Muizenberg is back! With secure new retail & residential developments on the beachfront, and a buzzing Surfer’s Corner – the hot spot of surfing culture in Cape Town – it’s the place to be.
Muizenberg Beach is a holidaymakers’ paradise, with a gently sloping white sandy beach, child friendly waves & warmer water, swimming pools, mini golf, water slides, jungle gyms, surf shops, restaurants, artisan bakery, coffee shops and beachfront holiday accommodation.
Local Attractions: great board & kite-surfing [4 surf schools offer lessons & hiring]; scenic coastal walk to Kalk Bay; canoeing & sailing at Zandvlei; land based whale watching [July – Nov]; hiking in Table Mountain National Park; three world-class golf courses at Clovelly, Westlake & Steenberg; spectacular coastal train trips from Muizenberg station; the Constantia Wine Route; plays & musicals at The Masque Theatre; fascinating museums.
Hot tip: Explore behind the beachfront into York & Palmer Roads to rub shoulders with the locals in bohemian style shops, bars, restaurants & boutiques.
For a fabulous article about Muizenberg and its surfing history follow this link:
Safer Together and the monthly Muizenberg Moonlight Meander
Support a good cause and have fun with your local community. See
Muizenberg/Lakeside Residents’ Association
For the September 2010 newsletter of the Muizenberg/Lakeside Residents’ Association see:
Muizenberg Improvement District
The Board meets on the first Tuesday of each month and community meetings are held every two months where the public is invited to raise or discuss any pertinent matters with the Directors.
At least fifty new businesses have been drawn to Muizenberg since the inception of the MID, and there are a host of coffee shops, restaurants, specialty shops and businesses that now draw custom to the area. Muizenberg has also become sought after as an area for property development and there have been extensive renovations and new developments throughout the MID area and greater Muizenberg in recent times.
The development of the beachfront by Faircape and associates has made an enormous difference to the type of visitors attracted to the area and once the last two phases are complete, we can look forward to a complete renaissance. The turn around in Muizenberg has been dramatic so far, but could not have been achieved had it not been for the co-operative efforts of all the community organisations and so many individuals who have dedicated, and continue to dedicate, time, money and energy to working together to make this charming town the success it deserves to be.
Projects for 2010/ 2011
Contracts have been awarded to GRIT Security Services as well as with Living Hope Community Centre to provide street cleaners. The MID Board will continue to monitor service levels and ensure these partnerships continue to be of benefit to all.
Tackling crime and grime remain the most important challenges for the MID, and our focus will remain on fostering a safer, cleaner environment.
A gardening competition was launched in September with the aim of making Muizenberg a more cheerful, brighter and nicer place for all of us to live.
An application to CTCC has been made for controlled parking on the beach front, in an effort to get rid of the unruly car guards and associated criminal elements, as well as to provide an additional source of income which MID will use to further improve safety, our environment and facilities in Muizenberg to the benefit of all.
In order to open up our CBD and create a link between the beachfront and the Palmer Road precinct, several initiatives are underway to have the electricity department trucks park elsewhere in the southern peninsula, so that the parking area can be used for a commercial enterprise that benefits the CBD.
The recently launched bi-monthly Muizenberg Network News email newsletter, which is also posted in the library and is available on www.muizenberg.info, is proving popular and will continue to be sent to as many residents as possible to ensure good communication.
The MID remains focused on, and dedicated to a safer, cleaner Muizenberg.
The MID Business Plan
The Muizenberg Improvement District, like other City Improvement Districts in the Cape Town area, share the core aim of ensuring top-up services to Council with regards to Safety and Security, and Cleanliness of the streets and environment. The major items to be funded on the MID budget remain the payment of security and street-cleaning services. The 2010/2011 budget of the MID is in the region of R979 000 of which R420 000 will be spent on security provided by GRIT Security Services and R110 000 on street cleaning provided by street people employed through the Living Hope Community Centre.
The budget is raised by approximately 8-10 % per annum to correspond with the annual cost of living increase applied to the rates by Council. The problem remains a percentage of non-payment by levy payers and Council thus retains a portion of monies to cover bad debt. We urge community members who are in arrears either with their rates or with their levies, to contact Council to come to some arrangement for payment. Payment of MID levies is of benefit to all.
