Capetonians rally to refurbish iconic beach huts

Cape Town’s iconic beach huts have appeared on many a postcard, but they are in a poor state.

A Constantia woman is running a social media campaign to raise money to restore Cape Town’s iconic beach huts to their former glory.

Angela Gormon launched the Save Our Beach Huts drive in September last year to repair and maintain the huts at the Muizenberg and St James beaches.

“They are in a terrible state, and there had been a plan to remove them from the beach,” said Ms Gormon.

She has received many offers of support from fans of the huts and is being helped by Daniel Blaauw from Muizenberg and Charles Maisel from Fish Hoek.

A hut before, left, and after the cladding was added.

Sean Scholtz, of BHF De Jager project managers in Steenberg, has refurbished one of the huts and is now assessing what needs to be done on each individual hut. “Some don’t have stairs; others are missing floorboards, most don’t have doors,” said Mr Scholtz.

The refurbished hut has been clad with Nutec – a composite material made up of cement, silica and organic fibres – donated by Everite SA.

Connor James, regional manager of the Parow-based company, said he had spotted Ms Gorman’s campaign on Facebook. “Many of our staff have fond memories of visiting these world-renowned structures,” said Mr James.

The weather-resistant Nutec building planks would clad and roof the exteriors of the first 32 huts on Muizenberg Beach, he said.

Ms Gorman said painting contractors from Constantia, Retreat and Muizenberg had volunteered their services and a timber firm from Somerset West would repair the stairs.

Pick n Pay is launching a recyclable shopping bag to raise money for the refurbishment of the beach huts.

Meanwhile the campaign continues to raise funds for labour, tools and equipment.

This Saturday, January 31, Pick n Pay in Constantia Village will launch a recyclable carrier bag that will go on sale nationally in support of the project. Ms Gorman will have a stand at the store to promote the campaign.

There is also a Backabuddy campaign to raise R70 000 and the Surf Emporium is selling Muizenberg Tourism buffs in support of the project.

Follow the campaign on Facebook.