Visitors to the popular Sea Point promenade now have new seating from where they can relax and enjoy the view.
The City’s of Cape Town’s Transport Department completed Phase 2 of the long-term promenade rehabilitation project in December.
It included a major upgrade of the deteriorating sea wall and started in 2012.
According to the City, the aim was to strengthen and upgrade the sea wall to increase its longevity.
The work involved excavating down behind the wall and strengthening it with reinforced concrete from behind, as well as recladding the front face of the wall with precast concrete panels.
The protective natural stone facing used along these sections of the sea wall has deteriorated over time, exposing the core of the wall to heavy ocean swells.
The City said the rehabilitation works will add at least another 50 years to the wall’s lifespan.
“Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, the concrete pavers used for the promenade are specifically designed and manufactured to withstand the extreme exposure conditions to which this space is exposed,” said City’s Mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase.
This phase included the section between the Mouille Point lighthouse and the natural beach at Granger Bay, as well as Rocklands Beach and the section of sea wall opposite the Hall Road/ Beach Road intersection.
The first phase of the refurbishment of the sea wall and the promenade between Three Anchor Bay and the Mouille Point lighthouse was completed in 2015.
The construction progress was dependent on favourable weather and tidal conditions, as work could not take place when the sea was pounding up against the wall.
In early 2017, construction had
to be halted because of a major storm.
Ms Purchase said it needs to be appreciated that this project is not just a simple paving project. “It is a major civil engineering undertaking, the primary objective of which is to rehabilitate and strengthen the sea wall which has had to withstand the onslaught of the sea for well over 80 years in places,” she said.
“Independently of the sea wall project, we upgraded the play parks along the Sea Point promenade. The ‘new’ parks have seating areas where parents can enjoy the space while watching their children play – a move that ensures that visitors and residents alike benefit from the optimal use of this resource.”
She said the new seating walls preserve the original stone facing recovered from the wall.
The public took to social media to weigh in on the project. Gareth Jonas posted: “How about cleaning the beach, I took my son and wife there earlier this month and I was utterly disgusted with the garbage and mess on the shore and on the rocks.
“It looked like a dump and I had to explain to my son why we could not walk in certain areas because it was so full of rubbish.”
Also on the upgrade, Lynn Brown said: “The upgrades are really great. However, in this day and age, when the citizens have made so many adaptions to contain water, reuse it and use greywater, is there no way the City could be innovative and water the ‘grassed’ areas, devoid of grass? It was all so dry and ugly and dirty looking. As the most frequented public space, it deserves innovative thinking around how to keep this recently upgraded area lush and green and a pleasure to look at, never mind to picnic on or exercise pets on. It really put me off and I wouldn’t expect tourists to our city to hold different views.”