The Establishment of the Muizenberg Improvement District
The process of setting up the Muizenberg Improvement was initiated by a group of concerned residents in April 2000. By December 2000, the situation in the village had deteriorated to such an extent with gangsters, crime and grime, that the committee took the risk of starting up the proposed business plan with security and management on the basis of donations in order to stem the tide of crime. The legislative procedures of establishing the municipal or city improvement district were completed officially in November of 2001. During the interim period, the services of security and management were provided to the community free of charge and the committee, to support the project, raised approximately R250 000. This included a start up grant from the council of R100 000.
The Structure of the MID
The model of the improvement district comes from the United States where some 1200 city improvement districts have been formed to combat inner city decay. The concept is simple but effective. An area is demarcated, a business plan and budget is proposed to the ratepayers in this precinct and a majority vote of 51% establishes the project. The MID is legislated under council by-law. The owners in the MID are levied a special MID levy on the rates bill which is collected by council and paid over to the section 21 (non-profit company) which constitutes the vehicle for the MID. The MID therefore is a legal entity and complies with the by-law on Implementation of Improvement Districts under council and the South African Companies Act. The payment of levies in the precinct is also obligatory for the ratepayer. As with unpaid rates, the transfer on a property sale will not be given until the outstanding MID levies are paid up.
Muizenberg’s Historical Mile
Take time to stroll along the main road towards Fish Hoek – there is much to see. On one side the ever changing ocean has its own attractions- while on the other graceful and historical buildings stand witness to events and epochs of the last several hundred years:
MUIZENBERG HISTORICAL CONSERVATION SOCIETY
The Muizenberg Historical Society was formed in 1984 by local conservation activists to foster an understanding and appreciation of the many historical aspects of False Bay, and in particular the heritage of Muizenberg. It became a Section 21 Company in 1999, so as to provide a more formal structure to deal with fund raising, conservation restoration and the many threats through development of loss of historically significant property. Click here to find out more about the Muizenberg Historical Society.
Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
Zandvlei is a recreation and conservation area at Lakeside. Here windsurfers entertain picnickers with their antics.
ACTIVITIES: bird hides, picnic sites, boating, walking
Environmental education: The Zandvlei Environmental EducationCentre offers field trips for primary school learners (book in advance)
For management email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
For environmental ed email email@example.com
Friends of The Zandvlei Trust help with conservation, education and awareness projects: contact 021 701 7542; Fax 021 701 7542;
Zandvlei is the only functioning estuary on the False Bay coast, and supports a variety of indigenous fish. Juvenile marine fish use the estuary as a nursery and it is important that the estuary is open to the sea for at least part of the year, so that young fish can enter and older fish return to the ocean. For this reason, it is artificially opened by CT Catchment Management at high spring tide.
25 fish species are found in the estuary including: Mullet, Leervis, the critically endangered White Steenbras, White Stumpnose and Elf. Strict recreational fishing regulations apply, and today many sport anglers prefer to ‘catch, tag and release’ fish so that they can enjoy fishing without threatening fish populations. Anglers are encouraged to remove alien invasive fish such as Carp and Barbel.
The 200ha Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is an important Wetland habitat. About 150 species of birds, including migrant birds from Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa call Zandvlei
home at various times of the year including Great Crested Grebe, African Fish Eagles, Caspian Terns, Ducks, Coot, Herons, Ibises, Pelicans, Kingfishers, Swallows and Weavers.
18 different reptiles have been recorded in the reserve including the Marsh Terrapin, Brown Water Snake and Mole Snake and 210 different plants species.
Residents of neighbouring Lakeside and Marina da Gama enjoy their wild neighbours and sometimes see Otter, Porcupines, Small Grey and Water Mongoose.
Sadly urban development, invasive alien plants and dredging of the vlei have destroyed most of the natural vegetation around Zandvlei. However, the City of Cape Town, Working for Wetlands and the Zandvlei Trust volunteers are slowly restoring the natural Cape Flats Strandveld vegetation. The extensive reed beds are important natural filters of silt and nutrients which ensure that the water does not become thick and green with algae. But the invasive water hyacinth is a problem as it clogs large areas of the vlei.
Extract from CITY OF CAPE TOWN NATURE RESERVES publication. 2009
Read complete document on:
http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/EnvironmentalResourceManagement/publications/Documents/Nature Reserves booklet-Jun08.pdf
- Fish seller, Muizenberg Rock “art” on Muizenberg Mountain
Help beautify Muizenberg and win!
The Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) is running a competition to beautify the MID area and the committee is asking all residents in the area to paint their houses and create pretty gardens. For more info see http://www.kalkbay.biz/
Looking for owners of walkway benches
The benches along the Muizenberg-St James walkway have been replaced and Muizenberg MID is looking for the original owners of the benches in order to replace names that have been lost. If you owned or know of anyone who owned one of these benches please email firstname.lastname@example.org. And should you wish to have your name or that of one of your family engraved onto a bench send your details to the above email address.
