Resort goes starkers
Nivashni Nair | 23 September, 2014 00:11
KwaZulu-Natal residents living close to a beach near the Mpenjati Nature Reserve are divided.
"According to our bylaws, nudity is not allowed. If people want to be nude, I have no problem with it.
"I walk around nude in my house. But when I look at myself in the mirror I think I look like those old naked people on the beach. Everything droops. I don't want to look at drooping boobs and buttocks on our beach," Trafalgar resident Reyna Joubert said at yesterday's public hearing on an application for a legal nudist beach in the area.
Half of the greying residents applauded when Joubert told naturists to "stay in the bushes", and the other half shouted that they wanted to be "naked at this beach".
South African National Naturists Association chairman Athol Lutge told residents of the upmarket seaside suburb and their neighbours, the KwaXolo and KwaNzimande clans, that a stretch of beach near the reserve was already used as an unofficial nudist beach.
He said the association - whose members include neurosurgeons, advocates and even government officials - believed the huge demand for a nudist beach in KwaZulu-Natal, coupled with the favourable weather, would bring international tourists to Trafalgar.
"Let me say that a nudist beach has nothing to do with sex. That's just crazy," Lutge said.
He said naturism was family-orientated with "oupa and ouma and their grandchildren playing volleyball on the beach in the nude".
Johannesburg grandmother Amanda Foster said her grandchildren enjoyed being in the nude when they visited her.
"I would want to enjoy a day at the beach with my family as naturists. Am I weird because I am a mother and a grandmother who wants to be free and naked on the beach?"
Several residents answered Foster's question with a loud "yes".
Tribal authority representative Thando Ncane said a nudist beach would bring crime to the area because naked beach-goers would be a target for criminals.
But the chairman of Trafalgar's sector policing, Andre van Rensburg, dismissed Ncane's concern, saying criminals "would not descend on a crowded beach".
Resident Mark Davies said a nudist beach could boost tourism, leading to a rise in property values in the area.
Ugu South Coast Tourism CE Justin Mackrory said the South Coast was popular for its family tourism and had not yet caught the attention of international tourists.
Hibiscus Coast Municipality head of community services Sibusiso Nzimande said a team was investigating the status of nudist beaches, the economic spin-offs and the views of the community.
The current bylaws, which do not permit nudist beaches in the area, may be amended after a council resolution.
The application is due to be heard today.