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Important numbers

Emergency Hotline 0800 029 999
WhatsApp Support Line 060 012 3456
Provincial Hotline 021 928 4102
Bitou Municipality (Customer Care) 044 501 3174/5
Fire / Rescue 044 533 5000
Ambulance (Private) 072 054 9110
Law Enforcement 044 501 3240
Ambulance 10177
01 December 2022

Clean-Up of Garden Route beaches underway

30 November 2022

The Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Joint Operations Centre (JOC) hosted a meeting today with a number of key stakeholders to discuss the current state of the small-scale oil/hydrocarbons spill that was detected on some of the Garden Route beaches in the last day or two. The key objective is to mitigate the effects of oil droplets on the environment and marine life, as well as to promptly clean the temporarily closed beaches and re-open them before the holiday season.

Cleaning teams on the ground in Mossel Bay use a water filtration system to float off droplets of oil from exposed areas of sand collected from the affected beaches. This will be duplicated elsewhere where beaches are temporarily affected by the contaminants. In addition to this, estuaries that are currently open i.e. Hartenbos, Kleinbrak, Knysna, as well as Keurbooms, are closely monitored for any droplets.

The droplets are notably higher in density during high tide and their size of them differs per area. The Hessequa local municipality indicated that the ones found at the Gouritz beach were only the size of the head of a match, Bitou Municipality found 5mm size ones and Mossel Bay found larger ones.

The way forward is for GRDM to have specialists from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, as well as South African National Parks, do a reconnaissance flight later today or early tomorrow morning (dependent on the weather), to scan the coastline from Gouritz to Plettenberg Bay. This will assist them to determine the origin of the spill as well as monitoring if any others are still en route to any of the Garden Route beaches.

While the clean-up and isolation actions are underway, beaches will be classified according to specific colour codes: green, orange, and red. These indicate the readiness of beaches for the public to access them again. The following beaches in the Mossel Bay municipal area have already been classified.

 

Read the full statement here: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/2022/11/30/30-november-2022-media-statement-1-clean-up-of-garden-route-beaches-underway/

Last published 01 December 2022