Media statement
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
05 August 2021
 
The public is reminded that the beaches north of the uMngeni River up to Salt Rock remain closed as a precautionary measure due to the spill that occurred when a chemical warehouse in Cornubia was torched during the recent unrest.
 
The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, swimming, bait collection and picking up of dead species. Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited as they have been exposed to toxic chemicals and could be harmful to human health. This warning and temporary closure of beaches remains in place until the threat has been determined to be abated.
 
Results of samples taken are due back from specialist laboratories next week, after which authorities will reassess the temporary closure of the beaches and related activities. The public are asked to be patient and comply with requests from authorities. Any inconvenience is regretted however the safety of the public is of utmost importance.
 
A chemical clean-up company has been appointed to clean up the spill as well as any contamination. Specialised clean-up crews are on site to deal with the collection and disposal of dead species in a responsible manner.
 
Authorities are continuously monitoring the area to determine the extent of the impact of the spill. Thus far, there has been a fish kill in the oHlanga estuary and its adjacent beach area, with washing up of dead species up to uMdloti Beach.
 
Please report any further contamination or fish kill to 083 253 6618.
 
The Environmental Health Unit can also be contacted on 031 311 3555 during office hours to report any pollution matters or complaints.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality, Communications Unit. For media enquires contact Msawakhe Mayisela Msawakhe.mayisela@durban.gov.za or 060 966 4220.