Following complaints from the community, the City of Cape Town said it will spend the next 2-5 years reinvesting in Strandfontein Pavillion Beach. Residents of Strandfontein and surrounding areas have expressed dissatisfaction with the conditions of the beaches along the False Bay coastline, citing safety concerns.
This is despite the Strandfontein Pavillion having a Blue Flag Status, which indicates a “high environmental and quality standard”.
But the City has said it is in the process of rectifying these concerns. Manager of Coastal Management, Integrated Urban Management Portfolio at the City of Cape Town Gregg Oelofse explained that only a part of the beach was declared unsafe.
“The Strandfontein Pavillion, as a whole, is in good condition. There is just a portion on the western side that has been closed (to the public) due to structural problems. It was an area that was used as a law enforcement office and below it was a kiosk but it’s probably only about 15% of the building. We are looking in terms of what we need to do about that.”
Oelofse highlighted that the beach is one of the best beaches in Cape Town and is well used in the day time, especially during summer months and school holidays. The tidal pool is one of the biggest on the African continent.
“It’s been a long time since the City has built anything new on the coastline and we are looking to start reinvesting in that area.”
He noted that, contrary to the belief of residents, funds have been allocated for the upgrade. He also admitted that an area west of the Pavilion, commonly known as Fisherman’s Lane or Broken road, has faced some challenges but these will also be dealt with.
“We have allocated R21 million rand for the next three years to upgrade and fix the Fishermans lane area-which is a significant project, so we are starting in earnest with that. We will be spending the next 2-5 years particularly on the Falsebay coastline between Strandfontein pavilion all the way through to Monwabisi. Obviously, these things take a bit of time because we have to enter into procurement and tender processes to appoint contractors.”
From a safety perspective, Oelofse explained that they are hoping to work with communities and the fishing community to reduce the danger experienced by fishermen.
“It’s not an easy thing to solve but that’s one of the reasons why we will be reinvesting in the Fisherman’s lane area because it (should be) a space that people can safely recreationally fish.”
He emphasized that the City wants to promote a relationship between residents and their environment.
“One of the things we are trying to create (is) a physical connection between the communities that live along the coastline and the facilities. So that we are not having these nodal points that are separated from people but are integrated. (We need to) look at them as significant spaces for social and economic opportunities over the next decade.”
“It’s long overdue for investment and we want to improve the facility for people so that we can make use of that incredible space we have.”