Coast KZN

03 May 2021

City keeps Cuttings Beach closed due to ‘sewage spill’

Thami Magubane (Mercury: IOL) Picture: Tumi Pakkies/Africa News Agency(ANA). Fishrmen at the Cutting Beach in Merebank despite the city saying in a statement on Saturday that the beach had to be temporarily closed due to a suspected sewage spill.

DURBAN – Cuttings Beach in Merebank remains closed. The eThekwini Municipality said on Saturday the beach was temporarily closed “due to suspected sewerage surcharge that the city is currently addressing”. (A sewerage surcharge is a term for when the sewer is full beyond its capacity.)

It added no swimming or fishing would be allowed at the north and south end of the uMlazi Canal.

While the city said it suspected there had been a sewage spill, Desmond D’Sa of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, (SDCEA) said he believed a chemical spill had occurred. D’Sa said he had spent close to five hours at the beach on Saturday.

“The spillage was toxic chemicals from some of the businesses there. It was one of the worst spillages I have seen; it was really bad, no one could fish there,” he said.

He said he was concerned about the response of officials to such incidents. He added he struggled to reach anyone in the province and had to resort to calling the Environmental Affairs Department in Pretoria to get action to be taken.

“When the spillage started, I went to the area. Yesterday I was there for five hours and not a single official from the municipality and other environmental organisations came to assess the damage.”

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the municipality would update the situation today. Asked whether a chemical or sewage spill had taken place, he said that information would also be made available today.