Coast KZN

04 Jul 2023

Ocean allies align on Glenashley Beach

(Northglen News) Picture: The team that keeps Glenashley Beach clean is made up of Fikezweni Zangwa, Michael Cele and Sphamandla Ngubane.

Ocean lovers who frequent Glenashley Beach will be happy to know that the beach is officially the first to be incorporated into the Adopt-a-Beach programme. The programme now has its own team of three dedicated people from Malacca Road who have been employed to keep this stretch of shoreline in tiptop condition three times a week.

The programme is a leg of Adopt-a-River, run by Janet Simpkins, which has cleaning teams deployed along the Blue Lagoon River and beach daily. Speaking to Northglen News at the beach this week were the people behind making all of this happen – Simpkins and Richard Brown, an avid ocean-lover and frequent beachgoer. Brown moved to Glenashley about a year ago and visits the beach with his children regularly. He said that’s how he noticed it was not being kept in the pristine condition it should be in.

“I noticed that the beach was not in great condition so I decided to do something about it. The ocean is a big part of my life and I am sure for most Durban residents, too. I couldn’t just sit back and not do anything,” he said.

He said he thought of ways of how he could get a beach cleaning project off the ground, fully funded, formalised and in operation, but he knew he couldn’t do it himself.


Glenashley resident Richard Brown and Janet Simpkins of Adopt-a-River proudly show off the signage that indicates that the beach now falls under the Adopt-a-Beach Banner and has a dedicated, permanent cleaning team.

“I then contacted Janet, and she was able to explain how it would work. A caring corporate, who wants to remain anonymous, then provided funding to make it all happen,” he said.

Simpkins said she was most excited about having a team on this beach as it would mean the beach would be kept clean and community clean-ups wouldn’t have to be arranged as often.

“The team of cleaners come from Malacca Road, which means that in addition to the beach being cleaned, three people now have employment. It also provides an opportunity for this team to take back what they learn about recycling and teach it to others in their community,” said Simpkins.

She said the beaches between Durban Promenade and uMhlanga are often forgotten, and she hopes that more corporates would come on board after this and sponsor more teams to be deployed to other beaches along this area.

“It’s not easy to source funding as businesses have tightened their belts, but it’s not only the teams’ responsibility to keep our rivers and beaches clean; it requires a joint effort from caring corporates and concerned citizens. It’s all about having a beach to enjoy and be proud of and to stop plastic from getting into the water and killing our aquatic life,” she said.

She said that for now, the team will be on Glenashley Beach on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will then be assessed in about a month or two to see if these days can be increased.

“I am hoping that Glenashley Beach is the first of many to incorporate into the Adopt-a-Beach programme. We have so many plans, and we’re hopefully going to also sample the water on this beach,” she added.

Brown commented that the entire stretch of beach is beautiful and urged everyone who uses it to take care of it. Michael Cele, who is one of the team members, said it felt good to keep the beach in good condition.

“It feels good to keep the beach beautiful at all times. We are all very happy to be employed, as well. Our plan is to set up recycling stations in our community and teach people how to recycle,” he said.