DURBAN, Sept 23 — A public debate has begun in South Africa on turning part of a KwaZulu-Natal Province south coast beach into a nudist or naturalist beach.
Stakeholders represented at the meeting Monday to debate the proposal included the Taxpayers Association, Amakhosi (leaders), municipal officials, naturalists and local residents.
Naturalists say if Trafalgar Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast becomes a dedicated nudist beach, it will create economic spin-offs and attract more international visitors to the south of the province. They say holiday-makers from abroad enjoy such beaches.
Naturalists say walking around naked promotes physical and spiritual growth and brings a person closer to nature. The proponents of the beach say they prefer the term naturalist rather than nudist, as the latter seems to have sexual connotations for most people.
“We are not going to push this down your throat. Just think about the rationality behind this not emotionally, says one of the naturalists. Another naturalist says: “Emotions are things that hold us back as communities. Let us use what God gave us.”
The municipality is neither opposing nor supporting the idea, but will consider all submissions and the final decision will be up to the people of the area.
Municipality spokesperson Simon Soboyisa says he believes South Africans are mature enough to explore their options. “As a municipality, we don’t have a position yet we are just doing public participation so we can make an informed decision because we believe in public participation in ensuring whatever the decision we take, it must be welcomed by our communities.”
The KwaXolo Traditional Council says it is against the proposal to make the beach a nudist or naturalist beach. Speaking on behalf of the traditional council, Reverend Thanduxolo Ncane, said the community felt the proposed beach might lead to increased moral decay and criminality.
“We believe that through the cultures and religious sections and traditions, we feel that it’s not good to declare this beach nudist. It will be dangerous and that will raise the crime rate that we are already facing. We still believe the money that can be used here to uplift communities and fix potholes on the road and increase people’s skills …. this is a public beach, not a private one.”
Some residents say the plan is not feasible in an area which is frequented by families with children.
However, naturalists insist that there is a need for this kind of a beach.