Switched on volunteers clean beach

Employees of an electrical company have spent the past two days cleaning up Eastern Beach in East London after large sea swells and spring tides caused extensive damage to the coastline last week.

The mopping up operation started on Tuesday, while both Gonubie and Eastern Beaches remained closed to the public, after severe weather conditions and swells of up to six metres were reported along the coast causing rubbish bins and benches to fall over and plants to be uprooted.

Lise Stranding of Multilayer Eastern Cape – an electrical contracting company – along with her 11 employees braved the wind to clean up the debris left in the wake of the heavy seas at Eastern Beach. Armed with large brooms, spades and protective gloves, the group worked until about lunchtime on Tuesday. While Eastern Beach had re-opened to the public on Wednesday afternoon, Gonubie Beach remained closed to the public.

On Thursday the group of volunteers will start mopping up Bonza Bay before moving on to Gonubie Beach.

Stranding’s company is contracted to work at the Beacon Bay Hospital building, but according to her, construction had been put on hold for a few weeks. As a result she decided to use the free time to clear up the beaches. “I took my dogs for a walk on the beach the other day and I saw the mess … the whole stretch was full of sand,” she said. Stranding said the task she and her team had undertaken was a “mammoth” one. But there were only spectators watching, but no volunteers among them.

According to Stranding, Allen Zealand of Buffalo City Municipality Beaches was “stumped” when she phoned to offer their services.

“The minute I was on the phone to him and told him my idea, he was immediately on the defence, and told me that they had only two beach cleaners,” she said with a laugh. One of Stranding’s employees, Lelethu Jamela. said they were pleased with Stranding’s initiative. Freddy Bonani, a qualified electrician, said: “This is social responsibility, a form of community service.”

Aticle by: Asa Sokopo - www.dispatch.co.za