The Muizenberg beach huts are well known for being bright and colourful and are used in many advertising campaigns as a way of attracting tourists to Cape Town, but over the years they started losing their spark. To make sure that they remain attractive, Southern suburbs resident, Angela Gorman launched a project to rebuild and restore the huts.
The Save Our Beach Huts project was launched in September last year and has seen several local and neighbouring businesses and communities sponsor and aid the restoration process of the rainbow beach huts. Gorman who is a Professional Photographer by profession said she had the idea to restore the huts to their former glory when, walking on the beach one day, she noticed how decrepit they had become.
“From a distance, the huts may appear fine, but on closer inspection, you can see the years of neglect. Some no longer have doors or windows, or floorboards and side planks have disappeared. After speaking about it, I finally took the step to start something that would help bring the huts back to life. They are such an iconic part of our city, that’s why it’s important to rebuild and restore them,” said Gorman.
Pick n Pay, along with a few other donors and companies also launched separate initiatives aimed at raising awareness and funds for the project. The retail store launched a new 100% recycled RPET bag. Proceeds from the limited-edition reusable bags will be donated to the project.
“The Save our Beach Huts shopping bags will help protect a landmark in Cape Town recognised by locals and tourists alike, but also do an important job of protecting the environment. Through the sale of these bags, we’ve been able to support a range of causes, ranging from environmental to food security,” said, Andre Nel, Pick n Pay Sustainability general manager.
The project has also received support from Everite SA, which donated Nutec boards for all 36 huts.“Instead of sanding and repainting the huts, we’re completely cladding them in Nutec board which is light in weight, watertight, and fire, fungus and rodent resistant,” said Gorman.
Meanwhile, the Butterfly Art Project in Vrygrond has offered to make ceramic earrings depicting the beach huts to sell, with a percentage coming to the project; and a sewing group in Nyanga will be making tea towels with embroidered beach huts on them.
“City Council has also offered to paint five huts, and two Muizenberg paint contractors have offered to supply paint and labour for a hut each. It is amazing to see how communities are rallying behind our project,” shared Gorman.