Coast KZN

18 Oct 2020

Letter: New beach access needed at Willard

Chris Coates (North Coast Courier) Picture: Chris Coates of the North Coast Surfers’ Union writes to the Municipal Manager

For the past decade, since the Willard Beach lifeguard tower was rebuilt, the access for both vehicles and pedestrians has been dysfunctional at the tower. This is the Willard Beach controlled emergency access point. At present the vehicle access is on the north side of the tower where the width is less than 3 m wide, making it only wide enough for regular motor vehicles and not wide enough for maintenance vehicles to access the beach.

The North Coast Surfers’ Union propose that the vehicle beach access be moved to the south side closest to Ballito Manor. The south side is more than 5 m wide and will allow for maintenance vehicles and large machinery to access the beach.

For example, a Caterpillar 320 Hydraulic Excavator is 3.150 m wide, too wide for the existing beach access. This south access ramp would replace the current wall and beach showers. New showers could be built in the cove of the wheelchair access up and off the beach adjacent to the new ramp. Steps and balustrade could also be incorporated into the side of the ramp providing beach goers safe and easy access to the beach.

The bedrock is also only about 1.5 m below sand level. At normal beach levels the ramp will not be at risk of being damaged by a large storm sea, as was the case in 2007. This will also allow emergency and maintenance vehicle access even in the most difficult times.