Beach hut refurbishments completed

City of Cape Town officials with the new refurbished Muizenberg beach huts. In the front is Beach Hut Trust chairwoman Angela Gorman with mayor Geordin HIll-Lewis in the back.

The R5.9 million refurbishment of Muizenberg’s iconic beach huts has been completed just in time for the festive season.

After renovating the huts at Surfer’s Corner earlier this year, the City’s recreation and parks department started the final phase on the huts on the eastern side of Muizenberg Beach in September, which included the refurbishment of 26 double huts and 10 single huts (“City starts R6m second phase of beach hut revamp,” Echo October 5).

Beach Hut Trust chairwoman Angela Gorman started the Save Our Beach Huts Facebook page in September 2020 after noticing the sad state of the huts, which have been around since 1895.

Since then, the trust has been raising funds to restore the iconic huts, and last year, the community-led project by the trust caught the attention of mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, and in an adjusted-budget speech in February, the City came up with R3 million to help with the restoration of the huts (“City budgets R3 million to save iconic beach huts,” Echo, February 3, 2022).

Mayoral committee Member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross visited the completed huts with Mr Hill-Lewis on Tuesday December 12. She said the scope of work included:

• The replacement of the ground-floor joists, timber bearers, and roof rafters with treated timber, the replacement of the sidewall panels, and roof covering with Nutec cladding.

• The reconstruction of the timber staircase and the installation of concrete bases for the staircase posts.

• The reconstruction of timber seating benches inside the beach huts.

• The replacement of the timber floorboards and timber doors.

• The replacement of all steel bolted connections with hot-dipped galvanised bolts and plates.

• Wood treatment of all timber members, repainting the side cladding and roof covering.

Mr Hill-Lewis said: “I must especially thank the Friends of the Muizenberg Huts for their partnership to preserve this proud Cape Town tourism icon. As Capetonians, let’s take good care of this special heritage symbol when using the huts. When we take pride in our tourism offering, our city reaps the economic and job creation benefits.”

Ms Gorman said she was overwhelmed by how beautiful the huts looked.

“We have been campaigning for three years, and almost three years to the date, the huts are complete and look magnificent. They have been well built, and I think they will stand the test of time and 30 to 40 years down the line we will still have them on the beach,” she said.