The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality strongly opposes the development of a fish farm at Hobie Beach and would like alternative sites to be considered for this important national government initiative.
Executive Mayor Benson Fihla stated in a speech, delivered on his behalf by Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Whip Marion Harning, that the municipality wants to protect its blue flag beach and the recreational events that takes place throughout the year.
“I… would like to assure you that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is fighting the proposed implementation of a fish farm in the vicinity of Hobie Beach with all our abilities.
“Although we fully support national government’s efforts to create jobs with this development, we are strongly opposed to having this facility close to a recreational beach.
“We have worked hard over the years to attract visitors to our beaches and we would like to see many more enjoy our excellent beachfront.
“However we cannot put the lives of our residents and visitors, who come not only to participate in major events such as Ironman South Africa, but who also come to enjoy our beautiful beaches and amenities, at risk by possibly encouraging greater shark activity so close to one of our Blue Flag beaches.
“When we formally opposed the initiative by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries last year, we suggested alternative sites.
“We cannot risk job losses as a result of major events leaving our city. In fact, we should encourage job creation on all fronts in our efforts to achieve the ideal of a better life for all,” Mayor Fihla said in the statement presented on his behalf at the media launch of Ironman South Africa.
This triathlon event takes place on 29 March at Hobie Beach when some of the world’s top athletes will show their mettle during a 3.8km swim, a 180 km cycle race and a 42 km marathon.
Mayor Fihla said: “Ironman South Africa must be in Nelson Mandela Bay to stay. We want you here and we are proud to be the host city.
“I wish you all the best for another exciting edition of Ironman South Africa,” he added.
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