Original Research

Investigating the socioeconomic impacts of sewage spillages on businesses in the Umhlanga Rocks coastline area

Kalin Naidoo, Ntombifuthi P. Nzimande, Feroza Morris
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 16, No 1 | a1602 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v16i1.1602 | © 2024 Kalin Naidoo, Ntombifuthi P. Nzimande, Feroza Morris | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2023 | Published: 09 April 2024

About the author(s)

Kalin Naidoo, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Ntombifuthi P. Nzimande, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Feroza Morris, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Sewage spillage is fast becoming a significant concern in South Africa because of the deteriorating infrastructure and substandard service delivery. Thus, this study investigated the socioeconomic impacts of sewage spillages on businesses in the Umhlanga Rocks coastline area. A questionnaire with open and closed-ended questions was used to collect data from business owners in the affected area. One hundred business owners were handed questionnaires to complete, and 95 completed questionnaires were collected. The qualitative data from the questionnaires were analysed using thematic analysis, whereby line-by-line coding was manually completed using Excel. The quantitative data were analysed in R studio using numerous statistical tests, including the Shapiro–Wilk test, the Chi–square test, the Kruskal–Wallis test, Dunn’s test, and Cohen’s d test. The thematic analysis and statistical testing results showed that sewage spillages disrupted businesses significantly. Results indicated that businesses of different sizes experienced socioeconomic losses differently. Consequently, the results of this study have implications for business owners and communities living in the affected area. Moreover, findings have revealed practical strategies and interventions that may be used by micro- to medium-scale businesses to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of sewage spillages.

Contribution: The practical strategies revealed in this study contribute to reducing the vulnerability of communities and businesses to sewage spillages. Findings of the study have also been disseminated to the business owners and other relevant stakeholders to provide them with alternative solutions in ‘softening the blow’ caused by the spillages.


Keywords

sewage spillages; eThekwini municipality; business resilience; environmental pollution; socioeconomic impact; Umhlanga Rocks coastline.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

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