Iconic St James Beach gets a makeover

The iconic bathing boxes are being upgraded.

The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee for spatial planning and environment has announced that work on St James Beach is finally set to start.

In a statement, the City’s deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Eddie Andrews said if all goes as planned, the project will start within the next few days and should be complete by the end of November, before the start of the December holiday.

“St James Beach is one of the iconic beach destinations along the False Bay coastline, with visitors flocking to this tourist area over weekends and public holidays. The iconic bathing boxes are synonymous with this beach, and an important element of the town’s heritage and sense of place,” Mr Andrews said.

“Given the derelict state of the existing bathing boxes, we have decided to replace these with new bathing boxes.”

The City says it intends to remove the derelict bathing boxes and replace them with nine new boxes in the first phase, and two or three more in the next financial year.

The project will also see the addition of a seating wall and a sitting step along the seaward edge to provide a seating area with views of the beach, tidal pool and Simon’s Town.

The area between the ablutions and seaward point will not have bathing boxes anymore, which will improve the view towards Simon’s Town and provide more space for recreational users.

The walkway will be widened by 0.5m between the first set of steps and the second set of steps close to the ablutions. Once done, it will be 1.9m wide to accommodate more pedestrians, or to be used for seating.

The section of the walkway between the public toilets and the seaward point will be widened to 2.8m and the area will be accessible by wheelchair and prams.

The picnic area will also be upgraded by adding topsoil and new grass, and the entrance area will be improved with the surfacing of untidy sections.

Residents and visitors are asked to be patient while the project is under way, and to avoid the areas where work is happening.

Ward councillor, Aimee Kuhl said they are excited about these improvements that will benefit the community and visitors to this iconic beach.

“We have engaged the local ratepayers’ association and other residents who indicated their support for the project. This is a welcome and much needed effort to maintain and improve the St James beach to ensure it remains an attractive destination for locals and tourists,” said Ms Kuhl.