News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
19 Mar 2020
1:39 pm

Coronavirus: Swimming at Durban beachfront banned, public pools closed

News24 Wire

Swimming will no longer be allowed at any of the beaches making up the coveted Durban beachfront as the novel coronavirus pandemic deepens its grip on South Africa.

Umhlanga beach. Picture: iStock

The eThekwini Metro said on Thursday that its public pools and beaches would be closed following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster on Sunday.

Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said public spaces would have “restrictions that must be imposed”.

“All swimming pools will be closed, effective immediately, for the duration of [the school] break and will reopen after Easter.”

“Bathing in all beaches is now prohibited with immediate effect. However, lifeguards will remain on duty to monitor and ensure safety. Law enforcement will be engaged to monitor those who do not adhere to these measures.”

Kaunda emphasised that beaches were not closed – “only swimming is prohibited”.

Libraries in the city will also be closed but staff will still be at work.

He said community hall functions would be limited to groups of less than 100 people.

“Events [which were] previously planned, where more than 100 people were expected, have been cancelled.”

Limiting funerals

They have gone as far as requesting limited mourners at funerals.

“During funerals, the community is encouraged to limit the number of mourners to family members only or to restrict the mourners to not more than 50 at the cemetery. Mourners should keep to burial time slots allocated to prevent delays in accessing the cemetery.”

Informal settlements

Kaunda said there was a plan in place to assist the estimated 590 informal settlements in eThekwini where there are about 240 000 families.

He said that while 130 000 informal households have access to clean running water and communal ablution blocks, the municipality would provide more.

“[We will] provide water storage tanks in all informal settlements where no communal ablution facilities exist. These will be filled by mobile water tankers. There will be installation of liquid soap dispensers and hand sanitiser at all communal ablution facilities in informal settlements and transit facilities.”

He said additional water points would be installed at all 2 200 communal ablution facilities.

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