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A letter and a response.

Thank you very much for the work that is being done regarding the dunes and the sand invasion and I am sure that this will have significant long term benefits.

However I was at Betty’s this past weekend and was amazed to find:

  1. The parking area has been reduced by about 30 to 40% by sand dumped.
  2. On all the roads near the beach no parking signs have been erected.
  3. The trench through which water previously flowed has been fully covered.
  4. The natural approach to the beach from the car park is no longer clearly defined as a result of which people are walking over all the dunes.
  5. Previous access to the beach from the road immediately behind the beach seems to have been closed off.
  6. A new house has been built on the beach.

I am afraid there will be absolute chaos over the season with so little parking available and that access to the beach has been impeded rather than improved.

As far as I can see the only people who will benefit from what has been done so far will be the municipality, who will raise a lot of money through ticketing cars parked in the newly designated no parking areas.

I would like to know what arrangements have been made for alternative parking with beach access – none was visible this weekend.

As the owner of a holiday house I consider beach access to be important, especially for the elderly and those with young children. One of the major attractions of Betty’s is the beautiful beach, which was highlighted in your e-mail of 18 June. From what I have observed the 4 points noted ie access to beach, safety of road network, preservation of fresh water ecology and aesthetic improvement of beach area have been impeded rather than improved.

This is indeed disappointing.

I really hope that I am wrong and that something will be done to improve matters before the holiday crowd descends upon Betty’s in the next 10 days.

Terry Simon

 The response

Hi All

I refer to a mail from a Betty’s Bay property owner regarding limited access to the Main Beach parking area due to the excessive amounts of sand dumped there.  I became aware of the situation at the parking area two weeks ago and last week I discussed this with the nature conservation people at the OM making exactly the statements made in this mail.  It is unacceptable that the only public access to Main Beach is effectively blocked by sand – placed there by the OM.

The OM has a real problem in that, in terms of the temporary Maintenance Management Plan approved by the Western Provence Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP) last year, the Main Beach parking area is the only location where sand removed by the OM from Nerine Crescent and Morea Road may be legally placed.  This has resulted in the situation that we have now. 

The new Betty’s Bay Dune Management Plan, which has been developed by a specialist consultant commissioned by The Betty’s Bay Dune Interest Group and the Betty’s Bay Rate Payers Association, has completed its public participation process and has now been submitted to the DEADP for approval in accordance with the National Environmental Management Act and Regulations.  This plan, when approved by DEADP, will allow for the proper management of the Main Beach dunes including the parking area.  Unfortunately it is unlikely that this approval process will be completed before Christmas.

During our discussion with the OM nature conservation they suggested that the sand could be move temporarily off the parking area for the festive season and returned after the season, where it will stay until the Plan has been approved.  The OM has now requested permission from DEADP to implement this temporary measure and is currently awaiting a reply.

The best case scenario is this will happen tomorrow and that the sand will be moved before the end of the week. However there is also the possibility that the request will not be approved or that the resources to move the sand cannot be found in time.............Let’s hope for the best.