Coast KZN

27 Aug 2020

Community helps protect and preserve beaches

Nothando Mthembu (Southlands Sun) Picture: Community members and stakeholder from SDB ABM, the department of parks as well as Durban Solid Waste (DSW) collected a large pile of rubbish bags during the clean up campaign.

Bluff residents, Len Anderson and Reverend Davis Goldstone were instrumental in establishing a clean-up campaign to restore two much-loved local beaches. The pair enjoy morning walks along from Ansteys to Cuttings Beaches every day. Recently they became increasingly concerned about the large amounts of plastic and other rubbish scattered on the beach. Unsettled and concerned about the amounts of plastic washed back into the sea and its impact on the marine life, Anderson contacted the South Durban Basin Area Based Management (SDB ABM) with his concerns to get the beaches cleaned up.

The plastic bottles found within the dunes at Ansteys Beach before the clean- up.

“We were very keen to assist and support Anderson and the community in whatever way we could, since we are aware that up to 13 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year. Marine life and seabirds can become entangled in or ingest plastic debris causing suffocation, starving, and drowning,” said Eurakha Singh, Senior Manager SDB ABM.

She said further that humans are not immune to this threat as plastics break up and end up in the seafood that we eat. The SDB ABM got the department of parks as well as Durban Solid Waste (DSW) on board, who, according to Anderson were extremely helpful, co-operative and supportive by providing bags and equipment to make the clean- up possible. He went on to say that the Parks officials who assisted often went above and beyond the call of duty to make the clean -up a success. Andersen and Goldstone were able to rally together a group of enthusiastic community volunteers to clean the beaches.

“The beach is now looking clean and pristine but will sadly be back to square one with the coming of the next rains. Local business, Mandlethu Construction came to the party and sponsored T-shirts and meals for the volunteers,” said Anderson.

“The Treasure Beach Ratepayers Association were also partners in this project, and assisted in getting a donation of rakes for the project. For this we are grateful. We look forward to sustaining this initiative and attracting many more partners as we go along,” said Goldstone.

Also showing support at the clean-up was Desmond D’sa, co-ordinator of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), who urged people not buy and support the use of single use plastics as it is affecting our environment so badly and it is a direct contributor to climate change.”

Slu Mncube, manager at the Parks and Recreation Department said: “We encourage more community members to come forward and participate in clean – ups such as this. The Municipality alone cannot cope with the responsibility of cleaning up this scale of pollution which is made worse by bad weather and storms as a result of climate change. Congratulations to the volunteers who have given their time to improve the planet.”