Tourists and locals visiting a popular Cape Town beach have been warned the water could contain high levels of E coli.
The Clifton Fourth beach is actually one of 82 Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa, but a study has shown it contains elevated levels of E coli.
UCT health faculty's professor, Edda Weimann, who conducted a comprehensive study at the world famous beach last year, fears the situation is even worse this year.
Speaking to iol.co.za, she said: "Bathers are at risk of thalassogenic diseases such as diarrhoea, skin infection, respiratory tract infection and hepatitis.
She added that small children, and those with immune deficiencies such as HIV and TB, were most at risk.
Some locals have taken to Twitter to share the news, too.
According to Traveller24, the study showed that water quality tested "between 10(4) and 10(6)", which indicates the beach could be affected by waste water due to polluted rivers, major shipping routes or outlets of human settlements.
The paper adds that Weimann described the results as "frightening", saying the situation is being ignored.
However, The Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA (Wessa) is responsible for managing the Blue Flag programme and governance manager Morgan Griffiths confirmed in the report that a test at the beach last week showed elevated levels of E coli.
But she added that another test two days later showed the situation had cleared.
According to News24, Cape Town's Mayco councillor for Health Benedicta van Minnen said the report had used "out of date findings" and added: "I would like to reassure the public that Cape Town's popular bathing spots are safe for swimming and other recreational use. If problems arise, as they do in beaches around the world, we will act immediately – as we have done in the past."