Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baakens River

The Baakens River Valley that runs through the city and enters the sea at the harbour is one of the last true greenbelts in Port Elizabeth and is a treasure that is worth preserving.

Today's picture, taken at the intersection of Circular Drive and the Kragga Kamma Road, does not show the greenbelt, but rather the redeveopment of the bridge and the road that was damaged during the floods, in August 2006. As there was no place to pull over I did a composite of two photographs shot while we were waiting at the traffic light.

As the city expands and new suburbs are developed, there will inevitably be more runoff, when it rains, which will make its way into the local rivers and streams, with spectacular results. What so many people seem to forget far too quickly is that the seemingly "innocent" little streams in South Africa can turn into raging torrents in no time at all, sweeping everything away in their path. The house in the background was built after the floods and could well be flooded when the Baakens River next bursts its banks.


  1. Goodness! I would not have recognised the intersection! I used to live in Weybridge Park, just a couple of hundred meters away.

  2. The house in the background has in fact always been there. It only sustained damage in the last flood. The work done to repair and upgrade had started before the flood.
    The upgrade of this bridge, and the Kragga Kamma Road leading on to Cape Road is more than overdue. What many people don't realise is that the growth in Lorraine, Theescombe and Sherwood has created a spectacular bottleneck which means that cars often stand backed up to the Kabega Road intersection as early as 6:30am.

  3. Sakiwi, I do not know when you left, but there have been many changes in the area - new office parks on Willow Road and shopping centres in circular drive. We lived there 5 years ago and the character is changing rapidly

  4. Anonymous, thanks for the feedback. The upgrade is long overdue. When we lived in Lorraine, I never made an appointment earlier than 8:30am. Now that you mention it, I seem to remember the house - they have done a good job of making it look new.