Kouga Municipality has issued a warning to motorists against using the causeway between Paradise Beach and Aston Bay at Jeffreys Bay.
While the causeway has not yet been closed officially, the municipality would like to encourage motorists to use the alternative route to Paradise Beach, via the R102 between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, said Kouga Municipal Manager Sidney Fadi.
Motorists who choose to use the causeway do so at their own risk, he warned.
Fadi said the surface of the causeway had suffered extensive damage over the past few months due to high water levels and strong winds.
“The municipality has tried to repair the holes in the surface, but attempts were largely unsuccessful due to the constant water seepage,” he said.
He said the municipality had further applied for permission from the Department of Environmental Affairs on November 7 to breach the mouth of the Seekoei Lagoon in order to lower the water levels.
“We were granted permission on December 18, but there are stringent conditions attached which require the services of sectors that have already closed down for the festive season. This means that the municipality will not be able to breach the mouth before late January.
He said while the condition of the causeway did not yet warrant closing it down, motorists were encouraged to use the alternative road.
The road, which runs past Langkloof Bricks and the Lombardini Game Farm, was recently graded and is in a good condition.
The causeway was constructed with building rubble by residents of Paradise Beach some three decades ago to create a shortcut to Jeffreys Bay. It was later tarred by the erstwhile Weston District Council in response to public demand.
Because the causeway was not built according to standard norms and crosses a sensitive estuary, maintaining it has been an ongoing challenge for the Kouga Municipality since its establishment 15 years ago.
Alternative ways of crossing the lagoon have been investigated, however, few municipalities, including Kouga, have a big enough budget to fund the building of bridges.