Alkantstrand under threat
Tides chew more chunks from coastline
AS anticipated, last week’s spring tide wave action, driven by wild waves and strong seas, gouged a few more metres off the fragile Zululand coastal dune front. Once again trees growing on the slopes dropped onto the beaches as the bases of the dunes were undermined by the power of the water. This has left even more debris floating in the surf as the summer swimming season approaches. The erosion and lack of sand replenishment just north of Alkantstrand has also exposed old infrastructure once buried under the sand, adding to the hazardous situation. Of most concern, however, is the advance of the erosion at Palm Beach (the kiteboarding site), where at the spring tide peak waves actually washed right up the pathway. Once it does wash away that section, the incoming tide could flood the entire Alkantstrand parking area. ‘We need some urgent protection here,’ senior lifeguard Shadrack Mkhize said during an inspection of the area on Friday, ‘whether it be installing geobags or barrier reinforcement with material more solid than sea sand.’ While the force of nature in terms of global warming and rising ocean levels is the major factor, the dismal failure of Transnet’s dredging services to supply the contracted volumes of dredge spoil to replenish the beaches has played a major negative role at Zululand’s most popular beach.
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