Mariclair Smit
1 minute read
8 Nov 2016
11:18 am

Improved beach access for the disabled on the cards for Durban

Mariclair Smit

New retractable plastic mats that will provide the physically challenged with access to the shores of Durban beaches are on the cards.

Frank Kruger hopes to see improved access at the Durban beaches. Picture: Northglen News.

Durban’s Frank Kruger is on a mission to make beaches accessible to all, reports the Northglen News.

He recently took to Facebook to raise awareness about the fact that while the beaches in the city are accessible – even to the disabled – few of these individuals are able to reach the actual waves.

“Wheelchair-bound people like myself cannot stick our toes in the water without being carried to the shore. It is not nice being carried in public, so many shy away,” said Kruger, the PR and marketing manager for The QuadPara Association of KwaZulu-Natal.

“Yes there are ramps that allow us to access the beach, but that is as far as we go,” he said.

The 50-year-old, who lost movement in his own legs at the age of 23, was thrilled to announce that City officials have agreed to install a retractable plastic mat that would provide the physically challenged with access to waves independently.

“The City of eThekwini is in the process of finalising the project, and the first mat is set to be installed at uShaka Beach before Christmas,” said Kruger.

“For a disabled individual to be able to independently dunk their toes in the water can only be likened to opening Christmas gifts for the the first time.”

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The eThekwini Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa, confirmed that the City was considering the options of creating wheelchair-friendly beaches through these specialised access mats.

“We are currently investigating costs and ideal sites,” said Mthethwa.

Caxton News Service