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THE R30-million tidal pool proposed for uMhlanga Beach is back on the cards. The tidal pool was included in the budget for 2017/2018. uMhlanga councillor, Heinz De Boer urged residents not to panic just yet but said he would oppose any such plan as they move forward. The budget includes money for the project for the next three years.
The inclusion has surprised De Boer who said the motion was defeated in October last year. De Boer said the project, which had been rejected by the majority of local businesses and residents, has now been brought to an abrupt halt.
In 2015 De Boer as well as residents were disappointed by the finding of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, which supported the construction of a tidal pool. The proposed tidal pool, was set for implementation in-between the pier and the lighthouse.
The project was initially raised eight years ago by the Coastal Engineering Stormwater Catchment Management Department, and had resurfaced in 2014. Coastal engineers argued that uMhlanga’s beaches were losing beach sand at a rate of one per cent per annum.
City officials said the loss of the beach area would ultimately have a negative impact on uMhlanga’s tourism and a tidal pool would in turn boost tourism.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s quite clear the residents, businesses and relevant stakeholders want nothing to do with this project but it is still being included in the budget. It’s non-essential. There are several projects that need urgent attention especially for Blackburn Village. The project has already been defeated once. A new EIA would have to be done if the City were looking at following through with it. I urge residents not to panic about this as there is still a process to be followed.