Coast KZN

24 Nov 2016

Supertide wreaks havoc at Ballito beach

Lesley Naude (North Coast Courier)

Willard beach is a sight for sore eyes after a substantial amount of the sand at Willard beach was washed away last week.

The changing coastline has been battered many times before, but so far Ballito has always managed to bounce back.

The beach sand at Willard beach in Ballito has literally disappeared, almost overnight.

Bare rocks are now exposed where there was once golden sand to spread your towel on.

The sand was removed by the sea during the supertide caused by the supermoon last week.

Local environmental consultant Simon Bundy allayed fears that the sand would not return.

“While there definitely is a slow decline of beach sand worldwide, I expect the sand at Willard will return in a few weeks or months, if there are no large storms or big waves to deplenish it again,” he said.

Simon explained that there was a natural cyclic process whereby when the beach deflates (the sand is washed away), the dunes replace the sand and eventually wave action returns the sand, replacing the dunes.

However, this was hampered by developments on the dunes themselves.

“For example there is a retaining wall at Willard beach that the waves reach at high tide, this creates a reflective wave that removes more sand from the beach than normal.”

Bundy said activities like sand mining were depleting the amount of sand in circulation by removing it from the rivers.

While some of Ballito’s other beaches have also been affected, most are still looking beautiful and ready to welcome holidaymakers.



The picturesque Willard beach in 2015.



The supertide last week washed away a substantial ammount of the sand at Willard beach.  


This is not the first time Ballito’s beaches have been stripped bare.

The Dolphin Coast was in March 2007 hit by a devastating mini tornado and pounding seas that washed away the promenade and a few houses.




 Willard beach at its best in 2005.




Willard beach after the devastating storm surge in 2007.   


While Willard has always been the most well know of the Ballito’s beaches, there are arguably many others that are even more beautiful.

If you are not sure where to suntan this holiday, why not check out our article: Ballito’s top five beaches.