Beach facilities fall apart

Buffalo City’s Gonubie and Nahoon boardwalks are broken, uncared for

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Just months after Buffalo City Municipality spruced up the city’s beaches for holidaymakers, complaints are circulating on social media about broken or uncared for beach facilities.
Photos have been posted on Facebook of a broken bench and railings on the Gonubie boardwalk and the Nahoon Reef boardwalk covered by mounds of sand.
The Dispatch visited the Gonubie Beach boardwalk on Wednesday and confirmed the accuracy of the pictures.
One of the wooden benches, close to the entrance of the boardwalk, lay in a crumbled, broken pile.
Many sections of the railing were completely missing, leaving gaps large enough for children or animals to fall through. Other sections were partially broken with pieces snapped off.
Walking along the boardwalk, many of the planks felt weak under foot.
The men’s bathrooms closest to the lifesaver shack, while relatively clean, had large chunks missing from the toilet doors.
Gonubie ward councillor André Swart said he had received many complaints regarding the state of the boardwalk.
“It’s [the boardwalk] reached the end of it’s lifespan,” said Swart, who blamed much of the damage on vandalism by drunken youths.
He said R2-million had been budgeted for renovation of the boardwalk but that “bugger all” had been done despite the end of the financial year fast approaching.
BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said that BCM was aware of the damage to the Gonubie boardwalk.
“Yes, damages are caused by vandalism. It is fairly common and [has] been fixed very often,” said Ngwenya, adding that a “professional service provider is at bid specification stage for a new boardwalk”.
A trip to the Nahoon Reef boardwalk, which runs through a conservation area, confirmed the Facebook posts.
No less than 10 metres of the boardwalk was covered in a thick layer of sand which peaked at about one metre in height, rising above the level of the railings.
There were large sections of railing missing in places. There was litter throughout the Nahoon Reef area. However, BCM workers were hard at work cleaning the surrounds.
Jason McDowell, ward 18 councillor, said while he had not received complaints about the boardwalk, he was aware of the issues.
Ngwenya said the municipality had about R65,000 available for upgrading this boardwalk. Staff would carry out repairs before the end of the financial year, he said...

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