Dilapidated buildings at Monwabisi Beach. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
Dilapidated buildings at Monwabisi Beach. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Life’s no longer a beach at Monwabisi and Macassar, which lie derelict and windswept

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published May 6, 2021

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SOME of the City of Cape Town’s beaches which used to be places of leisure have turned into dilapidated ghost towns.

Two such beaches are Monwabisi Beach in Khayelitsha and Macassar Beach.

The first thing one sees at Monwabisi beach are the dilapidated buildings that used to entertain patrons and the sand that has covered the concrete tables and chairs where people used to feast.

Walking around the promenade it is covered by sand and the plank stairway to the water is broken, even a sign meant to warn swimmers of rip currents is broken.

Monwabisi Beach Pavilion covered in sand. BRENDAN MAGAAR African News Agency (ANA)

In Macassar, the security guards’ building is empty, and with broken windows and doors, anyone can easily drive or walk in without being body searched.

The promenade looks like a deserted town.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said both the beaches are a shell of what they used to be.

He said the beaches used to provide leisure and business opportunities but no more; instead people are scared of going there because of crime.

People fishing near Monwabisi Beach. DAVID RITCHIE African News Agency (ANA)

He said while the two beaches are not looked after, other beaches in the City are clean and serviced by the municipality.

He said beaches close to where white people live look totally different because they are clean and safe.

“It is because of the racial discriminatory service the City of Cape Town provides, because they know in those beaches you will only find black people,” he added.

He said even the anglers who fish there do not have adequate places to put their fishing rods or to sit and fish comfortably.

People celebrating New Year at Khayelitsha Monwabisi beach. AYANDA NDAMANE African News Agency (ANA)

Mayco member for community services and Health Zahid Badroodien said Monwabisi and Macassar have been in a poor state of infrastructure for many years as they were built in the middle of dynamic coastal dunes.

He said this resulted in sand inundation and the loss of infrastructure. Last year, the Macassar Pavilion was demolished as it had been completely covered in sand and was derelict.

“Maintaining infrastructure in windblown sand dune systems is very difficult and in both areas the level of sand movement is excessive. Macassar in particular is extreme in that regard,” he said.

Badroodien said the City has budgeted more than R80 million for repairs ... Monwabisi and Macassar will not be rebuilt as the sand will simply overtake any buildings in the highly mobile sand system.

“Operating expenses range between R1.9m to R2.1m. This includes cleaning materials, repairs and maintenance, and staff costs. The above budget only refers to beaches in the Helderberg which includes Kogel Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Strand and Macassar,” he added.

Weekend Argus

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