Macassar Dunes Project

The Macassar Dunes Project is located on the Cape Town coast adjacent to Macassar and Khayelitsha and is bounded by the Eerste River, Baden Powell Drive and False Bay.

The project aims to establish a representative organisation that will ultimately play a major role in long-term planning, management and decision-making about the Macassar dunes. It includes the development of an eco-trail and basic educational facility; the implementation of an ongoing alien vegetation clearing and rehabilitation programme; the raising of awareness, training and capacity building for stakeholder groups; and the appointment and training of community monitors to provide a safe and secure environment.

The project was launched in 1999 by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the Centre for Integrated Rural Development, the Environmental Evaluation Unit of the University of Cape Town, and the Khayelitsha Education and Resource Information Centre. It was initiated when funding was made available through the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. This resulted in the establishment of the Macassar Dunes Co-Management Association, which was mandated to implement projects identified by stakeholders.

Specific projects have included the provision and management of access to the dunes for recreational use; the improvement of safety and security for visitors to the area; the provision of infrastructure and facilities for resource users, tourists and educational groups to harness opportunities presented by the area; to protect and enhance the ecosystem services of the dunes through conservation of the biodiversity and integrity of the dunes; to raise awareness among local residents and dune users of the ecological and resource value of dunes through environmental education and recreational activities; and to provide training and employment for trail and site maintenance staff, community monitors and trail guides, and identify possible opportunities for local crafters.

Interpretive signage dealing with subjects such as “dunes on the move”, “sandy shores”, and “off-road vehicles” has been erected. In addition, a full-colour environmental education brochure has been developed, printed and distributed to a range of stakeholders. A further sub-project has been the clearing of 63ha of alien vegetation from the western dunes using five recently established local contractors.

Access to the Macassar dunes is free and open to everyone. Special visits can be arranged.

Part of the abandoned Macassar Pavillon, which has been overtaken by the ever-shifting dunes. Photo courtesy of Mallix

Tons of sand has shifted into the Pavillon, which forms part of the Macassar Dunes Project. Photo courtesy of Mallix

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