Cape Town City recently announced that the St James Beach project will start in the next few days. Abandoned bathing huts will be replaced with replicas, and the beach itself will be modernized with an expanded walkway and picnic area for visitors.
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According to the city of Cape Town, the project will start in the next few days and should be finished by the end of November, before the start of the December holidays.
The city says St James’s Beach is one of the iconic beach destinations along the False Bay coastline, with visitors flocking to this tourist area on weekends and public holidays. The iconic bathing huts are synonymous with this beach and part of the city’s heritage.
In addition, given the dilapidated state of the existing bathing cabins, the City decided to replace them with new bathing cabins.
“We will also improve the walkway and the seating area so that visitors can use this space for picnics. I ask residents and visitors to be patient as the project unfolds and to avoid areas where work is in progress,” said the city’s deputy mayor and member of the mayor’s committee for the land use planning and the environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.
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The upgrades proposed for the project involve the following:
- Bathhouses – the City will remove derelict bathhouses and replace nine in phase one, and two or three more in the next fiscal year
- The walkway will be widened by 0.5 m between the first staircase and the second staircase near the ablutions. When completed, it will be 1.9m wide to comfortably accommodate more pedestrians, or to be used as a seat.
- The walkway section between ablutions and the sea side point will be widened to 2.8m and the area will be accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
- A wall of seating and a step to sit on will be added along the waterfront to provide a tiered seating area with great views of the beach, tidal pool and Simon’s Town.
- The picnic area will be improved by adding topsoil and new grass.
- The area between ablutions and the point towards the sea will no longer have bathing cabins, which will improve the view towards Simon’s Town and provide more space for recreational users.
- The entrance area will be improved with the coating of disordered sections.
- Shower facilities will be upgraded by moving them to a new concrete slab off the beach.
Local Ward Councilor Aimee Kuhl said she is delighted with these improvements which will benefit the community and visitors to this iconic beach.
“We have engaged the local ratepayers association and other residents who have indicated their support for the project. This is a welcome and much needed effort to maintain and improve St. James Beach to ensure it remains an attractive destination for locals and tourists alike,” concludes Kuhl.
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