What’s happening to St James Beach huts?

Charles Dagnall, Fish Hoek

On August 8 2020, a fire ravaged the iconic beach huts at St James. On August 11 2020, the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said plans would be drafted to restore the damage and that the huts were an important historical part of the St James landscape.

She assured the public that action would be taken.

This picture was taken last week, more than 13 months later. Not only are some of the huts racked with fire damage, but the others are derelict and dangerous, particularly to children with broken wood and exposed nails.

I know that Covid was a factor, but surely something should have been done by now especially as the important tourist season is upon us.

I see billboards claiming “we get things done”. Well, actions speak louder than words!

• Ms Nieuwoudt responds: Repairing the huts and rebuilding them to the historical specifications requires capital budget.

We can confirm that this capital budget has now been secured and allocated. This restoration project is now on the City’s coastal management branch’s budget for the 2023 financial year.

The detailed design and planning of the project has commenced and construction will begin as soon as the procurement process has been completed. As the cost is greater than R200 000, the procurement process will take approximately to 8 to 12 months.