Alka­ntstrand un­der threat

Tides chew more chunks from coast­line

Zululand Observer - Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Dave Sa­vides

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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