South Africa

E.coli is a concern as water-based activities banned

The detection of high levels of  E. coli has led to a ban on all water-based activities on Durban beaches. 

Municipality releases statement regarding increased levels of E. coli in KZN

Following a statement by eThekwini municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela, the increased levels are a result of the devastating floods that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal recently. 

Mayisela highlighted that although all water activities are not currently prohibited, there are many other activities that South African beachgoers can partake in that do not require contact with the potentially hazardous water.

The ban stems from a fear of waterborne diseases that may infect the public if contact with the potentially contaminated water is made. These waterborne diseases could be fatal further extending the overarching consequence of the recent floods.

Teams are constantly testing, assessing and monitoring water

Teams have been designated to assess and fix the water and sanitation infrastructures that have been damaged by the bad weather, according to Mayisela. These ongoing and diligent testings have yielded continued progress toward fixing the water and sanitation infrastructures that were negatively impacted. 


Water tests are conducted daily to assess and monitor the quality and safety of the public. While the levels of  E. coli still appear to be at a concerningly high level, Mayisela confirmed that the public will be notified once the tests reveal that the water is once again safe.

Six Durban beaches closed:  E. coli found in seawater

In January, it was reported that the eThekiwini Municipality confirmed six beaches would be closed off from the public after a toxic substance was found in the seawater. It is believed locals vandalised the city’s sewage pump stations.

According to the report,  E. coli bacteria was discovered on several Durban beaches after the city’s sewage pumps were allegedly vandalised last week.

The Ethekiwni Municipality’s spokesperson said another major contributing factor to the toxicity were abnormal heavy rains that washed from many informal settlements along the uMngeni River.

“The levels of bacteria have been compounded by the unceasing vandalism of one of the city’s sewage pump stations and abnormal heavy rains that are washing waste from multitudes of informal settlements along the uMngeni River,” said city spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.

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