St James beach huts to keep their colours

The existing colours of the St James Beach huts came out on top when residents were asked to vote on the colours for the renovated huts.

Following a recent poll, the City has announced that the colours for the new St James beach huts will stay the same.

In early November, the City asked the public to vote for a colour palette for the huts, which are being rebuilt.

There were seven colour palettes to choose from, ranging from “Pastel Primaries” to “Kelp Forest.” Also included were the existing bright primary colours the iconic huts are known for.

Ultimately, tradition trumped change as Capetonians overwhelmingly voted for the bright, vibrant colours long associated with the huts. In second and third place were the “Sunrise” and “Kelp Forest” options.

Angela Gorman, chairwoman of the Beach Hut Trust, which is behind efforts to restore the huts, said she was delighted that they would stay the same colour as the Muizenberg ones.

“The colours of the boxes are as much a part of their brand identity and value, as the boxes themselves. The colours are what has enabled their image to be used across the world, and in doing so is a continuous promotion of Cape Town and the attraction of tourism to our shores,” she told the Echo.

Members of the Muizenberg Notice Board Facebook site seemed to have the same opinion, with one saying, “Why change something iconic?” and another saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The beach huts were first put up at St James Beach in the 1890s, according to Kalk Bay Historical Association committee member Barrie Gasson (“Fire destroys bathing boxes,” Echo, August 13, 2020).

In August 2020, several huts were destroyed in a fire.

The huts are now being rebuilt as part of a R2.4 million project to upgrade St James Beach. Improvements include widened walkways and a picnic area. Nine huts will be replaced in the first phase and two to three more in the next fiscal year, according to mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews.

He added that work on St James Beach should be completed in time for the festive season if all went to plan.

The “Sunrise” pastel palette option came in second.
The “Kelp Forest” palette option came in third place.