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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Durban beaches re-opened after shark net installation

Not a single Durban beach received Blue Flag status certification from Wessa

Beach goers in KwaZulu-Natal will be glad to know that 22 of the city’s beaches have been reopened and declared safe for swimming after recent storms damaged shark nets.

The eThekwini Municipality made the announcement on Tuesday saying that only Warner Beach remained closed.

Sharks board

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Gugu Sisilana said all beaches were recently closed after the Natal Sharks Board advised the city to do so.

“This was because of murky water full of logs and unsafe objects following recent heavy rains.  The downpour caused shark nets at most beaches to break, making beaches unsafe for bathing.

“In addition to this, the public is reminded that the municipality is constantly monitoring the water quality at all beaches to ensure the safety of residents and tourists,” Sisilana said.

Sisilana added the municipality had started a process of joint sampling of beach water quality with Adopt-a-River.

“This is a non-profit organisation whose samples are tested by an independent laboratory, Talbot. This is to enable credible comparison of test results in the interests of transparency and public safety. The City would like to assure residents that their safety remains a priority,” Sisilana said.

ALSO READ: Durban beaches closed after heavy rains damage shark nets

No blue flags

Meanwhile, not a single Durban beach received Blue Flag status certification.

This is according to the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa), who made the announcement last week.

Three of eThekwini’s beaches made it on the Blue Flag list in 2022/2023, notably the uShaka, Point and North beaches.

 “The eThekwini Municipality didn’t submit any applications for Blue Flag status for the 2023/2024 period, therefore, it was not assessed for accreditation,” Wessa said.

The Blue Flag status is a certification given to beaches by Wessa. A beach that has been awarded the Blue Flag meets the organisation’s standards of environmental management. These standards are for water quality, safety and public environmental education.

ALSO READ: KZN seeks SANDF support as devastating storm wreaks havoc

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