Cape Town to install sand nets to combat southeaster winds

Hout Bay Beach Cape Town sand nets

The City of Cape Town has announced it will install wind nets along Hout Bay Beach to prevent sand from gathering on nearby roads.

The installation is the second phase of a trial intervention plan and work will begin on 30 September.

“The primary objective is for the nets to trap and reduce the impact of windblown sand,” Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, said in a statement.

“However, one of the added benefits is that the nets will also assist to keep the area relatively wind free for sunbathers who always need to battle the southeaster in summer.”

The plan for sand nets along Hout Bay Beach

The plan forms part of the greater Hout Bay Dune Rehabilitation Project.

In June, the city used machinery to lower the beach levels on the Eastern side of the beach. The lowering resulted in increased sand grain size and a higher tidal beach.

This also resulted in less sand gathering along Promenade Road and the surrounding neighbourhood properties.

“The southeasterly winds blow sand onto the road infrastructure faster than we can clear it,” Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Councillor Rob Quintas explained.

“Even when we do succeed to remove the sand quick enough, we cannot return it to the beach because it has been contaminated with gravel from the road.”

Now, the City will install dune nets adjacent to Promenade Road in preparation for the Summer months.

The nets will act similarly to brushwood hedgerows historically used in Hout Bay to trap sand.

The nets will stand at an angle perpendicular to the predominant southeaster wind direction and be open on either side to let beachgoers reach the beach from the car park.

They will be in place until the end of April 2022. After that, the city will remove them and push the gathered sand back into the sea.

The City will reuse the nets in the future if needed.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the dune nets will improve the situation,” Quintas added.

“The impact will be monitored and we may continue with the intervention depending on the outcome.”

Read more: SANParks launches reality TV show, Away for Repair

Featured image: Pixabay/wolfgangriebe

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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