BCM beach blunder

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EL’s once pristine areas still in disrepair after massive storm damage

WITH the festive season fast- approaching, Buffalo City Metro still has not fixed pedestrian pavements that were damaged after the monstrous waves hit the shore at the beachfront recently.

BLOCKED OFF: Huges pieces of concrete have been washed up onto the rocks of Gonubie Beach and has not been removed Picture: QHAMANI LINGANI

The sidewalks were damaged in August during a freak storm with massive waves pounding the East London coastline and causing extensive damage. The GO! & Express highlighted the huge holes and missing pieces of pavement at the beachfront in its September 21 edition (Waves of disrepair).

In that report, Buffalo City Metro (BCM) spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya said the insurance assessor has been on site.

Ngwenya said at the time that a structural engineer has also been present to assess the damages, as well as to check which sections were insured and what would have to be repaired at cost to the municipality.

IN NEED OF A FIX: The Esplanade pavement is still not fixed with tens of thousands of people expected to descend upon the beachfront area over the festive season Picture: QHAMANI LINGANI

But the pavement has still not been fixed, as the city’s busiest season closes in, when tens of thousands of local residents and holidaymakers flock to the beach.

BCM spokeswoman Bathandwa Diamond said there was a plan in place to rehabilitate the sidewalks, but did not give a timeframe.

BCM stages the Motsepe Foundation “The Christmas with our People” concerts, the switching on of Christmas lights and the city’s annual carnival at the beachfront at the start of the festive season..

“Currently community services and infrastructure services are waiting for work orders so as to rehabilitate the damaged sidewalks,” Diamond said.

Gonubie and Nahoon beaches, which also experienced some damages as a result of the storm, may be in a better state, but they are not 100% ready to welcome residents of Buffalo City and holidaymakers, as there is minimal evidence that the monster waves once hit their shores.

Upon a visit last week to Gonubie Beach, a broken and washed away concrete block lay strewn on the shore but it however was unclear where it came from.

This reporter also noticed a broken concrete chair and table at ablution facilities – and it is also unclear as to how it came to be in that state.

There was also no evidence of the huge wooden poles and concrete foundation that was revealed when the storm washed away large sections of the sand dunes at Nahoon Beach.

So it seems some work still needs to be done on the beaches to get it ready to welcome holidaymakers to its shores this festive season.

Buffalo City Metro Development Agency (BCMDA) announced in August, that, as part of its plan to develop tourism infrastructure at the East London Beachfront area, a consortium of specialists has been appointed and they will be responsible for the design and implementation of a Precinct Plan for the East London Beachfront extending from Marina Glen A to Water World.

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