SA closes Durban beaches

SA closes Durban beaches

Source: Pixabay

South Africa has closed several beaches in the northern parts of Durban, which are popular with local and foreign tourists, for fear of chemical contamination after arson at a nearby industrial site.

The country witnessed violent riots last week in the Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng Provinces, which saw shopping malls and industrial sites being looted and torched.

The riots were sparked by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma on charges of contempt of court as well as general dissatisfaction with the country’s high levels of poverty and inequality.   

Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief growth officer Zanele Khomo was quoted by France24 as saying that the riots had been "devastating" for the city's tourism economy.

"Tourism-wise it's [going to] hurt us as a country," she said.

Tourism is a mainstay of South Africa's economy, which was stumbling even before the COVID-19 pandemic and the riots.

The industry contributed 355 billion rand ($24.6 billion) to the economy in 2019 – seven per cent of GDP, according to official statistics.

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