MEDIA STATEMENT BY HIBISCUS COAST MUNICIPALITY:
Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) has finally considered and resolved on the application for part of Mpenjati Beach north of the Lagoon and Trafalgar Beach to be proclaimed as a nudist friendly beach.
After the municipality received an application from the KZN Naturist Association (KZNNA) and further submissions by South African National Naturists Association (SANNA), it underwent a thorough process of research and consultation.
It should be noted that this application tested the resoluteness of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality in preaching and practising the spirit and the intent of the Constitution. In this regard, Chapter 2, Section 9 (3) of the Constitution provides that “the State may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sex orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth”.
Comments raised during the process of consultation included the following:
- Access to the beach by members of the public without being exposed to naked people
- Increased crime levels
- Promotion of promiscuity and moral decay
- Public nudity is against culture and religion
- Mpenjati being a Marine protected area and a nature reserve
In considering the application the Council considered whether the comments were based on objective facts or on beliefs, religion and social orientation. Council also considered that the research showed that such a proclamation has a potential of creating a marketing platform for HCM to attract national and international tourists, which will lead to job creation and economic development.
Such a proclamation also means that the Council should consider the following:
- Relaxation of section 5.1 and 5.2 of the HCM Municipal bylaws relating to Beaches and launch sites
- Designating the North of the Mpenjati River as a Coastal Access land wherein the above bylaw relaxation shall apply
Council noted that the designation of Coastal access land is a process that is done in terms of Section 18 of the Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008 which involves a formal application to Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and KZN Ezemvelo.
After thorough consideration the Council resolved to approve the application by KZNNA for the part of Mpenjati Beach north of the lagoon and Trafalgar Beach to be proclaimed a nudist friendly beach provided that they successfully apply and obtain the necessary approvals from DEDTEA and KZN Ezemvelo in terms of the Integrated Coast Management Act 24 of 2008.