Port Elizabeth of Yore: The 1905 Grandiose Harbour Scheme That Never Was

At the turn of the 20th century, Port Elizabeth still did not possess a harbour. For fifty years no progress had been made in spite of a barrage  of requests. In 1905 the Cape Government submitted three proposals to a commission of engineers in London to adjudicate them.

The commission recommended the submission by Coode, Son and Matthew but would this proposal be the plan to eventually be executed?

Main picture: Proposed new dock at Port Elizabeth with the outer wharf at North End

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Blunting the Menace of the Drift Sands

A natural feature of Port Elizabeth since time immemorial was a band of drift sands stretching from Gulchways near Schoenmakerskop across the bush to Algoa Bay between Shark River and Bird Road.

To protect the town, in the 1870s it was decided to prevent the sands’ possible movement over the town by planting bushes and trees over the sand dunes. This process took 30 years. Apart from remnants of these dunes, none of this natural feature remains except the sandy soil. The consequences of tampering with nature always results in unintended consequences. In a separate blog I have addressed those negative effects on the ecological system.

This blog has been based upon an excellent article by Ivor Markman which was published in the Herald on Monday 20th July 2009

Main picture: Mule train used to deposit refuse on the drift sands

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