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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Progress at last on the Camps Bay Beachfront Redevelopment

Since the year 2000, CBRRA has been deeply involved in the redevelopment of the main Camps Bay beachfront, which, although being arguably Cape Town’s best and favourite beach and the jewel in the tourist crown, is suffering grievously from almost complete neglect resulting from a regrettable lack of maintenance and redevelopment finance.

This has resulted in the beach looking decidedly tatty and run down at present, which condition was not helped by some devastating flood damage during the midwinter rains of 2008, which, at the time of writing (January 2010) has not yet been properly repaired, due to lack of finance, slow tendering procedures and the recent very busy peak holiday season.

A master redevelopment / maintenance plan was created under CBRRA’s auspices in about 2001, after a thorough in-depth Environmental Impact Assessment, which plan is still in existence and needs to be updated and prioritised.

Whereas a start was made on the overall redevelopment about six years ago with large rock revetments placed at the interface between the beach and the lawns, these were discontinued due to the necessary funds being diverted elsewhere by the previous Council.

It is a breath of fresh air, therefore, to receive the following letters from Cllr. Taki Amira, the new Good Hope Subcouncil Chairperson in place of Cllr. J-P Smith. CBRRA looks forward to this regenerated initiative led by Cllrs. Amira, Haywood and CBRRA, heralding the dawn of the complete revival and upgrading of an amenity which deserves much more support and attention than it has been receiving over the last twenty years.

Read the following letters in reverse order from the bottom up and you will obtain an accurate picture of the exciting things which can start to happen on this exciting beachfront which will surely bring it up to the magnificence which it assuredly deserves !

It is also very gratifying to see how various local volunteer bodies are combining well together for the benefit of the public at large as well as the local population, who while very fortunate to be able to live here permanently really understand that this unique facility is a regional, possibly national asset which needs constant attention and nuturing. :


Good morning,

Thank you for your email the contents and request contained within which I have noted.

The status is as fo0llows and I may repeat myself.

We managed to secure R200 000-00 for remedial short term work on the beach post flooding, this money was eventually allocated towards the end of November, where we held an on site meeting to prioritise where this would be spent. As most of the damage from the floods was surface damage caused by erosion, it was decided that we would wait until the main holiday rush was over before we leveled and top dressed the lawn area as we could not conceivably demarcate no go areas on existing lawn thus further restricting access and suffering more damage. I am assured this work would be done in January.

Yes, I am aware of the proposals for upgrading the area made a number of years ago and we have located the plans that were agreed to by the City and the community in as far back as 2001+ -.

Dave Curran has the plans and he was also involved in the plans and discussions.

The previous dispensation at that time had removed all funding for the upgrade, thus the plans were filed.

These were brought to my attention and I have requested that the officials dust them off and give me a three year plan/proposal with costs and prioritization so we can try and apply for funding in the budget cycle for the period 2010-2011 and three years thereafter.

Funding as you are aware is extremely scarce and we must fight to get a nibble at the ever decreasing cake.

I have some ideas however I want to run this passed Marga the ward councillor and other colleagues plus officials before I feel comfortable in bringing this to a meeting this month.

As soon as I have done my home work I will gladly meet with you, however this does not preclude you or any member of the Camps Bay Resident Rate Payers Association or any member of the public making use of my open door when in the CBD to discuss this or any other issue. All I ask I please phone in to confirm I am in the office and just pop in. Others do call in.


Taki Amira
Councillor - City of Cape Town
Chairperson Good Hope Sub Council (16)


Thanks for your letter of support below.

Richard Dames is a valued new member of CBRRA Manco, and before he joined had entered into a robust and constructive exchange of views with Cllr. Amira in respect of the highly undesirable condition of the main beach at Camps Bay.

He has, as a new Manco member, been seconded onto the whole beach cleansing / maintenance / redevelopment programme which CBRRA now wishes to relaunch together with the Council and the community.

It is common cause that this so-called tourist gem is in a catastrophic state of disrepair, resulting from the floods earler this year and the lack of maintenance and capital works finance which seems to have ground to a stop in recent years.

Let me please remind the Council yet again that CBRRA and the community of Camps Bay spent an inordinate amount of time with the Council in the early 2000s carrying out a fully fledged EIA process on the whole of the main beachfront – the master plan of which still exists. Some years ago the Council commenced he construction of large stone revetments between the grass lawns and the beach, which construction was stopped not even halfway when the moneys were diverted to some other “more deserving causes”. .

In the meantime, lack of maintenance , beach events, illegal advertising structures, floods and vehicular usage of the beach lawns have all but destroyed the lawns. The banks between the lawns and the beach remain poorly repaired.

CBRRA’s request for a brick paved vehicular access road from the tidal pool area to the Lifesavers’ Hut over the years has fallen on deaf ears and this so-called showpiece beach is now something to be ashamed of – even without regard to the seemingly inability of the Council to adequately keep up with the cleansing situation caused by impossibly congested crowds in the peak season and during the year.

The uplighting of the palm trees has not worked for many years in spite of constant requests by CBRRA in the past.

CBRRA is informed that the Council can only commence its flood remedial operations in the new year, many months after the floods. Whereas CBRRA welcomes this belated remedial work, it is inportant that we hold a meeting to find out what is being done and provide further input if necessary..

With all the above in mind, CBRRA now formally requests Cllrs. Amira and Haywood to jointly convene an initial meeting of all the above persons plus the necessary relevant Council Officials in or about the third week in January 2010 to relaunch an initiative to establish a holistic programme for the proper completion of the redevelopment, maintenance plan and stormwater disposal system for the Camps Bay main beachfront.

We cannot delay this matter any further and CBRRA looks forward to hearing from our two Councillors where (we suggest The Bay Hotel) and when (late January) the meeting can be held.


John Powell


I managed to secure extra funding (remember the city does not have insurance or emergency funds for damage after storms) I secured R200 000.00 for repairs, but due to procurement we will wait until after the holidays to rehabilitate most damage although some cosmetic changes you will see are apparent. We have prioritised what needs to be done such as lawn rehab (unfortunately the changing rooms have caused further damaged).

I have also asked for a three year plan, in order or priority, to institute the approved plan of circa 2000/0001 in which you were involved so I may put it on the budget and see if we can get a dip into funds but at the moment all funds to projects have been rephrased.

This may be a short email but I need to shoot off for a site visit on a building application and can fill you in later.




I write in response to the email received earlier this month from the DA's Information Officer with regard to littering on Camps Bay beach.

I have been informed that Richard Dames, the originator of the complaint, had recently joined the committee of the Camps Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association, (CBRRA) and is taking a particular interest in the environmental and cleansing issues that we face in Camps Bay. (

I strongly support this action and the diligent and pro-active stance that CBRRA have taken in addressing this matter. The CPF, as you all know, spends the majority of its time, due to necessity, addressing SAPS and crime issues that seem of a more heinous nature - our activities with regard to home invasions, house robberies and the implementation of sector policing stand testament. The fact that CBRRA has offered to take ownership of such an important yet under managed issue shows how far we have come as a community in trying to raise all of the standards that we expect to see provided in Camps Bay.

Again, thank you to CBRRA and to Richard for tackling this head on. It, obviously, gets our full support.


H. Peter Mead
Chairman; Camps Bay Police Forum

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