The transformation of the Muizenberg beachfront has been down to strategic redevelopment and getting rid of rundown buildings.
Ten years ago the Muizenberg beachfront was a
“no-go” area, but today it is a booming hub.
With the last development along the stretch – housing a surf
school, coffee shop and two restaurants – open from December, the strategic
redevelopment of the area is one of the reasons visitors flock to the
Steven Frankel, developer and chairperson of the Muizenberg
Improvement District (MID), believes a surge in business confidence has made the
area more desirable for property owners and developers.
“Brands want to be here now. People want to be here and so
businesses want to be here. It’s key to keep up this momentum,” he says.
Growing up in the area, Frankel remembers the time when Muizenberg
was considered Cape Town’s top holiday destination.
“It was the Camps Bay of Cape Town. There was a reason why people
came here then and we realised there must be something we can do to bring the
A decade ago, most of the buildings along the beachfront were
rundown and many were occupied illegally. Because of the high level of crime the
beach had long lost its appeal, explains MID deputy chairperson, Lesley
Tackling the overcrowding and related crime was key to revitalising
the area and bringing back development, Schroeder says.
“The upgrading and redevelopment of the strip has had a major
influence, bringing in a well-balanced mix of offerings. This, coupled with the
recent upgrade of Surfer’s Corner, has significantly improved the overall appeal
of Muizenberg beach. Today our biggest challenge is finding parking solutions
for the 12 000 cars that flow in and out on busy weekends and the thorny issue
of informal car guarding,” she says.
Frankel believes the future of the beachfront lies in partnering
with the council to provide top-notch amenities to cater for the increasing
number of visitors, as well as providing a controlled parking area so “people
can feel safe and secure”.
Additional safety is provided by MID, says public safety director
Hugo Coetzee. This includes car patrols along the beachfront and foot patrols on
the beach during the holiday season.
“The future is looking very positive. Muizenberg beach is first and
foremost about surfing. Everything else complements that. That said, the MID
does not intend to sit back and take a breather – the key is to keep working to
maintain a quality and safe visitor experience. We want Muizenberg to be a