Cape Town beach battered by storms gets 'coastal defence' treatment

15 June 2023 - 17:02
By Sipokazi Fokazi
The revetment of Milnerton beachfront in Cape Town has been completed.
Image: Supplied The revetment of Milnerton beachfront in Cape Town has been completed.

Milnerton beachfront which was damaged by severe storms in 2017 and 2018 and exposed to further erosion has been given a new lease of life with the installation of a revetment serving as a coastal defence solution.

On Monday the City of Cape Town said restoration work that started last August, involving the demolition and removal of damaged stepped infrastructure and beach ramps, has been completed just in time for the stormy winter season. 

Deputy mayor Eddie Andrews, who visited the site, said the improvement will attract visitors and city residents.

The city will monitor and maintain the revetment project and “proactively commence with the planning of the long-term solution well ahead of time”. 

 “ The revetment will protect the lifesavers building and promenade and those visiting the Milnerton beachfront will enjoy this recreational space a lot more. 

“Cape Town’s coastline is vulnerable to climate change. Predictions are we will face harsher storms and stronger wind. We take these factors into consideration as we implement projects to improve our resilience and to ensure our coastline remains a pristine and sought after destination,” he said. 

After completion of the first phase, phase 2 will see reconstruction of the lifesavers’ clubhouse and incorporate a frontal dune and adjacent promenade. 

A feasibility study by the city and specialist coastal engineering consultants investigated the coastal processes, long-term beach erosion trends and geotechnical conditions at the site.  

The conclusion was to build a geo-container revetment for protection against coastal processes and high seas in the medium-term. 

Andrews said the revetment provides the city the flexibility to implement a managed retreat of the fixed infrastructure at the beachfront about 15 years from now, if needed.

  • the revetment is constructed from about 720 sand-filled geo-containers;
  • each container has a mass of 2.5 tonnes;
  • the revetment foundation is buried 2.3m below the beach level; and
  • it has an expected design life of 15 years.