beach closures due to high levels of sewage bacteria (E-coli) in the water.

A total of 13 beaches along the coast of eThekwini were closed on Monday. Sightings of dead fish along the Umgeni River coupled with the browning of the water were proof enough to result in the closures. Battery Beach- a beach on the so-called “golden mile” recently had an E-coli reading of 9208 count/100 ml which is 18 times above the acceptable level threshold.

The municipality must realise that not only does the sewer crisis have major harmful impact on residents living in the municipality and its environment but the sewer crisis causing a major decline in tourist activity.

eThekwini needs tourists now more than ever. The industry alone contributes hundreds of millions towards the GDP of eThekwini. A total of R150 million worth of revenue is produced within the festive season alone. All of which heavily depend on the accessibility of the municipality’s beaches.

The economy of eThekwini is currently in a precarious position as it recovers from the aftermath of COVID, July Unrest and the April Floods. The city, its businesses and residents can ill-afford the economic and social damages that would arise from the impacts of a tourism sector decline.

Whilst ActionSA recognises that the floods had an impact on the sewer system, there is no doubt that problems existed before the floods and failure to adequately address the issue has resulted in the situation in which the municipality currently finds itself. This has been caused by an ANC-led municipality which has allowed corruption to flourish while officials of the city ignore the plight of the residents of the city with no consequence management to better the quality of services provided to the residents.

ActionSA will therefore write to the Mayor and the Executive Committee of eThekwini requesting urgent action by the municipality to rectify the current sewer crisis before the commencement of the festive season, ensuring no further damage to the tourist sector.