The sand and the fury: Dunes are swallowing Table View
Roads bordering the beach being buried by destabilised sand dunes, and it'll take R35m to solve the problem
It’s people vs sand in the Table View area north of Cape Town, where R35-million is needed to stave off a dune invasion.
In recent months roads bordering the beach, especially busy Marine Drive, have just about been buried, and it turns out the whole dune system from Dolphin Beach to Blouberg has to be “rehabilitated, reshaped and stabilised”, said ward councillor Nicky Rheeder.Until the money is found, officials are concentrating on clearing areas where dunes are moving into the road.
“The dune system is dynamic. Due to erosion over the years, the drought and the lack of vegetation to keep the sand at bay, the dune system is moving over to the road,” said Rheeder.
“Remember that where KFC is now was once a dune. We need to rehabilitate them in order to keep the sand on the dunes and off the road, parking and grass.”Rheeder explained that R35-million is a conservative figure for the project that could take about two years to complete.
“It would involve moving sand, putting vegetation in place and shaping the dune, among other things. This will be a very complex process,” she said.
Cameron Collins, a manager at Jerry’s Burger Bar, said the sand often made it impossible for cyclists to stay in their special lanes, and it could become a nightmare for pedestrians.
“I’ve seen workers move the sand back to the beach but then it builds up again,” said Collins.
An employee at Board and Kite Africa, who did not want to be named, said the area was world famous for kite surfers because of the wind.“As long as there is wind we can’t complain because we are in the business of selling kites. But the streets have become beaches and it is my opinion that perhaps it has to do with the amount of construction along the coastline. A lot of walkways are also being covered with sand,” he said.
“A long-term solution is what is needed.”
Sand-flow problems are not restricted to this area. In 2013, the nudist beach at Sandy Bay — between Llandudno and Hout Bay on the Cape peninsula — was running out of sand due to human activity, which disrupts natural sand flow.The Sunday Times reported at the time that it prompted an “unusual emergency sand dump plan”. Officials planned to transport about 25,000 cubic metres of sand to the area.
In 2016 a section of a couple’s retirement home was swallowed by a sand dune in Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape. The area had lost four other houses.