Call for better management of dunes and beaches

Professional officer for the Parks and Recreation department, Tamara Josephs speaks at sub-council about the plan.

Residents have just a few days left to comment on a new City of Cape Town plan to manage dunes and beaches.

Tamara Josephs, from the City’s recreation and parks department outlined the plan at the Sub-council 12 meeting last Thursday. The public comment period ends on Saturday September 30.

The plan will lay out future protocol for how to tackle maintenance at all City beaches and infrastructure swamped by dunes.

Ms Josephs said the maintenance and management of dunes and beaches triggered certain activities in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), so a new maintenance and management plan would help the City to do the work it needed to do without falling foul of environmental laws.

Sub-council chairman Sheval Arendse wanted to know whether the plan could help Strandfontein’s Lukannon Drive, which is often closed after being swamped by wind-blown beach sand. “ The City has to fork out thousands of rands to remove the sand, but then a week later it blows into the road again,” he said.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, said the coastline was both a valuable asset and a source of risk to the City because of storm surges, wind-blown sand and migrating dunes.

“For these reasons, it is important that the City manages dunes and beaches according to best practice with the view to optimise its social, environmental and economic value.”

All comments from the public participation process would be considered, he said. A draft plan would then be amended and submitted to province for approval. Mr Andrews said he hoped that would happen by the end of the year.

The City needs to frequently undertake listed activities on dunes and beaches, including using netting and brushwood to trap wind-blown sand and planting vegetation on dunes to stabilise them.

“The effective management of dunes and beaches has a number of benefits to the City,” said Ms Josephs. “Functional dune systems act as buffers against storm surges. Vegetated dunes limit wind-blown sand from smothering infrastructure. Cost saving through reducing amount of sand needing removal from City infrastructure. Improvement of beaches as valuable recreational spaces,” she said.

Visit www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay, fax 086 202 8152 or email beach.enquiries@capetown.gov.za to comment on the plan.