Iconic sights falling apart

* Left: The St James huts in November 2018.

Charles Dagnall,
Fish Hoek

The St James beach huts are one of the iconic sights in Cape Town and photographed by tourists from all over the world.

In November 2018 I took a picture of these huts with their bright cheerful colours, perhaps a little tired but still so attractive.

Last week, this is what they look like! Falling apart and totally neglected. Why have we allowed this to happen to one of our special attractions?

Surely council can spend just a little money for repairs and upgrade.

It really is a crying shame.

* Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community service and health, responds:

The recreation and parks department does maintenance on the bathing huts at St James Beach.

During the course of 2019, repairs to the wood work were done and areas of the exterior walls were touched up where necessary.

Painting on the interior walls of the bathing huts was also done privately. They were in poor condition due to graffiti and vandalism. This work was likely commissioned by the local ratepayers’ association.

The department has a maintenance schedule for the huts; however, capacity to continuously paint and repair them is limited.

The huts are vulnerable to anti-social activities, and there is an ongoing issue with street people as well as criminal activity taking place inside the huts at night.

Previously, the huts were locked; however, this gives the impression that there are valuables inside, which leads to break-ins and results in more maintenance.

Given the current state of the huts, management made a decision to increase the frequency of maintenance by assigning staff to assess, repair and paint the boxes on a weekly basis.

This will be done within the current budgetary provisions.