The Save Chapmans Peak Fund
The History The Progress Donate Now News Home



In September 1999 the Southern Peninsula Municipality (SPM) made the inevitable decision to close Chapman's Peak Drive due to the instability of the cliff-face and the roadway. Minister of Transport of the Western Cape, Mr Piet Meyer, officially closed the Drive in January 2000.

Chapmans Peak DriveApart from being the connecting corridor between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, Chapman's Peak Drive is one of the world's most spectacular scenic drives.

This has had a devastating effect on the billion rand tourism industry for the Southern Peninsula.

In order to re-open this important drive as soon as possible, the Hout Bay Business & Tourism Association (BTA) took the initiative to meet with the project engineers of the SPM and formulated the following plan:

  • To ensure that rock stabilisation be carried out along approximately 2.8 kms of the route.
  • To repair the roadway.
  • To undertake to raise R15 million to ensure that the Southern Peninsula can again enjoy the benefits of Chapman's Peak Drive re-opening for the next tourism season in 2001.

In the meantime, the SPM appointed Consulting Engineers, Arcus Gibb, to coordinate and manage an Action Plan (Integrated Environmental Plan - IEM) to identify:

  • The way forward
  • The cost
  • The strategy of fully completing the works on Chapman's Peak Drive.

The estimated cost to re-open the drive is R1 500.00 per meter. Of the 10 km of roadway, it is estimated that only 4 km of the cliff face is unstable. Additionally, some road and bridge repairs need to be carried out to ensure the safe passage of vehicular traffic.

About 10% of the rock barring (an accelerated natural process involving abseilers pushing unstable rocks of the cliff face) was completed before the project apparently ran out of funds. Once this process has been resumed and completed, the debris cleared away, and repairs made to the damaged sections of road, the Drive should be safe to open again, while further funds are being raised for the ultimate solution, which is still in the process of being decided upon.

On 28 July 2000 1.5 km of the Drive on the Hout Bay side was reopened by Minister Piet Meyer, allowing access to the first cutting. A further 150 meters has been cleared of debris from the cutting towards Noordhoek so that the view to Kommetjie can be appreciated on foot. There are hopes that soon the Drive will be opened on the Noordhoek side as far as the lookout point above Monkey Valley.

Some facts and figures:
South Peninsula Municipality is the managing authority of Chapman's Peak Drive. In other words, they are responsible for the day-to-day management of the road, traffic, picnic sites etc.

Provincial Administration Western Cape are the legal roads authority. Basically, they own the road because it is a provincial road.

Cape Metropolitan Council are the funding authority. They pay the SPM for managing and maintaining Chapman's Peak Drive.

Integrated Environmental Management. This process must consider all technical and environmental issues, a detailed consideration of road users, community concerns and all other affected parties. This process is being undertaken by Consulting Engineers, Arcus Gibb, and is due for completion by mid 2001.

1999 peak summer season 8700 vehicles per day. 1999 winter months average 3500 vehicles per day. 3% of the above traffic was estimated to be "Heavy Vehicles" 500 vehicles per day were commuter vehicles (i.e. Using the road for reasons other that tourism). The cost to users is approximately R1 million per month to use the alternative route. (Between R30 000 and R40 000 per day).

There have been 5 deaths from rockfalls on Chapman's Peak since 1987. This corresponds to a probability of 1 in 2.4 million of a motorist being killed by a rockfall. There have been 8 fatalities from motor accidents since 1994 on Ou Kaapse Weg (the alternative route to Kommetjie, Noordhoek and Cape Point.) This corresponds to a fatality rate as follows: Ou Kaapse Weg: 1 fatality every 7.5 months. Chapman's Peak: 1 fatality every 2.6 years.

Website created and sponsored by: