Hout Bay can now add the landscaping of their dunes to the list of their environmental achievements after walking away with gold in three different categories at the annual South African Landscapers Insitute’s (SALI) award ceremony.
The Hout Bay Dune Project, managed by Vula Environmental Services, a contractor appointed by the City of Cape Town’s environment department, won the country’s top award for excellence in landscaping. It also won three gold awards in three categories at the SALI’s virtual event held on July 31.
The Hout Bay Dune Rehabilitation Project was entered into three categories, which included specialised landscaping, water wise landscaping and environmental landscaping, taking gold in all three.
More than 100 projects from all over the country were submitted in the various categories.
Bagging these awards meant that the project would become eligible for the Trophy of Excellence as well as the South African Landscapers Institute Shield for Excellence in Landscaping, the overall award, for the best project in the country.
The City’s mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the removal of sand, wind net installation, grass planting, dune thicket vegetation planting and seeding, selective irrigation and intensive maintenance were key to the “now established and stable dune system”.
“I am thrilled about these awards as they are testimony that adaptive management enabled the project to meet its key objective – to reduce the impact of the mobile and unstable dune system on adjacent public and private infrastructure. They further demonstrate that no single approach or method can provide a satisfactory model for implementation,” she said.
“I also want to commend the EPWP for the ground work.
“This project would not have been possible without their contribution.”
The City’s EPWP workers have since secured contracts until the end of December, a Plant Production learnership, NQF level 2, as well as various other short courses in financial planning, life skills, basic computer skills and Small Business Enterprise.
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said it’s been a good few weeks for Hout Bay environmentally and was proud to see the hard work and vision being recognised, awarded and declared.
Mr Quintas had been involved with this initiative before he was elected ward councillor.
“I am thrilled to see it being recognised and the hard work of not only the design and engineering teams from Coastal Management but our own local teams from Hangberg who have literally weathered storms and blistering heat whilst shaping dunes and planting seedlings and erecting the protective netting to safeguard the dune vegetation,” he said.
The dune project and beach upgrade was considered a “large scale labour of love” which involved many departments, teams and designers over multiple years, he added.
“This multi faceted landscaping project which has created sustainable long-term job opportunities and skills development, and has against much naysaying visibly improved the wind blown sand issue and the overall appeal of our beachfront, is a draw card to our beaches and I have and will continue to invest heavily in improvements to our beachfronts and beach walk areas,” he said.