Coast KZN

20 Jul 2020

Sewage-like stench leaves Durban promenade fans gagging

Lyse Comins (The Mercury) Picture: Beachgoers have complained about a foul stench emanating from water near the lifeguard station on Durban’s North Beach. The municipality said it would investigate the matter. Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Durban – Residents and visitors have complained about a “sewage”-like stench emanating from puddles of water that are draining on to the sand close to the promenade at North Beach.

Taleesha Gopaul of Gauteng, who went to the beach for a walk and an ice cream on Sunday, said she had noticed the smell near the lifeguard station.

“When I walked past there I smelled  something that was rotten, like the smell of sewage. People are walking past and blocking their mouths and noses with their hands, and it can cause an accident because people who are cycling are also putting their hands over their faces,” Gopaul said.

Raylen Naidoo, also of Gauteng, said the stench was like a “very strong sewage smell”, and he had noticed that section of the beach had been cordoned off, so he had assumed the problem was being attended to. Ian Naidoo, who was down at the beachfront for a walk, said the area “smells like sewage” and the problem should be solved swiftly because the promenade was a tourist attraction. Thandiwe Shandu, who works at a food outlet on the beachfront, said she had first noticed the smell “about three weeks back” and hoped it would be dealt with as it was affecting her customers.

Car guard Anton Swart, who works in a nearby parking lot, said he had first come across the stench last Tuesday, and beach-walkers had complained about it. “I think it is coming from the drains in the car park that are blocked. As soon as it rains the water comes up into the parking lot. It smells like something rotten, like maybe a dead cat or something,” Swart said.

EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city would send its teams to investigate the possible sewage leak.

Meanwhile, the new extension to the promenade at Ushaka beach has been closed to the public for maintenance. Mayisela said “hard-core construction maintenance” was under way at the extended beach promenade, which would be completed soon.  However, he said he was not able to provide a date for when the maintenance would be completed and the extended promenade reopened.