The following is rather amusing correspondence by a stalwart Snowy Smith of Durban.
Summary of my letters to ANC Comrade Michael Sutcliffe, the city manager of Durban, South Africa.
I refer to my last fifteen letters to you, and which you have not replied to. Again, I must warn you that the entire Durban beachfront area is in a permanent state of deterioration and neglect. Despite many complaints, there have been no improvements. You advertise the city of Durban as a tourist Mecca, with clean, safe beaches, but the truth, as documented by me over the past five years or so, is the exact opposite.
In fact, Durban's tourist area has now become one big, filthy, faeces-smeared, littered, broken glass-strewn squatter camp.
Vagrants have taken over the municipal toilets, which were built for the tourist trade. The water streaming into the ocean is so filthy and polluted with human faeces that Durban has lost its Blue Flag designation.
On Sunday, January 18 2009, I took another early morning stroll along the vagrant-infested embankment - at great risk to my own life I might add, since it's very unsafe, especially for white tourists with cameras. There were three murders on Durban beach on December 18 2008 alone. And during the last eighteen days in December, there were 1722 assaults, 111 gunshot wounds, 493 stabbings, and 282 rapes in this beachfront area.
On Christmas and New Year's, literally millions of broken beer bottles, human waste were deposited along the Durban beach front.
There were tens of thousands of drunken hooligans everywhere, stabbing people, mugging, raping and shooting.
Each day, residents in the flats along the embankment, like myself, have to look at this disgusting squatter camp mess.
We get smoked out inside our flats all day and night from their cooking fires. The place is smeared in human faeces, tons of litter and mountains of broken glass bottles which nobody is cleaning up.
During my early-morning walk on January 18, 2008, I counted 403 black vagrants sleeping on the Embankment alone. And there are many hundreds of vagrants also sleeping every night on the following sites: Stanger Street, Albert Park to the start of Southern Freeway, and along the railway lines, atop and next to the municipal toilets, and the green pumping station.
They always leave a huge mess, human faeces, rubbish and broken glass, and burnt out fires when they leave each morning.
All these streets are turning into squatter slums.
There are frequent, very large gang fights around the embankment's municipal toilet, the Yacht Mole and the Victoria Embankment.
Squatters are sleeping in every doorway, alley and bushes around the Yacht Mole and Wilson's Wharf.
Almost Every night, violent vagrants are chasing each other with sticks, screaming and shouting and running into the road in front of oncoming traffic at night.
We often phone the police -- but they never respond to these violent events.
The squatters have even moved onto the roof of the municipal toilets, averaging two to six each night sleeping there.
Also, they do their daily washing at the municipal toilets and hang it up to dry on the railway fence - not a pretty sight for tourists or residents.
There is stinking sewerage behind all the buildings around the entrance to the Yacht Mole. The complete railway line is covered in tons of rubbish, broken glass, an eyesore. I believe the municipal toilets should be demolished, and the half-round flower pots used by vagrants 24/7, should also be removed.
If you are not going to demolish the toilet then I suggest that you put up powerful spot-lights on high pole so the homeless cannot hide and sleep in the bushes.
The complete Victoria Embankment railway lines area is full of rubbish.
Public drinking takes place on the streets of the Victoria Embankment every day and night.
And all the glass bottles are thrown onto the railway lines.
Six months ago, the cast-iron manhole covers were stolen - which are creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians. They have yet to be replaced.
Your green water-pumping station building is falling down and it's rapidly being turned into a squatter camp, with drunken vagrants sleeping next to the building every night.
This past Christmas season and New Year's season at the Durban Beach Front was a total disaster - and a nightmare for local residents. There were three murders on Durban beach on December 18 alone. And during the last eighteen days in December, there were 1722 assaults, 111 gunshot wounds, 493 stabbings, and 282 rapes. On Christmas and New Year's, literally millions of broken beer bottles, human waste were deposited along the Durban beach front. There were tens of thousands of drunken hooligans everywhere, stabbing people, mugging, raping and shooting. Afterwards, the street cleaners picked up off 37,000 bags of rubbish from just two streets afterwards along the beach. And there were 51,000 bags of litter collected from the beach - rubbish, human waste and broken glass. In weight, this amounted to 716 tons of rubbish and broken glass.
In fact all of once so pristine Durban is deteriorating into a squatter slum, a filthy, disgusting, unhealthy mess, with dangerously polluted water streaming into the ocean. The whole place also looks like a permanent prison now, a nightmare scenario with shuttered shops, heavy burglar bars, barbed wire, vagrants and incredible pollution everywhere.
And Durban is a muggers' paradise, besides being an environmental disaster.
Yet you are advertising Durban as the Nr. 1 holiday destination in South Africa, where all tourists are safe and welcome.
It's all a lie: Durban is the Mugging capital of South Africa, and has become a disgusting, derelict slum.
And also on
Dr. Michael Sutcliffe
The City Manager, DURBAN.
41 Margaret Mncadi Avenue,
Re: VAGRANT EMBANKMENT BIG MESS
FINAL LEGAL WARNING
DISGUSTING DERELICT DURBAN
AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
I refer to my last 15 LETTERS to which I have NOT received a single reply.
I know most of the Durban ANC Council are ILLITERATE but Comrade ANC Michael Sutcliffe I have a sneaky suspicion YOU can read.
DURBAN is a MUGGERS PARADISE.
DURBAN the MUGGING CAPITAL of the WORLD.
Every river, the Durban Bay and the Sea is highly Polluted with tons of rubbish and Environmental Disaster.
I have more than 7000 PHOTOS.
Proudly South African.
YOU Advertise DURBAN as the number ONE Holiday destination in South Africa
All Tourists WELCOME.
NO SIR You are DELUSIONAL, DURBAN is the number ONE MUGGING Capital in South Africa, a disgusting derelict SLUM.
Comrade ANC Michael Sutcliffe YOU must be VERY PROUD.
Comrade ANC Michael Sutcliffe YOU must be VERY PROUD.