Multi-million rand beach upgrade hangs in the balance

Members of the community who say the promises made to upgrade the beaches have not been fulfilled yet.

A proposed R75-million rand facelift for the South Durban beaches made by the eThekwini Municipality two years ago, still hangs in the balance. Concerned residents are saying that the long awaited promises need to be fulfilled and the upgrades need to materialise.

The overdue upgrades were expected to take place at the Treasure, Anstey’s, Brighton and Cuttings beaches. Since then, the area has been plagued by unsavory activities due to poor security. The ablution facilities are in a poor condition.

The road leading to Cuttings Beach also needs urgent repairs.  According to residents, a public meeting which was held in 2014, concerning all relevant stakeholders to capitalise on the Bluff’s potential as a tourism destination, which would present opportunities for economic growth as well as upgrade the roads, parking, toilets, signage and lighting, is a pipe dream.

Community activist, Sharin Rajman said, “The municipality created high expectations but to date nothing concrete has happened. The community was looking forward to having picnics at the beach over the festive season, but this seems to be far fetched. There are also many fishermen who frequent the beach, using the sport to supplement their income, but there is no fresh drinking water or ablution facilities, which pose a major challenge to them as well as a health hazard.  The taxpayers are being hoodwinked. All roleplayers, and stakeholders need to come together so that we can move this process forward. We need to stand as a community and engage with the relevant officials.  The project has been on the back burner for many years and the community cannot wait any longer.”

Ward 68 councillor, Aubrey Snyman said, “The matter was brought to council. Our plans are to follow up with eThekwini Economic Development to address the issue and to find out where they are with the plans to upgrade the beach.”

Sunny Dorasamy who has been fighting for the upgrade of the beach for many years said concerned fishermen who eke out a living selling fish are the hardest hit.

“For far too long, we have waited patiently for the municipality to address the upgrade of Cutting’s Beach, but to date, not a single cent has been spent. The toilets are in a deplorable condition. We do not have clean water to wash or drink. The lighting in the area is poor and this compromises our safety,” he said.

Nadia Khan

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