About 30 volunteers made a united stand when they formed a human chain around the Sardinia Bay Surf Lifesaving Club at the weekend in a last-ditch attempt to stop it from being demolished today.
Volunteers and a few members of the public interlocked arms in front of the clubhouse on Saturday in an effort to persuade the municipality to stave off the demolition until an alternative shelter can be provided.
Earlier this month, acting corporate services head Vuyo Zitumane said the lifesavers’ clubhouse and the skiboat club were too close to the sea and had been deemed dangerous buildings.
She said a new area for lifesavers would be developed in a proposed car park.
Veteran volunteer lifeguard and club president Grant Breetzke, 43, said the area earmarked by the municipality would make the club the only one in the world where lifesavers, all of whom are volunteers, would not have a view of the beach.
“We need more time to sort out everything. Where are we supposed to house our equipment and lifeguards in the interim between the demolishing and rebuilding of the clubhouse? The club isn’t bothering anyone,” he said.
“We can’t put our things in those rusted containers the municipality gave us because then where do our lifeguards go when conditions are bad?
“We just need more time, but the municipality is refusing to help or [reach a] compromise with us.”
The building was condemned as it now falls within the high water mark, as a result of changing weather patterns and storm surges.
Club members said they were informed last week the municipality must spend the R750 000 earmarked for the demolition immediately, or it would lose it.
Club chairman Andrew Marriott, 34, said: “These lifesavers are the best in the business, because they are passionate about lifesaving.”
Club secretary Sue Hoffman, 54, said: “If we are moved behind the dunes our response time will also be affected. We urge the municipality to give us more time.”