BCM beach blun­der

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

Go! & Express - - Front Page - QHAMANI LINGANI

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

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.

Pic­ture: QHAMANI LINGANI

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

Pic­ture: QHAMANI LINGANI

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

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