Sealed condoms as well as various pills, including antiretroviral drugs, were part of the medical waste that washed up on several Durban beaches earlier in the week.
eThekwini municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said the spillage was first reported on Monday and had by Tuesday spread across several kilometres of shoreline.
“After consultation between the relevant municipal departments and, as a precautionary measure, a decision was taken to close the beaches to allow for the cleanup operation to happen,” Mthethwa said.
This prompted the temporary closure of the Mangrove, Beachwood, Virginia and Glenashley beaches, which will only be reopened in about two weeks’ time when the cleanup operation is expected to be completed.
“No environmental damage is anticipated, as it appears that the medication and condoms found have not been used and are sealed. It appears that all the medication has not been used,” Mthethwa said.
She urged regular beachgoers to make use of alternative beaches until the affected shorelines had been declared safe for use.
– Caxton News Service