People's Post

Hut refurbishment resumes

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The Leith Roofing team were in action during the past week, cladding the second hut with a special cement called Nutec, donated by Everite Building Products. PHOTOS: Save our Beach Huts | Facebook
The Leith Roofing team were in action during the past week, cladding the second hut with a special cement called Nutec, donated by Everite Building Products. PHOTOS: Save our Beach Huts | Facebook

Having kicked off on Sunday 2 May, the makeover of the second iconic beach hut on Muizenberg beach officially began after months of garnering donations of time and resources (“Huts to get makeover”, People’s Post, 15 September 2020) from locals.

“Support for the Save Our Beach Huts campaign has been amazing,” says Beach Hut Trust chair and mastermind behind the initiative, Angela Gorman, in a statement. “It’s thanks to the likes of Leith Roofing, The Pole Yard, Buco, Cockburn & Son Construction, with project management by BFH de Jager Project Managers, and financial support from Pick n Pay that we are able to resume our renovation programme.”

For Andrew Gilbey, managing director at Leith Roofing, Muizenberg beach would be unimaginable without the highly recognisable huts. He says in a statement that this is the reason he felt compelled to support the campaign. “I spent a fair amount of my youth in Muizenberg either surfing or just fooling around, the beach huts were always there as part of my consciousness,” Gilbey explains.

Paula Cockburn, owner of Cockburn & Son Construction, says the huts are located in one of the harshest environments and so strict measures must be taken to ensure the job is done correctly to preserve them.

“The salt-laden South-Easter coming off False Bay, scooping up abrasive sand particles on its way, presents a real challenge for any coating on a structure like a beach hut. It’s critical that our processes and quality of products used are of the highest standard to ensure a long-lasting paint job,” she says.

Daniel Blaauw, a local entrepreneur and tourism expert who has been part of the campaign since its inception, tells People’s Post that with the help of these local companies, the second hut should be complete this week – if the rain lets up.

“Fundraising for hut two came from Pick n Pay through the sale of the shopping bags (“Local projects bolster beach huts initiative”, People’s Post, 23 February). We raised R90 000. We expect to be able to refurbish hut two and three. And with our ongoing fundraising programme, we are hoping to fund the rest as we continue to repair and restore,” he adds.

Aside from Pick n Pay, the companies involved have either donated materials or labour to the project to reduce the cost.

“But we need more material suppliers. Everite has also been great in supplying the Nutec (an innovative cement used for the wall cladding and rooves of the huts). We also raised funds through raffle tickets for a print of the Cliffy Brown painting.

“And more artists and companies are coming forward to donate things for us to raffle off. We will be launching a raffle for some T-shirts soon,” says Blaauw.

Along with T-shirts for sale, they are also selling multi-coloured buffs – appropriate for fundraising in the time of Covid-19 – and have launched a super support club where supporters can pledge R100 monthly to create a sustainable beach hut funding mechanism.

While he says the public is a tad frustrated with the pace at which the job is being completed – a factor currently out of the campaign’s control – the general feedback is positive. All beach-goers, beach-lovers, residents, tourists, supporters and sentimentalists can continue to back this campaign and refurbish the 31 huts.

The Beach Hut Trust also has something in mind for the remaining huts.V For more information, visit https://beachhuts.org.za/ or the Save Our Beach Huts Facebook page.

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