Letting it all hang out
What do locals thinks about the Trafalgar Beach nudism proposal?
PULL out that sun block, andegt out that beach towel, but leave your swimsuits behind because the proposal for KZN’s first official nude beach is finally gaining full exposure.
In May, the KZN Naturist Association appealed to the Hibiscus Coast Municipality to allow f or a portion of Trafalgar beach, out side Port Shepstone, to be declar ed the province’s fir st official nude beach.
According t o the municip ality, the area beside the lagoon is currently being used b y “naturists” unofficiall y and ille gally. T he endeavour has caused mass public debate among residents, business owners, religious and traditional members of the c ommunity.
The municip ality did e xtensive r esearch on the ec onomic gr owth that could be brought into the area and found, by looking at the Sandy Bay beach in the Western Cape and nude beaches abroad, that the area should prosper financially.
Simon Soboyisa, spokesperson of the Hibiscus Coast Municip ality, said that the government’s bylaws state that nude beaches ar e curr ently ille gal.
The municip ality has be gun public consultation w here all sections of the community, including tr aditionalists from the Kwaxolo and Kwanzimakwe rural villag es in the surrounding areas, were asked to engage in a critical debate around the issue.
“The debate w as held on August 22 and ther e was a mixed r eaction with the majorit y of the c omments being against a nude beach in the area. I am not ag ainst it, it is their democratic right, but there is still a long road ahead,” Sobo yisa said.
Weekend Witne ss spok e t o r esidents and busine ss o wners in the T rafalgar Beach ar ea t o find out ho w the y f eel about a nude beach in their backyard. A resident, SimoneMonique Fletcher, said she is s till in t wo minds about it.
“How secluded is this area and can it be accessed by anyone? I don’t want to see wrinkly old behinds when I’m having my coffee in the morning. As long as it’s out of my sight, I don’t mind. But I am worried about crime, especially rape. You know how this country is,” Fletcher said.
Marshal Philipson, the o wner of a small bed and breakfast in the area, said that he expects more people to flock to the beache s no w.
“Whatever is g ood f or busine ss is good for me,” Philipson laughed. “I think it’s a g ood idea and it sho ws that the country is moving into the modern age. Besides, the w eather’s great down here and we can let it all loose in the summ.e”r
The municipality said that traditionalists and spiritual leader s fr om the ar ea have c ontested the pr oposal outright.
In terms of security, the KZN Naturist Association has pledged to secure the area with guar ds, gates and a s trict code of conduct. “In KZN we have no facilities for naturists and the beach is ideal and very secluded, ” said Chris to B othma, chairman of the KZN Naturist Association.
“Lots of people think we are associated with prostitution and sex, but come spend a day with us and you will see we behave better than people with clothe s on. If all thing s go well ne xt week, we will start building up the area to accommodate people as soon as pos sible.”