Residents in a rage about road

Fishermans Lane has collapsed close to the parking area and tidal pool at Strandfontein Pavilion. The crumbling road, which the Plainsman first reported on in January, is falling into the sea. Pictures: Kaylynn Palm

It is just a month away from the festive season when hundreds of people will descend on Strandfontein Pavilion but residents are worried about the safety of Fisherman’s Lane as the crumbling road has deteriorated even more.

The road referred to by locals as the “broken road” has more holes since the Plainsman reported on the matter in January. There are three massive holes ranging from 40 to 50 metres in front of the parking area and near to the tidal pool at the Pavillion.

Fisherman’s Lane has collapsed close to the parking area and tidal pool at Strandfontein Pavilion. The crumbling road, which the Plainsman first reported on in January, is falling into the sea.
Pictures: Kaylynn Palm

On Friday January 4, concrete barriers were positioned after five years of complaints and petitions about the damaged road (“City finally barricades ‘Broken Road’,” Plainsman, January 11).

Strandfontein resident, Mario Oostendurp, from the Proudly Strandfontein civic organisation said there are no safety barriers for foot traffic. He said the barriers were removed approximately a month or two after it was erected.

Strandfontein resident, Mario Oostendurp, from the Proudly Strandfontein civic organisation inside one of the holes in the road.
Pictures: Kaylynn Palm

He said there is a lack of safety around the affected areas, especially the area closest to the parking.

“In January the City said that there were three proposed designs for public participation during the course of the current 2016/17 financial year. So how far is this process? What is happening? Every day the road worsens, but nothing is being done about the issue,” she said.

When the Plainsman sent a media enquiry about the damaged road in January, Anda Ntsodo, mayoral committee member for community services, said the City intended to put forward three proposed designs for public participation during the course of the 2016/17 financial year. “Based on the public participation, elements of the three proposed designs will be costed in terms of both the initial capital outlay and long-term maintenance requirements to inform the Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department to plan financially for project implementation,” he said.

Fisherman Joshua Wynn from Colorado Park said hundreds of people use the tidal pool during the festive season and is a hot spot for fishing. He said over the past few months the road has collapsed further.

Gavin Andrews from Saldanha fishing on the road.
Pictures: Kaylynn Palm

He is calling on the City to put safety measures in place. “In other areas roads are repaired and maintained, so why do we have to wait for years for our road to be repaired. The road is broken right up until the parking area, but there is no urgency to repair it. “I also recall the barriers that was placed, but a month or so after that it was removed. So you can imagine how dangerous it is, because the holes are really deep,” he said.

Another fisherman, Gavin Andrews from Saldanha, said there are children who often visit the beach and can hurt themselves. “Pathetic! That’s what it is. This is a beautiful beach perfect for fishing and swimming because of the tidal pool. I also have to watch my step when fishing, because I too might take a dip in the hole and hurt myself,” he said.

Sub-council 23 chairperson Elton Jansen said he is aware of the issue and has worked on the matter since 2014. “I have no idea who removed the barriers and will make sure I find out soon. Regarding the upgrades, I am also waiting for feedback,” he said.

Hayley van der Woude, spokesperson for the City of Cape Town, said the City is working to address the poor condition of Fisherman’s Lane.

She said the old sea wall and road were not founded properly and as such the sea is eroding through weak points in the wall and causing the area behind it to collapse.

Ms Van der Woude said a project manager has been assigned to investigate remedial action and an initial report on Fisherman’s Lane will be submitted to the City’s Coastal Transversal Working Group for review at the end of October.

“We are also in the process of procuring portable road barriers to cordon off the road to ensure the safety of users. An update on the process going forward will be made available once the report has been reviewed,” she said.