Path covered by sand

Sand covers the walkway on Marine Drive, Bloubergstrand.

Elana Wessels, Bloubergstrand

The very popular walking path between Marine Drive and the ocean is one of the most beautiful places to walk or jog in the Western Cape.

About 500 people, and double that number on weekends, use this path for walking, jogging or even skateboarding.

Lately there is a part of this path that is ankle-deep in sand, causing pedestrians to walk next to the path in the face of oncoming traffic, especially many buses.

I often see mothers with babies in prams walking in the road to avoid the sand. I have seen cyclists who struggle to keep their cycles upright because of the deep sand. This is an accident waiting to happen.

Every day workers are used to clean bamboo off the beaches. This, in itself, is an offence because it is bad for the ecology. If the City can clean the path, it will take only one worker with a broom to sweep the sand after a day the south-easter has blown the wind over the path.

We, as ratepayers who pay a lot of tax to live in this beautiful spot, are most unhappy and concerned about this situation, and absolutely nothing is being done about the problem.

Please, Tabletalk, help us to get this problem solved.

Suzette Little, Mayco member for area north responds:

On February 7, the City deployed a maintenance team to sweep and remove the sand along the road edge on Marine Drive towards the traffic circle. The team also removed sand along the sidewalks from the circle to the toilet block at Blouberg.

The dynamic nature of the coastline, with its moving dunes and windblown sand, places the City under constant pressure to manage nature which is at best an almost impossible task.

The City has used dune irrigation and vegetation planting, among other things, to manage the migration of sand. But these aren’t long-term solutions.

Due to budgetary constraints and limited resources, we cannot remove the sand daily, so we maintain it periodically to keep it within reasonable limits.

Being a coastal environment, the presence of sand is unavoidable and pedestrians are expected to negotiate this environmental factor.

Our focus is keeping the roadway clear of sand banks that pose a risk to traffic.