Pro Surfers to join protest march



Surfers currently in Jeffreys Bay as part of the Billabong Pro, will take some time off from the waves to join the local community in a march to voice their protest about the proposed plan by ESKOM to build a Nuclear Power Station at Thyspunt, 20km west of Jeffreys Bay.

The aim of the march will be to highlight the many impacts that a development of this nature will have, not only on the environment but also on the social structure of the region.

One of the biggest impacts will be on the marine environment.  During construction 6.37 million cubic meters of sand will be pumped into the ocean.  

The plan also allows for the construction of several tunnels for the inlet and outlet pipes respectively.  The digging of the trenches for these tunnels will cause irreversible damage to an area of up to 54 000m2.  

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NO Nuke for Jeffreys Bay. Photo: Andre Lategan

The ESKOM studies have indicated that the plume created by these actions will disperse towards Seal Point, one of the most consistent surf spots in the area.  The international surfing community has thrown their weight behind this campaign because they believe that for far too long the ocean has been used as a dumping ground.

 “The out of sight out of mind attitude must stop now, if dumping the sand on land is seen as a fatal flaw, why would it be OK to pump it into the sea?” asked international pro surfer Mick Fanning.  “A development of this size on a stretch of coastline known for some of the best surf breaks in the world is unacceptable and it will cause massive damage to the environment” Fanning said.

Mick Fanning says no to making the ocean a dumping ground. Photo: ASP


Depending on the contest, many of the pro surfers competing in the Billabong Pro in Jeffreys Bay will be in the line-up with the locals to voice their protest.  This includes names like Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Andy Irons. The march will culminate in the handing over of a memorandum outlining the negative impacts of the proposed development to the Executive Major of Jeffreys Bay, Councilor Robbie Dennis.

Supertubes Surfing Foundation has anti nuke drums on the beach during the Billabong Pro.

The march will start at 09:30 at the Billabong factory shop in Da Gama Road. People are welcome to join the protest.  Organisers have requested that people wear either black or yellow to show their support for the cause.

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