eThekwini Municipality Heeds ActionSA’s Call to Close Durban’s Beaches

ActionSA welcomes eThekwini Municipality closing of Durban’s beaches due to the concern over the quality of the seawater. ActionSA had raised concerns about the integrity of testing of E-coli levels undertaken by the municipality, which were in stark contrast to those undertaken by an independent laboratory.

Whilst the municipality recently recorded E-coli levels of slightly below acceptable levels, an independent laboratory a day later showed E-coli levels 5 times higher than critical levels. Despite the critical levels recorded by the independent laboratory, Durban beaches remained open with the health and lives of residents, tourists and employees being put at risk. These levels of contamination also pose significant risk to the environment and marine life.

Questions that need to be asked of the municipality include:

  • What is the name of the laboratory that the municipality uses for testing and are they accredited?
  • How, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, did they decide to keep the beaches open?
  • How many beachgoers have been exposed to dangerous levels of E-coli?
  • What action will be taken against those if there has been negligence or dishonesty?

What is becoming abundantly clear is that this ANC-led municipality is not concerned about the health and lives of its residents, visitors and tourists. If there was concern, the municipality would have ensured that readings undertaken by them were 100% accurate and reliable and where necessary beaches would be closed.

ActionSA will be writing to the Mayor and the City Manager demanding answers to the above questions.