Community comes in for praise

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge by the new-look Warner Beach subway.

Ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge has heaped praise on the initiators of a number of upliftment projects in the Warner Beach and Winkle areas.

Warner Beach resident, Jan Pauw and Barratt Neilson of Blue Sky Mining Backpackers Lodge started the revamp of the Warner Beach subway and a community effort on Heritage Day, spearheaded by My Sapphire CommUnity, saw members of the community paint the underpass, install new lights, clear bush, plant a garden and erect a wooden fence.

This after Cllr Beetge co-ordinated a wash of the subway by Toti Fire with their high-pressure hoses.

“People used to loiter there, but now with the fence up and a security guard posted from 6pm to 6am, it has made the area much safer,” said Cllr Beetge.

“If you want to uplift your environment, roll up your sleeves and do something about it. This is a good example of people who have gone out and done it.”

Plants and paint supplies were donated by local businesses and an anonymous donor, and the security hut and guard are community-funded.

Monthly operational expenditure is estimated at R18,000 per month, inclusive of armed response security patrols around the subway, Moth Hall and beach area along Elcock Road and surrounds and any contributions from the community will help towards uplifting and maintaining a safer community.

Jan and his wife Zeele’s rehabilitation of the dunes from Elcock Road to Winkle Beach has tranformed completely bare sand dunes that now boast substantial growth.

With support from other environmentally-minded residents in the last five years, they removed alien invasive plants in the backshore and replaced them with milkwoods, plugged holes in the coastal bush in the middle shore, and encouraged plant growth on the dunes in the foreshore, down to the high water mark.

Jan and his team of eight part-time workers have built the dunes up from the high water mark with a row of wooden stakes, before anchoring the sand down with brush.

South of the subway bush has been cleared adjacent to the railway line, which has opened up the area along Elcock Road.

“Residents have now taken ownership of the park-like area and they are maintaining it themselves,” said Cllr Beetge.

At Winkle beach there are plans to erect a shelter for the informal traders, but the area’s floodlines pose a challenge on where to erect it.

I appeal to Toti residents to take ownership outside your own door. Other residents should take heed of the wonderful work done at the subway and if they want to beautify their own suburb, get stuck in,” said Cllr Beetge.

To know where and how to start, call Cllr Beetge on 082-718-8137 or My Sapphire CommUnity’s Glynis Rathbone on 076-207-1145.

Earl Baillache

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