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30 Jun 2023

New beach access ramp planned for Ballito

Juan Venter (North Coast Courier) Picture: Ballito's promenade - a fourth new beach access ramp will be constructed at an as yet to be confirmed location.

In pursuit of its mission to improve access to North Coast beaches for people in wheelchairs and those using strollers, the Ballito Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) has started a fundraising drive for the construction of a fourth access ramp. Three access ramps are currently available at Willard Beach, Clarke Bay and just north of Granny’s Pool.

UIP head of marketing and communications, Jade Harding, said the latest project was dependent on funding, but once the R40 000 target is reached, the go-ahead from the KwaDukuza Municipality (KDM) would be the next step. The UIP and KDM are working jointly on the effort. The location of the fourth ramp is yet to be identified.

“We should be able to turn around the ramp installation within a two-week period,” said Harding.

The UIP, a public/private partnership tasked with improving public spaces, services areas from the Ballito Business Park, down Ballito Drive and on the beachfront from Zimbali to Willard Beach.

Aside from maintenance and upgrades, the UIP also actively conducts weekly and bi-weekly testing of ocean water from Sheffield Beach through to Salmon Bay, including some tidal pools. The results of these tests are shared via the UIP’s social media pages.

Test results in the past year were green for ideal and in some cases, amber for acceptable. There was one exception last month when E.coli levels had reached a critical point at Willard Beach, but this has since subsided. The UIP said water quality is often affected by high winds and seas, with the contamination at Willard Beach having been short-lived.

UIP Precinct Manager, Thierry Leclezio, said collaboration among community role-players and the public at large was key to further enhancing the North Coast’s public spaces and delivering on the objective of entrenching the region’s reputation as one of Africa’s most sought-after warm water lifestyle destinations.

“With Blue Flag status and a world-class promenade, we certainly are fortunate to have this wonderful facility on our doorstep that continues to draw tourists, provide a wonderful natural escape for locals and visitors and host world-class events,” Leclezio said.

To donate to the construction of the new ramp, visit www.ballitouip.co.za/site/projects.