Coast KZN

30 Oct 2016

uMhlanga’s tidal pool is on the rocks

Mariclair Smit (Northglen news)

The proposed tidal pool was earmarked to be constructed to the left of the Umhlanga Lighthouse.

The project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report has lapsed.

The R30-million tidal pool proposed for uMhlanga Beach looks to be on the rocks. According to ward councillor Heinz de Boer, the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report has lapsed, as outstanding information was not provided to the provincial government.

De Boer said the project, which had been rejected by the majority of local businesses and residents, has now been brought to an abrupt halt.

“While we hope that the project will be scrapped, the city could restart the process from scratch by redoing the EIA. This I believe is completely senseless since it is not well supported by the community,” he said.

In January last year the councillor was disappointed by the finding of the EIA, which supported the construction of a tidal pool. The project was initially raised eight years ago by the Coastal Engineering Stormwater Catchment Management Department, and had resurfaced in 2014. Coastal engineers argued that uMhlanga’s beaches were losing beach sand at a rate of one per cent per annum.

City officials said the loss of the beach area would ultimately have a negative impact on uMhlanga’s tourism and a tidal pool would in turn boost tourism.

However, more than 100 residents still signed the petition in 2014, which stated that they saw the project as a waste of expenditure. According to de Boer, residents also felt that the project would be an eye sore and would create a massive traffic and parking issue in the area.