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
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.
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.
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