Plans to upgrade beachfront are ‘concerning’ to residents

After the City of Cape Town announced the upgrade of both the Table View beachfront and Milnerton Revetment Project, some residents are objecting to certain upgrades.

Although the upgrade for a new coastal walkway and various infrastructure upgrades of the Table View beach front have been welcomed, others say that the proposed creation of a “recreational hub” on the beach front next to the tourism office is very concerning.

“It was never part of the original beach front upgrade documentation, plans, pictures and public participation process,” a resident says in a post on Facebook.

“The very term created by the City as a recreational hub indicates that it is just the beginning. What’s to say this hub will not be expanded in phases all the way along the beach front up to the Dolphin Beach Hotel?

“What’s the point of creating a life-saving club when people are not allowed to swim in its close proximity as its too dangerous? All swimming takes place from the Marine Circle area to Doodles. Why does the councillor need an office on the beach front when she has one at the Paddock?” the post reads further.

Jane Borrows says she shares the same sentiments regarding the upgrades and feels that the City should focus on other parts of the beach front that need attention too.

Mandy da Matta, chair of the Table View Ratepayers Association says she agrees with some of the concerns. She says the association has been hammering for an upgrade for the past 12 years.

However, she is questioning where the first set of plans, which went for public participation in 2016, disappeared to.

The City previously said construction works are planned to commence towards the end of this year.

The proposed new walkway will be approximately four metres wide and will stretch along the beach front between White Waters Road and Marine Circle from where it will integrate with the existing walkway to Dolphin Beach.

“This stretch of Cape Town’s coastline is iconic where visitors have a great view of Table Mountain in the distance. It is a key scenic route for tourists and we have locals running, walking and enjoying outdoor activities along this popular beach front,” the City’s Mayco member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt previously stated.

The resident pointed out that the existing old tourism office could quite easily be converted to cater for new ablution facilities. The following building works are required:

  • Demolish two existing ablution buildings (approximately 280 m²).
  • Design and construct two new ablution facilities.
  • Upgrade two existing ablution facilities.
  • Develop a master plan (concept design and cost estimate) for the new recreational precinct adjacent to the KFC parking area which includes offices, outside gym/play area, lifesaving clubhouse and law enforcement buildings. Detailing and construction of new recreational facilities are not included in this project.

However, Luthando Tyhalibongo, the City’s spokesperson, assured TygerBurger that there is no “recreational hub” included in the project.

The City’s coastal management branch included concept designs for what was termed a recreational precinct which entailed converting and expanding the old tourism office to a law enforcement and lifesaving facility.

“These services are much needed in the area and are currently provided from temporary containers or trailers at peak times, which is less than ideal.

“It was proposed that the remaining space could be upgraded for recreation i.e. improved play equipment (which already exists) gym equipment (already exists) and so forth.

“However, this is not being pursued due to lack of funding. As such, it is not included in the project,” says Tyhalibongo.

On the other hand, residents voiced their concerns around the Milnerton Beach Revetment project which commenced on 1 August.

The project includes the construction of a geo-container revetment structure at Milnerton Beach for coastal protection purposes.

The project works will take place over the next 10 months.

Residents are concerned about access to Milnerton Beach and ablution facilities during the upgrade.

The City previously said access to the Milnerton Beach and ablution facilities will remain open throughout this period.