It is fair to assume that the petition to ‘Save the Spit’ signed by several hundred concerned SFB residents had an influence on DEDEAT’s decision to allow emergency reparations to commence on the spit albeit with certain conditions and restrictions. The input of the Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis should also not be ignored for there is little doubt his input resulted in the positive outcome. Threatened with severe consequence should the spit breach, they really had no alternative for it was mooted that either DEDEAT or the municipality, or both, could be held liable for any damage to property in the event of such a breach.
The question now that DEDEAT has allowed reparations to proceed does this absolve them from any claims should the spit breach say during the winter storms? But should the spit breach and DEDEAT and the municipality are absolved then surely all reparation to private canal walls and indeed even garden and home interiors will thus have to be borne by the individual home owner. So that begs the next question, would individual insurance cover pay for home owners damage if it is considered that they were aware of the potential chance of damage and made no effort to contribute to corrective efforts..
Hopefully the work being done by SFPO, the Riparians and Joint River committee should see them pump sufficient sand onto the spit in the coming months to bolster the spit through the winter storms and until a more permanent solution can be implemented.
Moving from the spit to the beach front properties where owners have had to spend hundreds of thousands of Rands in rebuilding the revetments to protect their properties being engulfed by the ocean. In a way these home owners are the final bastion against the ocean encroaching further into St Francis Bay. There can be little doubt the rock revetments are a temporary solution and can only be effective for a limited time. The beach simply has to be restored so as to prevent the daily high tide assault on these revetments causing them to slowly subside.
Many will say the beach is not their problem, or it’s a lost cause, or there is no way it will encroach further, or the proposed solution won’t work. With nothing else on the table surely it is worth at least trying for to do nothing, certainly won’t fix anything.
Reading between the lines of a Facebook post this weekend it seems the anti-SRA lobbyists are not going to accept the results of the SRA vote should it go against them. Let us hope they don’t drag this into the courts a la the Quayside debacle spending funds that could be better spent on saving St Francis.
Note: Those who regular use Cape St Francis beach probably wouldn’t notice but is it possible that thi beach is also starting to erode?