16 May, 2013 16 May, 2013

Durban’s Piers Due for Maintanance

Durban's Chris Frolich smashes the North Beach bowl, while behind him the rock levels inside the Bay pier lie disappointingly low.

Durban’s Chris Frolich smashes the North Beach bowl, while behind him the rock levels inside the Bay pier lie disappointingly low.

There will be less surfers leaping (or left dangling by their leashes) from North Beach and Bay of Plenty pier for the next few months. That’s because a maintenance project to repair and spit-polish the Golden Mile’s most recognisable structures is about to get underway.

Part of the process will include topping up the levels of the rocks between the pylons, which has been done in the past and resulted in greatly improved sandbanks. So, in the long run it will be worth the extra metres paddled from the beach. They’ve asked kindly that surfers don’t jump over security fences to access the pier during closure, which will be tempting, but illegal. So be nice.

More good news is that they’re looking to tackle the water quality issues caused by blockages in the stormwater system at the same time.

Here’s a notice sent by Clint Chrystal of the Coastal Engineering Department of the eThekwini Municipality notifying the public about the maintenance project:


RE: Maintenance of North Pier and Dairy Pier

Just a quick email to let you know that the long awaited maintenance project for North Pier and Dairy Pier is about to commence. The award process of the project is almost finalised.

This project will entail maintenance of the pier structures, a re-construction of the North Pier stormwater system, and a re-instatement of the rock levels. The maintenance will be of a general nature to fix anything broken on the pier (such as railings, brackets etc).

The re-construction of the North Pier stormwater system will address the stormwater problem in terms of flow and prevent stagnation of water. An investigation of the stormwater system will also commence to get to the bottom of the water quality issues of this stormwater outlet.

Finally, and most importantly for the surfing community, is the re-instatement of the rock levels. This will be done using an environmentally friendly approach, with four ton geofabric containers being used to get the ‘rock’ levels within the pier rasied. After numerous discussions with the surfing community, it has emerged that the decrease in rock level over time has changed the current fields and wave quality. By re-instating the rock levels back to the original design level from a maintenance perspective, we hope to indirectly also improve the current fields and wave quality. On-going monitoring will hopefully highlight any changes post-project.

The piers will therefore be closed to the public for several months. We aim to not have both piers closed at the same time for too long and we will try stagger the construction process between the piers as much as possible. We acknowledge the frequent use of the piers by the public, and in particular the surfing community, but do ask that when the piers are closed that people do not ‘sneak’ past fencing, just to avoid paddling out in the rip.

We do hope that this project will benefit the surfing community in the long term, and bring back some of the legendary waves that the old school guys often talk about. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee this!

Many thanks

Clint Chrystal
Coastal Engineering Department
eThekwini Municipality
166 K.E Masinga Road


  1. Trevor
    16 May, 2013 at 9:19 am · Reply

    This is good news. Keeping the rocks in containers will stop them spreading out and forcing the pylons apart. What’s happening with the sand pumping scheme? The pipes were laid between the piers a few years ago and pumping never commenced. This will also make a huge difference to wave quality and beaches between the piers.

  2. leon
    26 May, 2014 at 11:03 am · Reply

    What about the fisherman? are the piers being repaired for the sole purpose of surfers? Are the quality of waves more important than a man trying to feed his family. What a load of bullshit. Dbn municipality sucks.

  3. Name Ahmed
    12 May, 2018 at 12:12 am · Reply

    The constitution of south africa reads loud n clear of equality and freedom which is evidently not being exercised by the government’s organs ,privileges n restrictions must be distributed equally between surfers n fisherman sharing the piers equally . We do agree that theres evidence to prove the wrong commited by fisher man , but I personally believe that due to failure of municipal security n policing on piers have led to all the misbehaviour caused by fisherman , since the piers are within the jurisdiction of the metro policing areas ,I am a neat and clean fisherma n sadly I am now bearing the restriction of other wrong doers which is not constitutional. Are we still in the apartheid era ..? As a humanitarian activist I request that the new government look into being fair in respect of the constitution and ‘re open the piers for fisherman and ensure proper policing and security on piers to ensure safety , cleanliness of the piersnd arrest the offenders on the spot ,

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