Environmental Affairs’ Deputy Minister to lead World Oceans Day celebrations and beach clean-up

13 June 2016 

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will host the annual World Oceans Day (WOD) celebrations on Friday, 17 June 2016, at the Umgeni River Mouth (Blue Lagoon estuary and beach), Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

This year’s WOD, aims to highlight initiatives that are driven by the department in areas of ocean and waste management.

The event will serve as a platform to educate the public about the importance of our oceans and emphasise the need to contribute towards its protection through a beach clean-up, which will be led by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms. Barbara Thomson, and exhibitions by the department’s internal and external stakeholders.

This year’s event will seek to draw attention, specifically, to the ongoing threats posed by plastic litter to the ocean environment. In particular, the event will seek to raise awareness of how litter that is generated in catchment areas can eventually reach the coastline through rivers, storm water drains and sewer outfalls.

The Umgeni estuary is significant not only because of the sensitive mangroves situated along its north bank, but because it is a highly sought after site for camping, recreation and fishing and it connects the Umgeni River to the Indian Ocean.

At the event, the department will also launch the new cycle of the Working for the Coast programme. The new cycle constitutes a total budget allocation of R303,000,000.00 which will run for two years, covering the entire South African coastline, from Alexander Bay in the Northern Cape to Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. This programme and related projects will generate approximately 2,407 work opportunities and 5,526 Fulltime Equivalent over two years.

WOD is commemorated globally on the 8th of June, and is aimed at appreciating, protecting, restoring and honouring ecosystem services and resources provided by our oceans. 

Details of the event are as follows:

Date:  Friday, 17 June 2016
Time:  09h00
Venue: Umgeni River Mouth (Blue Lagoon estuary and beach), Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

To RSVP contact:

Tshepiso Rampho
E-mail: trampho@environment.gov.za
Tel: 021 814 8066 

Tshego Letshwiti
E-mail: tletshwiti@environment.gov.za
Tel: 021 814 8065
Cell: 076 307 9634

For all media enquiries contact:

Zolile Nqayi
Cell: 082 898 6483
E-mail: znqayi@environment.gov.za