Broken beach

Pen Brower, Glencairn

I wish to bring to your attention the absolute abysmal condition of the entrance to Glencairn Beach.

To demonstrate my point I attached a few pictures recently taken of the main entrance sign boards and pathway.

This is the “inviting” entrance which the local residents, visitors and tourists are greeted with as their first impressions of this magnificent beach.

The surfaced pathway can be quite dangerous for the elderly or children if they happen to fall running on the pathway to the beach.

We have lived in Glencairn for the past eight and a half years and have attended most of the monthly CPF and STCA meetings, yet very little has been done to improve the situation.

Despite some assurances from the local ward councillor to address these issues no maintenance has been done for the past three to four years to improve the image of the beach entrance.

I realise that Fish Hoek Beach may have a fairly high City of Cape Town budget for maintenance due its high status, but to have such a minimal budget for Glencairn over three to four years does not seem right.

I can confirm that the small toilet/shower block on the main road has been touched up with a coat of paint, however, it is grossly misused by the homeless at times.

Ward councillor, Simon Liell-Cock responds:

I have been pushing this project for five years but Gregg Oelofse is the acting manager for the New Coastal Department and he will be able to provide input on the finer details. My current information is that:

* The Glencairn Tidal Pool and pathway have been through a long and tedious legislative route as the pathway is on Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) land and the pool is within the environmentally critical intertidal zone.

* This is not a small project and the work on both this pool and the Soetwater tidal
pool will cost around R10 million.

* I can confirm that the environmental approvals have been obtained, budget has been approved, tenders awarded and work has begun.

Residents of the far south are fortunate to have an extremely beautiful natural environment on our doorstep. However, it is a harsh environment with uncontrolled public access and any hard infrastructure is subject to constant damage, both from the natural elements and from malicious vandalism necessitating perpetual repairs and maintenance.

It is also an ecologically fragile environment under pressure from recreational users requiring increased levels of policing.

All of this costs money and that money must come from the long-suffering ratepayer. The challenge is to balance these conflicting demands across the entire City coastline which over a hundred kilometres long.

The good news is that the City is committed to a new way of looking at all the City’s coastal assets – it has recognised the importance of the coastal assets, both for the future of the tourism economy and for the conservation of the natural environment on which we all rely. This has led to the establishment of a new Coastal Department under the very capable management of Gregg Oelofse.

I am positive that all the hard work and planning will now start showing results

1. Millers Point is currently being upgraded,

2. Work has begun on the repairing the tidal pools at Glencairn and Soetwater,

3. Plans are in place for the upgrading of Long Beach Simon’s Town which has huge potential but is neglected and underutilised,

4. Plan are being developed for upgrading Seaforth beach which, as the access point to the globally important Penguin Colony, is frequently over-utilised.

I will request that a comprehensive report on the plans for the coastal assets from Muizenberg to Noordhoek be presented to the next sitting of Sub-council 19.