Beachfront an ‘embarrassing situation’

Erosion is eating away at the parking lot at Table View beachfront.

The City of Cape Town says it’s exploring short-term measures to fix Table View beachfront while efforts for a long-term solution are put in place.

The decaying state of the beachfront has been called an “extremely embarrassing situation” by the Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) which has listed parking bays half swallowed by sand, non-existent walkways, broken paving and broken wooden poles as some of the eyesores along the stretch of beach.

Underground piping was no longer underground but suspended by wire from the same poles and rocks in mid-air “like a Gothic piece of distasteful art,” said GTAF chairwoman Karen Davis.

“While I am aware that we are not expecting tourists to grace our beachfront any time soon, this clearly states that we are an area that just does not care about our locals or the fact that the broken window theory starts right here,” said Ms Davis.

She said due to lockdown not many people went down to the beachfront but as this has slowly changed, she has been getting many reports and complaints of the state of affairs along the beachfront, walkway and promenade.

“While I understand that the teams have not been able to work during this time, the situation is seriously untenable and extremely embarrassing. It is very little wonder that the vagrants see Table View and Blouberg as somewhere they can do as they please, resulting in most of our public open spaces and parks looking like dump sites,” she said.

Ms Davis said repairs and maintenance should not wait until tourists are allowed back to the city. “The people who pay rates and taxes deserve a beachfront that is cared for and maintained,” she said.

Table View resident Mike Vermeer walks the beachfront daily and called the beachfront conditions appalling and unacceptable.

“The pavement on the beach side of Marine Circle is unusable as the sand has covered the pavement, forcing people to walk in the road.

“Likewise the pavement just beyond Doodles beginning at the wall that says Bloubergstrand is unusable, again forcing people to walk in the cycling lane,” he said.

He said workers with shovels, brooms and wheelbarrow were required on a weekly basis.

“That is the answer. We know that there will not be any redevelopment or rehabilitation in the foreseeable future,” said Mr Vermeer.

Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, said repairs to the beachfront may start next year. She said the implementation of a comprehensive integrated business plan is under way and forms the framework to improve the beachfront.

“The City’s coastal management branch is leading the upgrade project and working with the relevant line departments to determine detailed designs for upgrades and repairs of various assets such as pavements, car parks, stormwater systems, the dune cordon and wooden beach walkways,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.

In the interim, said Ms Nieuwoudt, the coastal management branch is working with these departments to explore short-term measures while efforts are put in place to fix the beachfront over the long term.

“An important starting point for the upgrade project is the rehabilitation of the coastal dune, as it is the poor state of the dune cordon which is exacerbating wind-blown sand problems along the beachfront.

“The business plan therefore includes a budget that factors in the cost of rehabilitating the current dune cordon, as well as the ongoing maintenance of the dune cordon over the long term.

“We envision that the first phase of the project, which entails the repair of the coastal dune and upgrade of the facilities, to be initiated in 2021 and complete within the next three financial years,” she said.

She said the entire project would cost approximately R130 million, including the operational expenses such as dune maintenance over a 10 year period.

“This project has been included in the City’s draft financial plans for future years.

“Please note that given these unprecedented and uncertain times and the current state of the economy, the City will need to remain both cautions and flexible in respect of budget allocations and amendments both now and into the future.”