Coast KZN

05 Oct 2021

KZN north beach closures have hurt subsistence fishermen

(Northglen News) Picture: Secretary of the KZN Subsistence Fishing Forum, John Narayanasamy, said the beach closures have negatively affected subsistence fisherfolk.

Shouts of ‘down UPL, down’ and ‘UPL go to jail’ rang out on Heritage Day as members of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and the UPL Cornubia Fire Civil Society Action Group joined forces to march through the streets of eMdloti in a call for accountability from United Phosphorus Limited (UPL). Affected communities from Blackburn Village, Durban North and Phoenix also joined in to protest over a chemical spill at the UPL Warehouse in Cornubia, after it was set on fire during the KZN unrest in July.

While a final report into the spill is expected to be completed by the end of September by the Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment ministry, protesters called for more charges to be laid against the multinational company.

The closure of several beaches along the KZN north coast, starting from Beachwood all the way up to Salt Rock has negatively affected fisherfolk. For more than 60 days, all recreational activity on the beaches have been prohibited until the eThekwini Municipality deems the water safe.

John Narayanasamy, secretary of the KZN Subsistence Fishing Forum, said the UPL chemical spill has had a knock on effect on businesses as well as anglers who rely on their catch of the day to put food on their tables.