The Tecoma Street access to the surf break Lower Point is fast becoming a no go zone as a community of bush sleepers has made a home in the public open space.
Between 7 and 12 people, together with their pet dog are living in the thick indigenous bush at Lower Point, which is regarded as one of the finest Point breaks in the world and is especially suitable for long boards and for youngsters entering the sport of surfing.
Despite a clean up operation conducted by the Police, municipal Law Enforcement officers and the Community Police Forum (CPF), the problem has escalated in recent weeks.
A resident who lives in Pagoda Street says that there are often fights and arguments breaking out amongst the bush sleepers and that they have black bags full of clothes that they stash in the bushes overlooking Point.
“The bush sleepers have managed to break the flood lights so the area is very dark at night and nobody can actually see what is happening after sunset”, said the resident who chooses not to be identified.
The influential environmental organisation, the Supertubes Surfing Foundation has identified Lower Point as a area of the beach front that has to be upgraded. The Foundation has done sterling work in preserving the Park at Supertubes and intends to embark on a similar project at Lower Point.
“The razor wire has worked in protecting the indigenous bush and shell midden at the Supertubes Park and a similar approach will have to be taken at Lower Point” says Tyrone Smith, the Chairman of the Supertubes Surfing Foundation.
“We had a situation at the Supertubes Park where bush sleepers were moving in and even tried to erect shacks on the last remaining sand dune along the Jeffreys Bay beach front. The Foundation has been pro active in preserving the dunes for future generations and we are currently looking at a project at Lower Point that will involve the community that uses the area as well as the local residents”, added Smith.
Kouga Law Enforcement are aware of the problem and have the backing from the Jeffreys Bay Police to remove the bush dwellers. However, this is a temporary solution as the next crew of homeless people will eventually move in and repeat the cycle unless a solution as proposed by the Supertubes Foundation is accepted and implemented by the local community.