Suspected drug den set up next to Durban metro police satellite station

The Durban metro police satellite station on the Durban beachfront. Picture: Willem Phungula.

The Durban metro police satellite station on the Durban beachfront. Picture: Willem Phungula.

Published Apr 18, 2024


Durban — Businesses along Durban’s central beach have lambasted eThekwini metro police for failing to stop crime taking place in a toilet which is a few metres away from their satellite police station.

According to concerned business owners, a wooden structure surrounding a toilet that was built for informal traders, next to the now closed Durban Funworld amusement park in South Beach, has allegedly been turned into a drug den by vagrants.

The Daily News accompanied political party the DA during an in-loco inspection of the beachfront on Thursday.

DA premier candidate Chris Pappas inspecting the toilet which businesses say has been turned into drug den by vagrants. Picture: Willem Phungula

The toilet was vandalised and had an unbearable stench of urine. Inside and outside the toilet there were pieces of injections which business people said were used by drug addicts.

“We have a problem here. Crime is taking place while the police are watching. We are failing to understand how this was happening. We have reported this to them, but they did nothing to stop it,” said a concerned stall owner.

Businesses said because of crime, tourists had stopped visiting the area, which led to a collapse of their businesses. Another hawker who spoke on condition of anonymity said she used to make R6 000 in a good week but was now taking home less than R100 because tourists were now avoiding the area and going to Suncoast and uShaka Marine World because of safety issues.

Pieces of injections which drug addicts use to consume drugs are scattered around the toilet. Picture: Willem Phungula

A hotel manager adjacent to the metro police satellite station said that besides losing businesses because of closure of the popular Funworld entertainment facility, the main reason driving tourists away was crime. He said he had decided to cut prices from R1 300 a night down to R700 because the hotel was empty.

He showed the DA delegation a hotel next to his that had been converted into student residences because it no longer made business sense to stay as a hotel since there were no more bookings.

Metro police spokesperson Colonel Boysie Zungu asked to be sent questions on his email so that there would be a thorough investigation. His comment will be added once received.

Durban Funworld, the more than 50-year-old facility which was a tourism drawcard for the city, closed down last year after its owner, Nic Steyn, tried for 12 years to sell. He cited the lease issue as the stumbling block to sell the facility and decided to close it down.

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