Tidal pools need lifeline

2015-05-05 06:00

Heritage restrictions have slowed progress on a plan to upgrade the Kalk Bay tidal pools.

The upgrade along with the repair work to the Glencairn tidal pool resurfaced as hot topics at the monthly South Peninsula Subcouncil meeting last week.

Councillors questioned the delays and raised concern about the state of the Glencairn pool.

Chairperson Felicity Purchase explains the pool wall has been damaged over the last 10 years and is in need of urgent repairs.

Speaking at the meeting Carien Stegman, an official from the City of Cape Town’s sports, recreation and amenities department, explained they had obtained heritage approval for the repairs at Glencairn.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock voiced his frustration with the delays and explained in 2012 a budget was available but an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was needed and set the project back.

“The EIA was for the footpath and not the tidal pool. In 2012 they had the budget and I fail to see how in 2015 we will get a new budget three years later,” he said.

In response Dave Gretton, an official from the same department, explained the City has set up a coastal management task team to address various coastal matters including tidal pools.

He explained officials had to look at various issues of which tidal pools is only one factor.

However, councillors expressed their fears that the Glencairn tidal pool would completely disappear.

Proposed changes to the Kalk Bay swimming pools are expected to take a bit longer.

In 2013, the Kalk Bay/St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association made suggestions for improvements to make the pool more user friendly.

Purchase explains this includes the removal of the wall between the two pools to allow swimmers to swim laps across the two pools.

She explains due to the age of the pools, the proposed change needed approval from the national heritage department.

According to a report tabled at the subcouncil meeting, the City is finalising a tidal pool management plan for all 22 tidal pools. “However, as these structures may be seen as having heritage value, engagement with national heritage around legal approvals and compliancy are required,” it reads.

Speaking at the meeting, Stegman explained due to changes in legislation the proposed works could not be approved by the provincial heritage department.

V

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