Neglected infrastructure could be cause of Durban Golden Mile washing away

The Durban Golden Mile is washing away, and it could soon run out of sand.

Could global warming be the cause of this mile running out of sand or could this problem be man-made?

Read: Travel Feature: How to get an authentic feel of Durban with Peso Lifestyle

Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, independent environment journalist Tony Carnie says erosion is an entirely natural process and has been going on for millions of years.

In the case of Durban, our beaches have to be maintained artificially because you couldn't have them washing away all the time.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

So they have to be topped up with sand and the main reason with that is that Durban is the biggest harbour in Africa.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

To allow ships to enter the harbour, there are these two massive piers which project out into the sea and act as a dam wall.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

So that the sand that comes from the south carried by the currents and the waves, it dams up against the piers, leaving the beaches starved.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

Carnie says in the 1970s city engineers built a scheme that would artificially replace sand on a regular basis. But what has happened is when the harbour mouth was recently widened, infrastructure that is used to pump the sand had to be demolished.

It took just over a decade to replace the infrastructure.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

Now we have a situation where last year the north beach didn't have sand, and it was exposed to rocks and fallen palm trees.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

He says the pumps that transport the sand along the beach, appear to have been neglected.

And the City is not providing any answers on why it hasn't replaced those pumps, however, this can be fixed.

Tony Carnie, Independent environment journalist

Listen below to the full interview:


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