Beaches north of Durban have still not been declared safe to open.
The eThekwini municipality said on Thursday that beaches which were affected by a toxic spill when chemical giant United Phosphorous's (UPL) Cornubia warehouse was set alight during unrest in July, remain closed until environmental authorities have reviewed scientific evidence.
These include all the beaches north of the Umgeni River including Umhlanga, Umdloti and Salt Rock.
“The beaches were closed by the city as a precaution to safeguard users against any harmful effects of the spilt chemicals.
“The city would like to reiterate that the beaches remain closed until the national department of forestry, fisheries and the environment and the KZN department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs (Edtea) have considered the peer review findings that will make a determination on the environmental and toxicological risks, and related quality of the seawater for human safety.”
The city said the review process had “not been made any easier by UPL’s declaration last week of additional previously undisclosed product volumes, this after the submission of their final report recommending beaches to be reopened”.
The municipality said while it understood the impact of the beach closure on the public and tourism, the health of people “is of critical importance and this is our priority”.