The regular replenishment of sand along Durban’s popular Golden Mile is essential for tourism and conservation, particularly during the festive season, and is the responsibility of Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Dredging Services Division.

TNPA and the port landlord’s resident trailing suction hopper dredgers, fondly named Ilembe and Isandlwana, dredge sand from the sand trap on the southern side of the entrance channel and spread it on to the northern beaches.

This process means that a completely new beach is created every year. Clive Greyling, Civil Technologist in the Port of Durban’s Infrastructure Department, explained. “When you go to the beach in December over the holiday period, you’re standing on completely different sand than a year ago.”

The dredging of the sand trap is of paramount importance to the port, keeping the entrance channel and basin open at the correct depth and width, as well as the berths that serve as parking bays for ships inside the port.