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Battered Margate: Picking up the pieces [WATCH]

"We are blessed with the best community in South Africa" - Stephen Herbst of Tidy Towns.

“It’s not all doom and gloom. Let’s turn the negative into a positive!”

This is the message from Stephen Herbst from Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate after a storm turned Margate upside down last Sunday night.

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MAKING MARGATE BEAUTIFUL AGAIN: Scott Kvalsvig of Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate said yesterday (Wednesday) that Margate beach was almost 99% cleaned-up. In a space of a short period, Tidy Towns have even managed to save some of compromised palm trees on the beach. . #southcoastherald #Margate #tidytowns #flashflood #beach #kznsouthcoast

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“The community spirit, the generosity of businesses, and the support from other towns have been incredible. My heart breaks for the businesses, restaurants and individuals who have lost everything or are without work,” he said.

“However, we are blessed with the best community in South Africa,” he added.

A volunteer from Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate starts the mammoth task of cleaning-up. PHOTO BY VEE RAMSAYI PHOTOGRAPHY

Ironically, the KZN South Coast faced floods on April 12, 2022.

But, this week, Margate took the full brunt of a horrific storm which wreaked havoc.

On Monday morning, residents woke up to mangled cars and a path of destruction along the banks of the Nkongweni River and at the beachfront Lives were lost, buildings, homes and businesses were destroyed.

Community members lend a helping hand to clean-up Margate beach.

The Margate Bowling Club, due to run Margate Week in May, was in ruins. This event draws players from around the country and is a great revenue boost for local restaurants and holiday accommodation.

Working together to get Margate back to tip-top shape.

Many parts of the South Coast have been without power since the storm.

Fridges and tyres even landed up on the beachfront along with masses of debris.

There was even a search for the missing ducks and geese from The Duck and Putt in Margate.

A duck found on Margate beachfront.

The South African Weather Services said that on Sunday 249.8mm of rain was recorded, and then to add more salt to the wounds, a further 32.0mm of rain fell on Monday evening.

Volunteers cleaning up Margate beach. PHOTO BY VEE RAMSAYI PHOTOGRAPHY.

However, mop-up operations began on Monday and carried on into Tuesday with volunteers from Tidy Towns Shelly Beach to Margate getting stuck in to help restore the seaside town.

Within some 48 hours, the resilient South Coast community had cleared the beach vowing to get it clean and open to the public.

Scott Kvalsvig yesterday (Wednesday) said Margate beach was almost 99% cleaned-up.
In a space of a short period, they had even managed to save some of compromised palm trees on the beach.

Even fridges popped up on Margate beach. PHOTO BY VEE RAMSAYI PHOTOGRAPHY

Margate is famously known for its palm trees planted by seed by the late Fred van Dongen some 60 odd years ago.

Herbst concluded that there is some work to be done to the infrastructure in and around Margate such as implementing a proper storm water drainage system at Hunter’s Stream and some crucial changes to the Margate Sewer Pump Station 3A located near the Nkongweni River.

Progress on Margate beachfront. Photo taken on Wednesday this week.

“To a certain degree, we could blame the poor drainage system, but not many towns would have survived 300mm of rain,” said Herbst.

“But, it’s certainly onwards and upwards for a better Margate,” he added.

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