MEDIA RELEASE
 
19 May 2015
 
For Immediate Release
 
Beaches RE-Opened After Investigations Reveal Source and Extent of Waste Found on the Coastline
 
Following the precautionary closure of several beaches due to pharmaceutical waste found on the coastline, officials from eThekwini Municipality, National and Provincial Departments of Environmental Affairs and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, conducted further investigations today, 19 May 2016 to determine the possible source and extent of the waste.
 
Preliminary reports have revealed that only a fraction of the waste found is pharmaceutical in nature. The majority of the debris found consists of general waste and driftwood. It is highly likely that all this waste originated from various sources along the catchment that washed into the sea from the Umngeni River following the recent heavy rains in Durban.
 
As a result of the investigation conducted, the precautionary beach closure of uMngeni/Mangrove, Beachwood, Virginia and Glenashley beaches has therefore been lifted. However, members of the public are encouraged to exercise caution when using beaches as there is still a lot of debris washing ashore.
 
Clean-up operations are on-going. The Municipality and other stakeholders are working extended hours to ensure that the waste is collected and disposed of speedily and efficiently.
 
It should be noted that any pharmaceutical waste collected will be disposed of separately by a registered waste management company.
For enquiries, members of the public can contact 031 335 3700.
 
Click here to access pictures taken during the investigation:
(left to right) Joyce Hammond, Neil Larat and Neville Govender inspect the high-tech drone that was used during the investigation on the source and extent of the waste found on the Durban coastline. http://www.durban.gov.za/Resource_Centre/new2/PublishingImages/DSC_0999.JPG
The drone flies over Umngeni River to inspect the amount of waste found on the coastline. The high-tech devise was used to give an aerial view of the river to determine the source and extent of the waste.
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications Unit, Tozi Mthethwa.
For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thulani Mbatha on 031 311 4820 or email: thulani.mbatha1@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za
 
 
 
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