- Muizenberg, Oh Muizenberg!
Part One: The Twins and the Smiths of Muizenberg To echo a famous photographer who wrote a similar title for his photo journal of the peoples and places of Southern Africa; did you know that all roads converge into Muizenberg’s sweet lap?
How she has carried the load over the centuries; how her mountains majestically greet the rising sun each morning and then bed down before it sets behind the Atlantic horizon. Early to bed early to meet Venus as it may appear in the dark before dawn just above the distant range of the Hottentots Holland who peer jealously towards our Muizenberg shores. A passerby may be heard to say: what’s there to do in Muizenberg or what kind of a place is Muizenberg? Too much wind they moan. I say to that passerby, if you don’t know Muizenberg pray continue passing by. Fortunately only a handful of people don’t know Muizenberg: they probably spend their lives asleep anyway. The rest of us know and will never forget Muizenberg.
Get up too early in Muizenberg and you are bound to run into an early jogger braving the fresh south easterly which laid a blanket of moist salt on your car while you slept. Beach hats are always at bargain prices for they don’t sell well in Muizies and its wind. It whistles up from the South Pole scooping sea water into the air. Some of it lands on my windscreen while the rest is deposited in Gauteng disguised as huge summer afternoon thunderstorms. But my rising time is normally just before the kids go off to school when I would escort my son to Muizenberg Junior School with one of his school-bags over my shoulder and Greta, our ancient dog, on a leash.
Traipsing towards Thesen’s footbridge spanning the estuary of the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, we would bump into the twins, Carol and Susan. Hailing from Fish Hoek, Susan works at Friends, the local Edu-care centre in Windemere Road. Her loyal sister rides on the train escorts Susan to Friends then walks back to False Bay Station and returns home to Fish Hoek. Every day, every term, every year Carol escorts her twin to work; and neither of them have forgotten my son who spent a year or two at Friends himself.
Of course just south-east of the bridge are the Smiths. You can hear them screaming their heads off; not at one another but at the late commuters heading off to work via a shortcut across from Axminster Road through the sand and close to where the have their nest. The Smiths? you ask if you’re a stranger to Muizenberg. Go and take a discreet look: Black Smith Plovers have their nest of four. Ever year they breed in the same spot and every year, if it’s not the dogs that chase the chicks down it’s the mowers who mow for money before the annual kite festival for they will insist on nesting in spring. One day we will get the balance right and their offspring will live a longer life. Perhaps they need the care of a Susan.
Written and copyrighted by David Muller October 2009 This may only be published after the expressed permission of the author has been obtained.
Surfers Corner in the Sixties
“The Corner” as it was called by all the locals was the meeting place for many Guys and Girls from all over the Cape Peninsula during the sixties. It was convenient to reach as it was the first sea side village that the train stopped at on the Cape Town to Simon’s Town train line. In those days this form of transport was popular with all those who did not have motor cars. The beach at Muizenberg was also very safe (before all the recent shark scares) and the gentle waves made it the perfect place to learn the ancient and royal Hawaiian sport of surfing. During the “on shore” summer winds the bathing boxes were the perfect place to hide away from the “beastly south easterly” and it was a great place for the beach bums to chat up all the girls. It was also safe to leave your board in an alley between two of the landmark buildings at The Corner.
Strong bonds were formed many of which lasted until the present day. Surf Clubs were also popular and names like Surf Club da Cat, Swamis, Point, Atlantic, Long Beach and of course the famous Muizenberg Corner Surf Club were formed and the members of these clubs formed the nucleus of the WP Surfing Teams of the 60’s. To raise funds the Muizenberg Corner Surf Club held “bop/twist sessions” at the Old Pavilion and in fact raised enough funds to purchase a Club truck which took members to far away surf spots such as Jeffreys Bay and Elands Bay.
A REUNION IS PLANNED
One of the surfers, Henk Schagen, who lived in a block of flats called “Beach Court Mansions” (since demolished) had a chance meeting with Charlie Moir (co-organiser) and mentioned that it would be great to get all these Guys and Girls, now mostly in their sixties, together for a Corner/Sixties reunion. Charlie Moir and Nick Hough, started collecting names and the rest is making history….and the biggest surfing reunion in surfing history in South Africa.
To read the rest of Nick(y) Hough’s account click here
See it Muiz page (http://capepointroute.co.za/seeit-muizenberg.php )