eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda takes a swim at a Durban beach, despite high detections of E.coli.
Images via Twitter
@eThekwiniM/ @luckygordy

Risking it? Durban mayor swims amid ‘critical’ E.coli beach warning

Deceptive? Durban residents are calling out eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda for encouraging the public to swim in beaches infested with E.coli.


eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda takes a swim at a Durban beach, despite high detections of E.coli.
Images via Twitter
@eThekwiniM/ @luckygordy

Just hours after Durban residents shares images and clips of their filthy beaches – which also recorded a high detection of E.coli – eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda took to the waters for a swim as part of a city PR stunt…

The mayor – wearing a swimsuit – braved the waters as part of the city’s claims that beaches are open to the public.

This, despite safety concerns over a sewage spill that contaminated the waters and led to closure for several months.

ALSO READ: Open for business? Residents find dirty diapers on Durban beach


In a tweet posted on their official Twitter account, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda was seen diving into the waters of a Durban beach.

The mayor was clad in a Rip Curl rash vest, swimming goggles, and a latex cap.

The post read: “All plans are in place for the festive season. We are ready to host visitors. More beaches are open and we have a lot to offer to residents and visitors. Today, eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda demonstrated his swimming skills to officially declare the festive season open.Woz’eDurban”.

ALSO READ: Durban beaches to open – tweeps react to ‘floating faeces’ [watch]

Hours earlier, Deputy City Manager Musa Gumede also took a dip in the ocean to encourage the public to join in on the water fun.

But the state of the water’s cleanliness and safety have been a bone of contention with the public. Following the city’s tweet, many social media users called out the officials for deceiving the public.

One tweep shared a picture of several Durban beach signs – taken on 1 December – which revealed that authorities had detected high levels of E.coli in the waters.

“Pretty silly of them to swim when the city’s own signs are telling bathers not to”, shared the tweep.

Others noted that the mayor – as well as anyone else ready to risk it all for a summer swim – could soon find themselves sick, very soon.

@Dysfnctnalrocka: “Does the Mayor have a medical professional or hospital on speed dial cos he is going to be sick very soon”

@SpicyCoughBoi: “Good luck to KZN hospitals this festive season”

@anti_ANC: “Yes, you can offer all kinds of waterborne diseases. Diarrhoea, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis, Encephalitis. So many wonderful sicknesses on offer”

@Pencilgraffiti: “Class action lawsuit loading… I hope it includes the mayor in his personal capacity. This is knowingly putting people’s health at risk”



On the same day that Durban beaches were declared open – and mayor Mxolisi Kaunda swam in front of flashing cameras – On Twitter, a Durban resident who uses the handle @LuckyGordy shared a clip of what he discovered just hours earlier/

Cycling onto the beach, the man shared his grisly findings – polluted waste and even soiled diapers.

He captioned the clip: “When @eThekwiniM mayor says our ocean and beaches are clean and ready for the tourist. Do we believe him? I’ll let you be the judge of that”.

He added in another tweet: “Killing so many jobs with their greed and incompetence. Someone needs to be held accountable”.

The tweep shared further evidence that the municipality had failed to do its job – public pools littered with rubbish and a sign – dated 1 December 2022 – that revealed that the Durban beaches were “closed” due to “high E.coli” levels detected.

The city’s tourism sector has taken a hard knock after dozens of Durban beaches closed over several months following a sewage spill due to damage in the infrastructure network. This resulted in high levels of E.coli detected in the water. On some beaches, sewage itself was seen floating in the water.