Richards Bay seaside 'snitch' finally becomes a has-beam
For 39 years, the iconic lighthouse had been slipping towards the cliff edge. Now its fate was decided
It took years but the sea finally has had its revenge on a troublesome lighthouse “snitch”.
The Richard’s Bay lighthouse is no more – demolished earlier this month by Transnet owing to severe coastal erosion. Situated just outside Richard’s Bay harbour, the 39-year-old lighthouse was once a safe distance from the cliff edge – about 200m – but had steadily lost ground to the point where the perimeter fence had already toppled into the sea.
On Monday, Transnet described the loss of the lighthouse as “a unique situation”.
“Lighthouse and Navigational Services (a Transnet division) is working with the City of uMhlathuze to put the necessary services in place for a new lighthouse on a new site in Richards Bay,” it said. “An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is outstanding; however construction of the new lighthouse is expected to begin later this year.”
Transnet manages 45 lighthouses along the length of South Afria’s 2,954km coastline.
Demolition of the Richard’s Bay lighthouse was finalised earlier this month. The base of the tower was first weakened using a hydraulic excavator, after which the tower was collapsed and broken up. Rubble and concrete was then removed off site.
Access to the site is currently restricted by a newly erected wire fence, Transnet said. A temporary lighthouse structure with an LED long-range beacon will stand guard on the same site until the new lighthouse building is complete.