Plan for repairs

The plan to upgrade Fishermans Lane and associated infrastructure.

The detailed specifications of the tender for the upgrade of Fisherman’s Lane at the Strandfontein Pavilion are being finalised and the City of Cape Town hopes to have a contractor on site by October 2020.

The City has allocated R25 million to the project over the next three years (“Fishermen advised to create forum”, Plainsman, April 17).

Marian Nieuwoudt, the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, said if all goes as planned, they hope to have the project completed by November 2021.

Officials within the City’s coastal management department have already started with the planning of the Fisherman’s Lane project and professional service providers will be appointed in due course.

Much of the upgrade will be focused on replacing the worn coastal infrastructure, restructuring a new walkway where the road has collapsed, and replacing a section of the broken sea wall with a rock revetment, Ms Nieuwoudt said.

“What excites me most though, are the plans we have for the existing braai area, and for a new picnic and braai area where we will have a designated play zone for children, and walkways to the tidal pool and parking lot. These improvements, once completed, will have a huge impact on visitors’ overall experience of Fisherman’s Lane. This must be a welcoming and safe space for families where they can spend time in nature and fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings,” said Ms Nieuwoudt.

The details of the upgrade are to demolish and remove a section of the disintegrated road and sea wall at what locals have taken to call the “broken road”, replace a section of the disintegrated road with a new boardwalk, replace a section of the disintegrated sea wall with a rock revetment at the main parking area, build a new elevated coastal walkway with lighting at night to improve the general safety of those walking to the parking areas, beach, and braai area. They will also upgrade the existing parking area with additional parking bays, upgrade the existing braai area with surfaced roads while other infrastructure developments include the closing off illegal routes to the car park and replacing the dirt tracks in the old braai area and western parking area with asphalt roads.

On Saturday May 18 a meeting was held at the Sub-council 23 chambers with fisherfolk on the safety issues at Fisherman’s Lane. Fisherfolk frequenting the angling spot have been complaining about the state of the area for many years (“Damaged beach road angers residents”, Plainsman, September 7, 2016, “Residents petition to speed up road repair”, Plainsman, September 21, 2016, “Residents in a rage about road”, Plainsman, October 11, 2017, “City barricades broken road”, Plainsman, November 1, 2017, “It’s a long road for Fisherman’s Lane repairs”, Plainsman July 18, 2018, “Fishermen advised to create forum, April 17, 2019).

Strandfontein SAPS and Muizenberg SAPS share policing of this stretch of the coastline and Strandfontein station commander, Captain David Malong, said many of the crime activity happens at night with many outsiders not being aware of the danger and not taking precautions with regards to their safety and their belongings.

Director Robbie Roberts, from the City’s safety and security directorate, said Strandfontein and Muizenberg SAPS, neighbourhood watches, and community police forum members need to come together once a month to put a plan in place on patrolling the area. “The marine unit in this area has the mandate and resources to protect the environment. This needs to be an integrated forum, so that they can be in communication,” he said.

Incidents in this area are not being reported consistently, said Director Roberts. Hot spots also need to be determined so that safety measures can be taken, he said.

Igshaan Carstens, of Strandfontein Agriculture Aquamarine and Boating Association (SAAMBA) and Strandfontein Fishing Forum, who has been delegated by Elton Jansen, councillor for Ward 43 (Strandfontein and parts of Philippi) as the liaison officer for Sub-council 23 for fishing issues and activity at the False Bay Coast in the Strandfontein area, said there are four forums – the Mitchell’s Plain Fishing Forum, the Strandfontein Fishing Forum, the Khayelitsha Fishing Forum and the Vrygrond Fishing Forum in Muizenberg. These forums have various sub-fishing forums and organisations, both recreational and commercial fishing groups.

Representatives of each forum need to join the mother body, the False Bay Aquatic Forum, which has not been established yet, said Mr Carstens. This will include all areas between Muizenberg and Macassar.

Ms Nieuwoudt said this fishing spot has been a huge attraction to fishers from all over the city, “It’s high time that we restore and protect this area for future generations and I’m happy to say that this project will be a priority for us.”