Umgababa beach set for R25m facelift

THE rejuvenation of Umgababa beach node to transform it into a premier rest and relaxation destination is under way.

The Umgababa beach node is a former blacks-only beach under the apartheid government.

Construction on the R25 million project began early this year, with completion of the first phase later this month.

Project manager Nkululeko Mkhize said the development of this unspoilt beach by the eThekwini municipality would happen in three stages.

"The first phase includes improving access to the beach by tarring the road and creating a parking lot.

"This includes landscaping and improved lighting using state-of-the art LED lights.

"The second phase involves building a second pool for adults.

"The final phase of the project will be the building of sports grounds and lifeguard infrastructure."

Mkhize said the key objectives of the project were a catalyst to attract private sector investment, create jobs and sustainable economic development.

"So far 54 local people, of whom 40 percent are women, are currently employed on site with numbers set to increase," she said.

Once completed the beach node would be able to attract tourism-related businesses in the form of major resort development, restaurants and chalets that would benefit the local community.

The development will encourage further development within the nearby Umgababa station.

A proposed mall for the area is also on the cards.

Deputy mayor and chairperson of the municipality's economic development committee Logie Naidoo said: "This initiative by the municipality will restore Umgababa beach to its former glory for all citizens of eThekwini to enjoy."