Let­ting it all hang out

What do lo­cals thinks about the Trafal­gar Beach nud­ism pro­posal?

Weekend Witness - - News - AMIL UMR AW

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.”

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