Plant project tackles sand dune problem

Brett Herron planted a milkwood tree as part of the dune rehabilitation project last week.

The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron, planted a Milkwood tree in Hout Bay last week as part of the ongoing dune rehabilitation project.

The initiative covers some 70 000m2 of re-profiled, netted and planted dune, and seeks to address long-standing problems around the dune system in Hout Bay.

On Friday September 7, Mr Herron, who was accompanied by ward councillor Roberto Quintas as well as officials from the City’s coastal management branch managing the project, was introduced to workers selected from the local sub-council’s job seekers database and thanked them for their efforts on the project.

The re-profiled dune comprises three areas, namely the fore-dune, buffer-dune and back-dune. Suitable dune vegetation has been planted according to the requirements for each dune area.

“The Hout Bay dune rehabilitation project is a very fascinating initiative that looks at how we can manage the movement and migration of dunes. The profiling, wind netting and planting of dune-specific vegetation has assisted in restricting the movement of sand, which has been a problem in this area for many years,” he said.

“I am very pleased to see and hear about the success of this project. We are making progress possible to improve the lives of our residents and ensure the accessibility to the City’s infrastructure.”

Mr Herron also made a surprise announcement to the workers that due to their tireless work, the City had decided to enter them in a training programme so they could obtain a professional horticulturalcertificate.This would be paid for by the City.

Now that the project has been established, the City is compiling a Hout Bay dune maintenance tender which will seek to appoint a contractor to maintain the dune system for the next three years.

“During the first three-year maintenance period, the City’s coastal management branch will assess and plan the maintenance requirements moving forward in perpetuity, and how this is best undertaken.

“If the maintenance is discontinued, the project will fail and the City’s infrastructure will once again be impacted by wind-blown sand from the mobile dune system. The project has made great progress and therefore we need to ensure that the good work continues on site and that local employment opportunities are available.”