Durban North resident explores legal options for beach closure

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A DURBAN businessman explored legal options with his lawyer regarding the opening of a possible class action lawsuit against the municipality of eThekwini.

Durban North resident Jean-Marc Tostee, who owns a surf shop in the city, said this was due to the closure of several beaches on Durban’s Golden Mile over the long weekend in late September.

According to the city, several central beaches were temporarily closed due to the high level of E-coli and were subsequently reopened following an outcry from residents.

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“We have known there is a problem for a long time. We have been told as business owners that rain often leads to overflows or sewage leaks, but this was highlighted last year and nothing has been done about it yet. It almost feels like the City is waiting to be reactive rather than proactive to repair and maintain aging infrastructure.

“I have the impression that the municipality has not maintained the sewage pumping stations and this neglect has resulted in the closure of beaches. The closure of the beaches resulted in loss of income for my business and the surrounding surf industry affected by the surf and swimming ban and the loss of recreational use of our public space for thousands of bathers. I sought legal advice and the option of a class action lawsuit. We have talked about the best route to go with the best result, so that decision remains to be determined. What is clear is that the city reacts when there is an uproar, ”Tostee said.

Municipal spokesman Msawakhe Mayisela said the theft and vandalism caused pumping stations to malfunction.

“The sewage pumps that were responsible for the high-level bacteria on the beaches have been repaired. Vandalism is one of the reasons that led to the malfunction of the pumps. The City calls on the public to report any criminal activity or vandalism on the City’s infrastructure. The beaches north of the Umgeni River at Salt Rock remain closed. The public is asked to be patient as the closure of these beaches is in the interest of their safety, ”Mayisela said.

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