Beach-trail ban entrenched

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Mtholephi Mthimkhulu has welcomed the findings of a study into the ban on beach driving.

The study was commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to inquire into the economic affect of the vehicular restriction following public pressure to lift a limited ban on the use of 4x4s on the beaches in the St Lucia area on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

The ban was introduced by former Environmental and Tourism Minister Valli Moosa in 2001.

On Sunday Environmental and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk announced that the ban would remain in place.

Mthimkhulu said the ban would go a long way in conserving the province's pristine Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.

"Together with my colleagues in MinMec [ministers and MECs] we thoroughly perused the findings of the study and we were in unison with its findings that there should be a restriction on recreational driving on our beaches in order to protect the endangered species of our marine life."

He said for St Lucia to continue to enjoy its world heritage site status, it had to be conserved following the guidelines of the UN educational, scientific and cultural organisation.