Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has provisionally lifted its suspension of fishing, commercial diving and other marine activities in the Port of Durban which had been applied after sewage was discovered flowing into the port from the eThekwini Municipality’s sewer reticulation system.

Harbour Master at the Port of Durban, Captain Sabelo Mdlalose, said TNPA and the eThekwini Municipality had been working tirelessly to restore safety to the port waters.

“Marine water quality in the Port of Durban has substantially improved, although water quality in some areas of the port remains compromised,” he said.

He called on all port users to exercise care when making contact with port waters, especially in areas within close proximity of stormwater outfalls and canals.

“Despite the stoppage of the sewage outflow from the Mahatma Gandhi Pump Station, blockages within the eThekwini Municipality’s sewage reticulation network are a common occurrence which can result in the discharge of sewage into the stormwater system leading into the port,” he said.

Captain Sabelo Mdlalose
Captain Sabelo Mdlalose

Captain Mdlalose said TNPA would not be held liable in the event of any loss or damages incurred by anybody choosing to make contact with port waters before TNPA declared port waters as fully safe.

Port-wide water quality monitoring commissioned by TNPA and conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 10, 20, 24 and 31 May indicated that faecal contamination in the port is decreasing.

Further testing will take place in the coming days.