On Friday 15 September Transnet National Ports Authority employees from the Port of Durban rallied together to tackle pollution at the Bayhead Natural Heritage Site, ahead of International Coastal Clean-up Day which was observed globally on Saturday 16 September. The site is a 20ha nature reserve of mangrove forest and coastal grassland within the industrial area of Durban Bay.
The mangroves play a pivotal role in the ecosystems found on site and are of environmental and historical value. As the port authority TNPA has the responsibility to control access and ensure that the site is safe and secured for the community.
The Port has a Pollution Control Department that conducts regular clean-up operations at the site. TNPA’s Environment department also works closely with the Department of Environmental Affairs through the Working for the Coast programme which facilitates the clean-up of coastal areas. There is also a Transnet Education Centre at the site. Challenges include ongoing pollution flowing into the area from streams and canals, a high incidence of poaching of mammals for use as bait and illegal harvesting of plants for medicinal purposes.