Cables snaking ahead

2016-03-08 06:00

The third phase of a project to lay cables underground between Clovelly and Simon’s Town is set to start this week.

The cables provide an alternative to overhead electricity lines to be more aesthetically pleasing along the coastal scenic route from Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town, explains Ernest Sonnenberg, Mayco member for utility services. Underground cables are more reliable, less prone to vandalism and require lower maintenance.

“The cable trench is the main contributing factor which impacts on the immediate area and its surrounds as the cable route traverses urban areas and along the main route roads. As the route is in existing road sidewalks, the impact on plant life and animals such as beetles, amphibians and insects will be negligible,” he explains.

“A further impact as a consequence of the cable trench is disruption to road traffic, though every effort will be made to minimise this impact.”

The City of Cape Town project has been carried out in three phases. The Clovelly to Fish Hoek section started last year and is expected to continue until May. The section between Dido Valley and Simon’s Town began last month and will be completed in August, while the third phase – between Fish Hoek and Dido Valley – will start this week and run until November.

All three phases cost around R33m.

The project has been approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning. Certain mitigation measures have been laid out and must be adhered to during the construction phase, Sonnenberg says. Among the recommendations is the appointment of an environmental control officer to ensure compliance with the regulatory body and ensure the safety of property, residents, flora and animals.

As part of the approval process, a traffic management plan has been submitted to and approved by Transport for Cape Town to ensure minimal traffic disruption, he says.

“The electricity services department also has a dedicated project manager and a clerk of works who will monitor and manage the contractor daily to ensure proper site management and that the project is moving according to programme.”

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