Gonubie seeks way to dynamic future

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The Gonubie Ratepayers’ Association (GRA) has come up with four dynamic proposals that could make the seaside village a more attractive place to live and visit.

The Gonubie Ratepayers Association would like to see the boardwalk eventually replaced with a recycled plastic structure. Picture: BARBARA HOLLANDS

The four ideas include a ocean-front walkway from the current boardwalk to German Bay, the repair and replacement of the crumbling boardwalk, a multi-use park including a children’s play park with skateboarding facility and dog park, and an employment depot catering to daily job seekers.

Following the association’s last meeting on March 18, the committee, headed by GRA chair Valerie Knoetze, said it was important to focus on positive projects, while still continuing to tackle ongoing problems like potholes.

“We are very much in the baby stages. We need help from the community and businesses as well as permission from BCM, but we want to work towards something that adds value.”

Knoetze said public open land between 16th Avenue and Fourth Street had been identified as a spot for a children’s park with bicycle tracks and a skateboard park. “We are also looking at a doggy park possibly at the old nursery in 13th Avenue.”

Each project is headed up by a GRA committee member.

Gonubie ward councillor André Swarts said he had written to council to propose the replacement of the Gonubie Boardwalk with a recycled plastic ‘wood’ decking structure.

“Perhaps this could be part of the IDP budget next year or for 2018-19, but in the meantime it must be repaired before the April holidays.”

Swarts said a paved and wheelchair-friendly walkway for joggers and walkers had also been identified as a project that would help “sell Gonubie as a holiday destination”, and that he had already written to council to propose it.

Love in Action co-founder Tracey de Beer said the non-profit organisation was tasked with setting up an employment depot for those looking for piecemeal work.

She said job-seekers were currently to be found on the Gonubie Main Road and on street corners and were exposed to the elements.

“It is also difficult for security companies and police to distinguish between men who hope to find work to feed their families and those who are up to no good, so a dedicated and attractive depot is the answer,” said De Beer.

She said a site alongside the Gonubie Police Station had been identified and talks were underway with the municipality to obtain permission to use it.

“The idea is that it will provide shelter from the rain and will have benches, tables, toilets and a notice board where people can advertise their skills.

“By 11am if they have not got a job, we will feed them, so we are hoping to have a small kitchen too. We are also looking at offering skills training sessions.”

“The ratepayers’ association has decided to do something positive for Gonubie and we will do our best to get things into place. A few residents have already come forward to help.”

lPlease contact Valerie Knoetze at 0797827070 if you are able to help or sponsor these projects in any way.

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