Durban, eThekwini Municipality
Pollution remains a growing problem in Durban. Image: eNCA

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Durban pollution overwhelms eThekwini Municipality

Celebrities like Siv Ngesi and Gareth Cliff have called out eThekwini Municipality over the growing Durban pollution issue.

Durban, eThekwini Municipality
Pollution remains a growing problem in Durban. Image: eNCA

Media personalities Sivuyile “Siv” Ngesi and Gareth Cliff have lamented Durban pollution and the dilapidated state of the city in KwaZulu-Natal.


Several reports and social media posts about the deteriorating state of eThekwini have been shared in recent years, more so in recent weeks as municipal workers embarked on a strike.

According to the Sunday Times, the almost two-weeks-long illegal strike has turned the streets of Durban into a health hazard. This is due to piles of uncollected waste, as well as ongoing water shortages and power outages.

However, the strike is not the only reason for the concerning state of Durban.

In September last year, IOL reported that some of the eThekwini Municipality’s popular beaches on the beachfront had recorded dangerously high levels of E.coli bacteria. This was after the coastal holiday city closed its many beaches for much of the 2022 calendar year due to E.coli levels.

E.coli in water indicates contamination through animal waste or sewage. Consumption could result in severe illness.

That year, radio TV personality Bridget Masinga said she was dismayed about the pollution in Durban.

“What they’ve done to my city is really maddening … it’s filthy man. Was working across the city for four months and every neighbourhood we filmed in was filthy with litter. They’ve run this city down to a shell of what it used to be 15 to 20 years ago,” she wrote in a since-deleted post, TshisaLIVE reported at the time.


Ngesi – who is a model, comedian and actor – recently took to his X account to express his disappointment when he saw the city upon his visit.

“Guys I’m in Durban , how did they f**k this place up this badly? With this weather, ocean temperature , surrounding areas and location, this should be Miami!” he wrote.

The Woman King actor’s post garnered several reactions from social media users, including author and podcaster Penuel Mlotshwa who listed what he views as some of the reasons behind the condition of Durban.

“Bad governance. Ignorant voters. Brain drain. Violence Natural disasters. Selling ports. Woeful service delivery. Corruption,” Mlotshwa wrote.


In addition, Siv’s sentiments were echoed by Cliff who likened Durban to Mogadishu – the capital city of Somali.

According to Africa Is a Country, Mogadishu was renowned as the Somali’s pre-eminent cultural hub due to its roaring nightlife and thriving arts scene. However, two decades of civil war and ongoing insecurity reduced large swathes of the city to rubble. Just last month, Al Jazeera reported that at least 10 people were killed in a crowded market in the city after multiple blasts.