Beach closures latest blow to tourism


Durban's uMhlanga beaches close again. Visitors / tourists are desperate once more

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE latest closure of some beaches in Ethekwini will further impact on tourism locally.

Bronze Beach and Umhlanga Main have been closed due to pump station failures.

The recent closure of the beaches comes ahead of the school holidays, which is peak season.

Alan Beesley, an opposition councilor in the City of Ethekwini, said tourism locally is on the back foot, and beach closures ahead of school holidays was worrying, especially for those who depend on an influx of tourists during these times to make a living.

“Last December’s festive period, tourism was 22 percent down, and there is little doubt that tourism in this June/July school holidays will be similarly or further down,” he said.

The councillor said besides the sewage causing the beach closure last year, the smell of sewage on several parts of the Umhlanga Promenade is unbearable.

“Umhlanga is meant to be a prime tourist destination not only for eThekwini, but for the entire (Kwazulu-Natal) province.

“Sadly, the experiences of those tourists who visit Umhlanga are far from encouraging,” Beesley said.

EThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Lindiwe Khuzwayo, provided an update.

“The city can confirm that uMhlanga Main and Bronze beaches are closed following the failure of two pumps at Portland pump station. We have since sourced another pump and the pump station is now operational,” she said.

“The overflow to the beach has stopped and the water should clear soon and we will continue to keep residents and visitors abreast of water test results,” Khuzwayo added.

Residents can access beach water quality results on the city’s website.

– CAJ News



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