Joint Press Release: Clean-up operations move to remote beaches and estuaries over festive period

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Seasons greetings from the FBI Communications team

Joint Press Release: Clean-up operations move to remote beaches and estuaries over festive period

Dear Media colleague

Festive greetings on behalf of SAMSA. Please note the enclosed presser regarding updates of the plastic nurdle clean-up.

For interviews contact Farhana Ismail on 0827876987 or email


Joint Press Release

Attention: All News Editors/ Maritime Reporters

Clean-up operations move to remote beaches and estuaries over festive period

Durban, South Africa, December 14, 2017: Plastic nurdle clean-up operations will now focus on priority estuaries and remote beaches in KwaZulu-Natal to allow bathers and beach users access to enjoy the festive period without interruptions.

So far, at least 3, 5 tons of nurdles have been recovered and the authorities are working tirelessly around the clock to track and recover as much of the plastic polyethylene nurdles lost from shipping containers, following the storm on October 10, 2017 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Four containers fell off vessels in the harbour when ships lost their moorings during the storm, of which two containers were carrying nurdles.

The Joint Operations Committee consisting of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Transnet National Ports Authority (TPNA), KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and South African Local Government Association (SALGA) have met regularly since the storm to manage and contain clean ups in the harbour and along the coast.

SAMSA principal officer, Captain Hopewell Mkhize, based in Durban, said the JOC would like to remind the public that any nurdles sighted in a bathing area would not make the area unsafe for bathing and beach-related activities.

He added nurdles clean-ups would be suspended at all popular bathing areas along the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) coastline over the festive and holiday period.

“The clean-up operations will be halted from December 15, 2017 till January 8, 2018 at all popular bathing areas along the KZN coast,” he said.

During this time however, clean-ups will continue along the more remote and less accessible sections of coast, including estuaries.

Mkhize urged adults to supervise children in ensuring that they do not ingest any item picked up from the sand, including nurdles.

 Clean-up continues

Over the past few weeks, the clean-up has moved from the Durban beaches towards the North Coast beaches, namely Clarke Bay, Granny’s Pool (second clean-up), Shaka’s Rock, Thompsons Beach, Mvoti beach, Villa Royale beach and Ballito main beach.

Areas which have also been prioritized are the Tugela Mouth and Amatikulu lagoons.

The storm wreaked havoc causing several deaths in and around the province, as well as extensive damage.

Additional resources and personnel provided by DEA have been brought to sites, and are assisting to speed up the clean-up operations. During the clean-up operations different types of plastics and waste, not emanating from the containers, were also spotted and collected.

The support from volunteer groups who have assisted with the clean-up efforts to date, and the public at large has been greatly appreciated.


Issued by FBI Communications on behalf of SAMSA, DEA, TPNA, EDTEA, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, MSC and SALGA.


For interviews and further information, please contact Farhana Ismail, on +27-827876987, email (


For updated information go to


Page: South African Maritime Safety Authority


@SAMSAMARITIME under the hashtag: #SAMSADbnCleanUp #SAMSASafeShips #SAMSACleanOceans #SAMSAMopUp

#OceansEconomy #DbnHarbour


Website:, News Room Section


Notes for Editors


The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), is a South African government agency responsible for the implementation of current International & National Regulations regarding the Maritime industry. It advises Government on maritime issues relating to or affecting South Africa, including but not limited to providing a search and rescue capability, and conduct accident investigations and provide emergency casualty response.

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