ActionSA calls for the eThekwini Metro Municipality to close all beaches pending investigation into the recent drownings at North Beach, which claimed the lives of 3 people, and injured 17 others.
While we do not want lifeguards to lose their jobs and individuals whose livelihood depend on the opening of beaches to be without a means to support themselves, ActionSA believes that there were measures that should have been put in place to avoid the accident from occurring. Sadly, the Municipality failed to put these measures in place.
In a leaked report, the City’s Integrity & Investigation Unit received an anonymous complaint alleging irregular appointment of a service provider, Lifesaving South Africa, a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) used by the Municipality to train lifeguards. It was brought forward that the NPO was not accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Health & Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA), nor the Department of Labour.
The report concluded that the lifeguard certificates issued by Lifesaving SA do not meet the standards of the Department of Labour, and therefore should be considered invalid. The report recommended appointing an accredited service provider. With these recent findings, it has become evident that incompetency in the eThekwini Municipality runs deep.
However, the Municipality did not adhere to its own recommendations, and for this reason, ActionSA strongly advocates for the closure of beaches while we await investigation findings, to avoid putting more lives at risk.
ActionSA will work tirelessly to uproot issues of incompetency within the Municipality, in an effort to fight against unethical leadership that has brought the City to its knees.