It had to happen at some pont: hand-drawn river ferry meets its end
Despite its heritage significance, a bigger and safer way to cross the Breede River is needed
After 159 years of slow but reliable toil, the country’s last hand-drawn pontoon has been sunk by old age and the march of progress.
The Malgas pont, pulled across the Breede River by two men harnessed to a steel cable, will be replaced by a motorised vessel, the Western Cape transport and public works department said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Jandré Bakker acknowledged the old craft “may carry sentimental value to some”. But he said the safety of passengers and their vehicles, and especially the pont’s operators, was the top priority...