New lease on life for huts

2017-11-28 06:00

Around a third of the bathing boxes on Muizenberg beach may be removed to improve the condition of the remaining huts.

This was mentioned in a report by City of Cape Town officials at a subcouncil 19 meeting last week.

The officials stated that there were eight bathing boxes at Surfer’s Corner, with another two groups of 21 and 17 at Muizenberg beach. The officials proposed that the 17, which were the furthest from Surfer’s Corner, be removed and used to refurnish the remaining bathing boxes.

In August, ward councillor Aimee Kuhl called for a formal process to address residents’ concerns over the removal of beach huts on Muizenberg beach (“Beach hut outcry to be heard ‘formally’”, People’s Post, 22 August).

Over a thousand residents signed a petition against the removal of huts. A social media outcry began after residents were informed some of the huts would be removed as they were derelict and a safety risk.

The petition called for an “immediate cessation of the removal plans” as the huts were part of local heritage. The petition also called for a “broad plan to address the maintenance of the beach huts and the social ills affecting the area holistically” as well as “thorough consultation with the community” (“Storm over beach huts”, People’s Post, 8 August).

Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, previously told People’s Post that the beach huts were an “iconic part of the Cape Town landscape”. He confirmed that the huts at Surfer’s Corner would not be removed, although he said discussions on the future of the huts on the eastern side of the beach were underway, as they were in a state of disrepair and posed security risks.

Kuhl’s motion states that “bathing boxes are a part of our heritage and will remain a part of Muizenberg beach” and the current status of these huts “is unacceptable”.

Public sayThe proposal presented at the subcouncil meeting followed a series of public engagements with residents and stakeholders, officials at the meeting explained.

They estimated that the cost to refurbish all the bathing boxes would be more than R800 000.

The officials stressed that the proposed refurbishments would only be a temporary solution, as they faced a number of challenges in maintaining the bathing boxes, such as criminal activity and weather conditions which added to the deterioration.

A request was made to report to the subcouncil on possible alternative and sustainable uses for the boxes next year.

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