Two Cape Town beaches close amid sewage spills

Durban laments empty beaches amid fake news campaign

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
A whale carcass on Strand Beach in Cape Town, where a section of the beach was closed on Sunday after a sewage spill. File image
A whale carcass on Strand Beach in Cape Town, where a section of the beach was closed on Sunday after a sewage spill. File image
Image: City of Cape Town

Two beaches in Cape Town were closed on Sunday after sewage spills.

The City of Cape Town said the temporary closure to a section of Strand Beach on the False Bay coast and Small Bay in Blaauwberg was a “precautionary measure”.

“The temporary closures are due to sewage spills in the areas — the causes of which are under investigation.

“City departments have been activated to respond to these incidents.

“As a precaution, city health has advised that the Deep Blue section of Strand Beach and Small Bay be closed.”

The city said its health department will take samples “for water quality testing until the levels are within the minimum requirement for recreational activities as determined by the National Water Quality Guidelines”.

“In the meantime, the public is advised to avoid contact with the water in the affected areas until further notice.

“This is a precaution as contact with the water could result in potential gastro-intestinal issues and therefore any person who enters the water does so at their own risk.”

The city has erected signs to warn the public.

Meanwhile, in Durban, the eThekwini municipality is monitoring the water quality of its beaches affected by sewage spills as a result of failing infrastructure.

On Sunday the city issued the latest list of beaches open and safe for swimming and those that remain shut, on its Facebook page.

“Our beach water quality is constantly monitored by a team of experts at all beaches to ensure Durban complies with water quality and safety standards.”

Fourteen beaches, including Umhlanga main beach, are open, while nine beaches are closed.

But an Instagram video post by What’s_on_Durban showed nearly empty beaches on New Year’s Day, traditionally when crowds flock to frolic in the waves.

“Where did all the good people go? Unfortunately, fake news and propaganda is destroying KZN. There is no risk of a tsunami or freak waves. Yes, we have rip currents at all beaches and the lifeguards are well trained to deal with those situations. Always swim where there are lifeguards and between the bathing flags,” read the post.

Last week the city lambasted a voice note that has been doing the rounds on social media platforms about people being hospitalised after suffering E. coli-related illnesses.

 “In addition to the voice note, there are claims that a teenager is hospitalised after swimming at uShaka Beach.”

The municipality said hospitals denied claims of mass hospitalisations linked to E. coli-related infections.

“They are part of a relentless campaign to capitalise on flood damage to redirect visitors away from eThekwini.”


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