Gqeberha beachgoers will have to wait for the municipality to fix these filthy buildings
New Brighton beach facilities have been left to ruin
Beachgoers in Gqeberha this summer will have to wait for the municipality to find the R5-million needed to fix the filthy and ruined toilets, bathrooms and braai stands at New Brighton beach.
According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism website, New Brighton beach “is a large unspoilt beach … It has a promenade with cafeteria and children’s playground, change rooms, lifesavers’ tower and offers good swimming and angling opportunities”.
But the reality is very different: the toilets, change rooms and other buildings have been vandalised and are in ruins, with fittings, pipes and cabling have been stripped.
Thabo Mgidi, of Zwide, says he used to spend holidays with family and friends at the beach but is afraid to do so now. He said people had moved into the abandoned buildings.
“There are faeces and broken bottles all over the area. Some buildings have soot and black marks from fires,” said Mgidi. “I am even afraid to take photos using my cell phone here because there are suspicious people residing in those dark rooms.”
Municipal spokesperson Mamela Ndamase says the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is waiting for approval of a budget of R5-million to start fixing the buildings, which were vandalised during the Covid lockdown.
Ndamase told GroundUp a tender for the hiring of public toilets had been advertised. Containers would be placed at the beach as a change room for lifeguards and there were plans to deploy security guards from 16 December to 16 January.
The beach is one of the busiest in the metro, used by residents of New Brighton, Zwide, Swartkops, by truck drivers who park their lorries at the Swartkops Truck stop, and by travellers on the N2 highway.
Truck driver Luyolo Ndoni said, “The municipality should just fence off this beach and ban people from accessing it. This beach gives a very bad picture of the city.”
Chiedza Matanga, who has been living in New Brighton for more than a decade, says this year she will have to go to other beaches. “The beach is ideally located because it is close to townships. I will not bring my family this time to New Brighton beach because of its condition.”
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