Stark op­po­si­tion to KZN nude beach pro­posal

CityPress - - News - – Paddy Harper

Mpen­jati Beach near Port Ed­ward could be full of naked peo­ple by Christ­mas.

The newly formed KwaZulu-Natal Na­tur­ist As­so­ci­a­tion has sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to the Hi­bis­cus Coast Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for the beach to be­come a le­gal na­tur­ist haunt. But some lo­cals fear all that naked flesh will draw “voyeurs and oglers”.

“There are a num­ber of na­tur­ists in KwaZulu-Natal and sur­rounds who use Mpen­jati beach, north of the la­goon. It has been a well-known safe area for na­tur­ist leisure for more than 10 years,” says the as­so­ci­a­tion in its pro­posal.

“A large num­ber of over­seas visi­tors to South Africa are com­pletely familiar and com­fort­able with topless and/or na­tur­ist friendly beaches. By having ‘of­fi­cially’ des­ig­nated nud­ist beaches at suit­able lo­ca­tions along the South African coast­line, over­seas and lo­cal tourists alike who prac­tice the na­tur­ist life­style will have places to go, safe in the knowl­edge they are legally al­lowed to be naked with­out any risk of ar­rest or ha­rass­ment.”

But David Holt-Bid­dle, the chair­per­son of the Trafal­gar Con­ser­va­tion Group, ob­jects.

“It is fairly ob­vi­ous that it is in­ap­pro­pri­ate to have a nud­ist beach in a na­ture re­serve. Mpen­jati is, af­ter all, a na­ture con­ser­va­tion ori­en­tated and heav­ily fam­ily ori­en­tated re­serve,” he said.

Hi­bis­cus Coast spokesper­son Si­mon Soboy­isa said the “unique” pro­posal would be dis­cussed in a coun­cil meet­ing on Septem­ber 30. A public com­ment process, which drew both ob­jec­tions and sup­port, closed this week.

PHOTO: KHAYA NG­WENYA

DRESSED DOWN Mpen­jati river-mouth and beach could soon be a bathing suit-free zone

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