Beachfront walkway work stalls

Blouberg beachfront traders have mixed views on plans for new beachfront walkway as part of a R100 million revamp of the beachfront.

Work scheduled to start on a walkway as part of a R100 million revamp of Table View beachfront has been postponed to January next year, says ward councillor Jonathan Mills.

The delays came from the side of the contractor responsible for providing the heavy machinery needed for the project, he says.

“There is also an agreement with the City and the contractor that there will be a break during the builders’ holiday (from mid December to January). But the final decision was agreed that the start of the construction will start in January. This is to avoid having to start construction at the end of this month, work for two weeks, close for the builders’ holiday and then start back up afterwards.”

In April last year, the City announced plans for the R100 million revamp of the beachfront, which was estimated to take about three years to complete (“R100m upgrade for Table View beachfront,” April 6, 2022).

Riaan Williams, who has run a food truck at the beachfront for just over a month, said he and his business partner, Christo Davis, were looking forward to improvements at the beachfront.

“Anything that is going to uplift and promote this beachfront area will be good for everyone. I feel like the sooner it gets done the better.”

He said they would be permitted to move from one spot to another along the beachfront as work progressed.

“We are looking forward to this, and I feel like if we work with the City, it shouldn’t be a big problem,” he said.

Frank and Phyl Dickman, who have sold pancakes and hot dogs at the beachfront for 15 years, said they believed the revamp would improve the look of the beachfront, but they are worried about the impact of having the walkway behind their food truck – which faces Otto du Plessis Drive – instead of in front of it.

“We have certain limitations here. None of us as traders can face the sea because we will have the wind coming straight into our trucks. The wind will blow the sand into our trucks as well. Now since this walkway will be behind us, pedestrians and potential customers could just walk past our trucks,” said Mr Dickman.

Ms Dickman complained that changing the configuration of the parking bays from slanted to parallel would create less parking and result in fewer beachgoers and customers.

Mr Mills said new parking would be laid out at the City’s tourist office opposite the KFC to mitigate the loss of parking space from the new configuration.

“Beach Road, which is the service road that runs parallel to Otto du Plessis, will also get new parking bays, and we will also be constructing more parking bays on the far side near Big Bay. So, yes, parking bays will be lost in the middle of the beachfront to accommodate the pedestrian walkway, but we have a plan in place to mitigate that,” he said.

Mr Mills said the new walkway should be completed by winter next year barring any further delays.

Riaan Williams, one of the newer traders at the beachfront, says he welcomes the construction of the walkway and hopes it will have a positive impact on the area.
Frank and Phyl Dickman show off a laminated Tabletalk clipping from 2015 about their pancake business.