Rangers to ramp up reserve patrols

Illegal structures on the coastal property in Sunset Beach.

The City of Cape Town has included the Sunset Beach coastal protection zone in the Table Bay Nature Reserve to stop residents encroaching on the area with decking, portable pools, trampolines, irrigation systems, lawn extensions, alien plants and water features.

Including the land in the reserve means it’s now protected by environmental law – the National Environmental Management Protected Areas Act. Removing plants or hunting animals in the reserve is a crime, as is unauthorised development.

“Conservation rangers will intensify their patrols in this coastal zone to prevent illegal activities, as well as to remove illegal overnight structures and put out open fires,” said Johan Van der Merwe, the City’s mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning.

The City has removed many of the alien plants along with irrigation systems in the area and they’re busy clearing illegally built walkways.

“After various court actions, the lawns and non-indigenous plants have been removed and the vegetation rehabilitated to resemble the natural West Coast form of the Cape Flats dune strandveld, which is an endangered vegetation type,” said Mr Van der Merwe.

The City is providing five parking bays and pedestrian entry points to the beachfront at Isabella Drive, Hastula Way, Forata Drive, Donax Drive and Bursa Way.

“These access ways are used by local residents and visiting tourists and allow surfers, kite-surfers, paddlers and sunbathers to access the water. A formal footpath and boardwalk route has also been constructed to link local residents at Village Crescent and Albus Drive to the beach,” said Mr Van der Merwe.

“All Sunset Beach residents are urged to assist in conserving the Sunset Beach coastal protection zone. Absolutely no private development or construction work may be done on protected land inside a nature reserve.”