Vandalised jetty repaired again

PRIVATE REPAIR: Wharf Street businesses have had to take sole responsibility for the maintenance of the Wharf Street jetty, which is often left vandalised, allegedly by children who swim there. Seen helping with repairs are Amos Ntlonkwane, left, and Wharf Street Brew Pub waitron Lucky Mokoena Picture: LEBOGANG TLOU

BUSINESS owners in Wharf Street have once again been left saddled with repairing the Wharf Street jetty – which is used and left vandalised, allegedly by children who swim in the vicinity.

BUSINESS owners in Wharf Street have once again been left saddled with repairing the Wharf Street jetty – which is used and left vandalised, allegedly by children who swim in the vicinity.

Wharf Street Brew Pub owner Bram Coetzee oversaw the repairs and spoke on behalf of fellow businesses.

“It’s lekker having them [the children] swim and seeing them have fun,” Coetzee said. “But they break the bridge [walkway].”

“We’ve spoken to them plenty. It got so bad once that a cop came in and stopped them from swimming,” Coetzee said. “He was worried and concerned for their safety.”

Three years ago Coetzee himself rescued a young person who was struggling in the 8m deep water.

The walkway, which business owners on Wharf Street united to repair five years ago, is part of the history of the street, which was the original centre of activity in Port Alfred in its early days from a commercial point of view.

This is why the jetty remaining in good condition is important to business owners in the area. Coetzee appealed to parents and the community to help monitor the children and prevent vandalism.

“Just that they police the kids,” Coetzee said. “I am going to put a lock on the gate. The kids can come and say, ‘uncle, we want to have a swim’ and I’ll unlock it for them and lock it when they’re done. Just so that we can have some control.”

The Wharf Street Brew Pub was, historically, the original customs house, and many things were brought into the town from the cellars below the restaurant.

The street’s business partners have put together a raffle to win a Bob McKenzie painting as an initiative to further raise funds so they can paint the Jetty and preserve it further.

 

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