R100m beachfront revamp gets going

An artist’s impression of what the beachfront will look like once work has been completed.

After more than a decade of public complaints about the sad state of Table View beachfront, the City says it will start a R100-million revamp there this week.

Residents have welcomed the project, saying it is long overdue.

“Unfortunately, over the past 15 years or so, the public amenities and coastal infrastructure have deteriorated due to the impact of the local environment,” said Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment.

The beach was not as pristine as it had been in the past, and the dune cordon has deteriorated and lost its ability to protect the surrounding infrastructure from windblown sand, he said, adding that parking facilities, beach access, and services such as the stormwater infrastructure were in urgent need of repairs and replacement.

According to Mr Andrews, work at the site was set to begin on Monday July 11, but due to strong wind conditions, work will start today, Wednesday July 13.

The project will start with the rehabilitation of the dunes along the 3km stretch from Dolphin Beach to Bokkomsbaai.

“Sand will be moved using a combination of dozers, excavators and dump trucks to reinstate the dunes, covering an area of eight hectares. Once profiled, the dunes will be stabilised using wind nets placed perpendicular to the dominant wind direction and revegetated with suitable dune-specific plant species, and irrigated,” Mr Andrews said.

Work at the site would start at 7am and end at 5pm, but that all depended on the weather, he said.

While the beach and parking areas would stay open at this time, residents near the beachfront might be disturbed by noisy machines, he said.

The public should use the designated walkways and stay clear of the dunes to give the vegetation a chance to be established.

Once the dunes had been restored, he said, repairs would be done to the derelict infrastructure and abutting services. Thereafter, the parking areas and pedestrian access points would be repaired.

According to a City document seen by Tabletalk, the City plans to create a 4-meter-wide walkway, from White Waters flats to the KFC parking lot, along Service Road.

The new walkway will be located between the dune cordon and the parking areas seawards of Otto du Plessis Road.

The City also plans to extend the existing parking bays along Beach Boulevard and add a 2.5m-wide sidewalk adjacent to the extended parking area.

A new parking area will be made along Marine Drive, south of Marine Circle, and it will have 48 parking bays.

This project would cost just over R100 million, said Mr Andrews, and was expected to be completed by mid-2025.

Ward councillor Joy Solomon said she was excited about the upgrade.

The advancing dunes had engulfed ablution blocks, pathways and street lights, making it unsafe and unpleasant to walk along the beachfront, she said.

Ms Solomon said residents had been concerned about the deteriorating state of the beachfront, but they too had welcomed the work being done there.

Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) chairwoman Karen Davis said it was about time that the project started.

“Our beaches are in a terrible state, which is a huge concern and it affects the economy as visitors are deterred from coming to our are.”

The main concern now was safety and security along the beaches, she said.

The public has long complained about the conditions at the beachfront. In July 2020, Tabletalk reported on non-existent walkways, broken paving, broken wooden poles, and underground piping peeking through the the sand (“Beachfront an ‘embarrassing situation’,” Tabletalk, July 1, 2020).

A resident, Crystal Henn, said she was happy to hear the “good news at last, after a decade.” The City should keep the area well maintained and not allow the dune-management system to deteriorate as it had before, she said.

Another resident, Jackie Britts, said she hoped the facelift would make the beach safer.

An aerial view of the beachfront
The public has long complained about poor conditions and maintenance at the beachfront.