Coast KZN

10 Nov 2021

Councillor clears up confusion over uMhlanga

(Northglen News) Picture: An exclusion zone of one kilometre north and south of the uMhlanga estuary mouth, and one kilometre out to sea, in which all activities remain prohibited, should be maintained.

While several beaches along the KZN north coast reopened last week, much to the delight of the hospitality industry, ward councillor, Nicole Bollman said she has fielded several questions on the exclusion zones.

Beaches north of the Umgeni River were closed for more than 90 days due to a toxic chemical spill from the United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) warehouse in Cornubia. The warehouse was set on fire during the KZN unrest and led to an environmental disaster and the closure of beaches.

The decision to reopen the beaches follows the recommendations of a peer review of the specialists’ report on the safety of the beaches.

“There’s been some confusion from some residents who’ve asked if uMhlanga Main and Bronze beaches are open. The one kilometre going north from the estuary goes as far as Peace Cottage, while the exclusion zone south goes as far as the start of the raised boardwalk on the promenade. It is important to remember fishing and harvesting of marine resources (shore angling and the harvesting, utilisation and consumption of shellfish) between the Umgeni River mouth to Salt Rock and one kilometre out to sea, remains prohibited.

“I’m ecstatic the beaches have reopened, especially as the tourism industry has suffered. First through the Covid-19 pandemic and now the closure due to the chemical spill. I’m hoping this will help boost many of the businesses in and around the village. I urge residents who enjoy long walks to avoid going near the uMhlanga Lagoon mouth as the lifeguards have reported some walkers attempting to cross the mouth to walk further north. There are security personnel monitoring the area now,” she said.