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20 Feb 2020

Margate beach and lagoon remain closed

Zimasa Mgwili ( South Coast Herald) Picture: One of the overflowing manholes which have caused the temporary closure of both Margate beach and the lagoon. Photo: Supplied

Margate lagoon and beach remain closed for recreational purposes until further notice. Ugu District Municipality confirmed this was a precautionary measure due to a sewage spill caused by the Margate 3a and 4a pump stations experiencing simultaneous mechanical breakdowns. According to Ugu, this resulted in manholes overflowing into the lagoon.

The municipality said that sampling was being done, and while that was under way both the lagoon and beach would remain closed.

“Our teams are currently on site replacing the damaged pumps,” read a statement issued by the municipality.

It added that an investigation into the possibility of sabotage would be conducted.

The spill did not sit well with some, who said they feared that this, coupled with the ongoing water crisis, was killing the coast’s economy. Preyen Moodley of Margate said he couldn’t understand why the pump stations were not maintained.

“I have a group of holidaymakers coming to my establishment this weekend. How do I tell them they can’t swim? And how many other establishments will lose out on income because of the water issues and now this?”

Piet van der Merwe said Margate was rated as one of the best holiday destinations in the country yet Ugu was “slowly killing” that status.

“If I did not have investments in the area, I would pack and go because no-one seems to care for the ordinary folk.”