‘Beach hut broken’

2017-09-26 06:00

Storm damage to a beach hut in Camps Bay is affecting a local fieldworker’s ability to assist street people.

The building, referred to simply as the “beach hut”, provides a base for the local fieldworker to engage with street people, explains Camps Bay Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Bernard Schäfer.

However, the building can no longer be used following a severe storm in June, which lashed the Atlantic Seaboard coast. The storm left damage to beach infrastructure as well as shifting sand along the beach, Schafer says. The building has been left with sand piled as high as half a metre around the building and the doorway is broken. In order for the building to be used again, the sand will need to be relevelled and repairs carried out on the building, which belongs to the City of Cape Town, he says.

Following repairs carried out on the roof by community members, an agreement was struck with the City to allow the fieldworker to operate from the building, Schäfer explains.

“It’s used for the social worker to conduct interviews and as a safe space. It’s a central place for the social worker to work from, and Law Enforcement also uses it as a base during the summer season,” he says.

“The fieldworker now doesn’t have a permanent place from which to work. Space is scarce in Camps Bay and the fieldworker is currently using the bowls club as a temporary base, but that space is expected to be taken over [by Camps Bay Preparatory School] soon.”

Schäfer says the organisation has been informed that there is a “bigger City project” to repair all beach infrastructure damaged in the storm, which would hopefully include the beach hut.

However, when People’s Post requested the City to provide more information on this project, including details on when the repairs to the beach hut would be carried out and what provision was being made to accommodate the fieldworker, Siyabulela Mamkeli, acting Mayco member (North), responded: “The City is aware of the damage caused to the building. This will be repaired as soon as insurance processes are complete and the budget is available.”

In the meantime, the City is carrying out repairs at the Sea Point pool, which was damaged in the same storm. The pool closed for repairs after the railings between the pool and the sea were “destroyed together with the raw seawater pumps, electrical components, rim flow covers, baby pool tiles and paving, as well as various other areas of the facility” (“Storm wastes Sea Point pool”, People’s Post, 04 June).

“Two weeks after the storm, an electrical fire broke out, damaging the three main electrical boards. An emergency site meeting was held recently and it is estimated that it will cost approximately R715 000 to repair the storm and fire damage,” said JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social development, at the time.

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