If you’re not familiar with what’s going on down at Cuttings Beach perhaps it’s time you caught up. This past week local fishermen have been up in arms with regard to a black stream of what the believe to be industrial waste flowing into the ocean. From their accounts this waste is being dumped into the water adjacent to the Umlazi canal, perhaps the craziest part of it all is that the Merebank Beach remains open to the public. Desmond D’Sa from the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) was alerted to the issue on Tuesday the 27th of February to which he responded:
“This is not the first time Cuttings Beach has borne the brunt of dumped industrial waste. The beach has been a dumping ground for hazardous waste emanating from chemical industries and sewage water waste for many years. A pollution control officer from the Southern Sewerage Works took water samples to run tests. We are awaiting the results. It is clear industrial waste was improperly disposed of at Cuttings Beach which can have serious impacts on humans as the beaches have not been closed off for public use. Some of the illnesses that could result include meningitis, typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, dysentery, cholera and diarrhoea”.
The main concern regarding this stream of who knows what entering the salty playground we all know and love is exactly that. We, the people, be it, fishermen, bathers or surfers and everyone in between are the ones at risk. For some, it’s purely or leisure time that is being effected for others it’s their livelihood.
“Lives are not considered and people are still being allowed to access these beaches when there are dangers to their health. Industrial waste can be very harmful as it enters the water and kills the fish and other marine life. We have seen this in 2007 when thousands of fish were killed along with other marine life. In the last few years Durban’s beaches have lost their Blue Flag status because of the high levels of pollution,” said D’Sa.
Bylaws have been broken, put in place to protect the beaches and everyone and everything that utilize its sandy oasis. Questions have been raised, now it’s time for answers. If you have any more information hit us up here at the Zag cave and we will make sure the information gets passed on to the right person for the job.