Status of roadworks along Clarence Drive, R44 and Palmiet Bridge

Media Release by Western Cape Minister of Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers

Repairs to Clarence Drive, the Palmiet Bridge and R43/R44 intersection are progressing well after significant damage following the unprecedented weather system that hit the Western Cape on the Heritage Day long weekend. However, a number of restrictions remain in place for reasons of public safety.

R44/R43 intersection

During the weather system, unprecedented water volumes flooded the area. This significant waterflow undermined the base slab of the culvert, causing it to collapse. Damaged sections have been removed, a new base slab constructed, portal slabs reinstated, and concrete for a headwall and wingwall has been poured. The team can now continue with layer works.

Stop and go traffic signals will remain in place over the festive period at this three-way intersection. It is estimated that this project will be completed during Quarter 1 of 2024 at an estimated cost of R9 million. We are aware that this stop-and-go closure will have a negative impact on traffic flow, but we can assure road users that we are doing all we can to mitigate the impact on traffic during the festive period. This may include allowing fewer vehicles from one side of the closure at a time to pass in order to shorten the waiting time for vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

Palmiet Bridge

Erosion behind the abutment of the Palmiet Bridge necessitated the closure of the bridge for safety reasons, followed by lane restrictions as repairs progressed. The estimated cost of these ongoing repairs is approximately R2 million. Traffic accommodation measures will remain in place throughout the festive season and until the time the project is complete, expected during Quarter 1 of 2024.

Clarence Drive

This scenic route which connects Gordon’s Bay and the coastal towns of Rooi Els, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay suffered serious damage as a result of a number of significant landslips and rockslides. Clearing continues as areas become stable enough to work on, but the main priority remains to enable one lane of traffic to use the road at a time until such time as two-way traffic can be restored. Current indications are that repairs to this route will cost close to R70 million.

At the current time, motorists from the Kleinmond side are only able to travel as far as Rooi Els. Motorists from the Gordon’s Bay side are only able to travel as far as Kogel Bay. No travel is possible between Kogel Bay and Rooi Els. The Department is not able to make a clear commitment regarding the date on which one-way traffic will be reinstated between Kogel Bay and Rooi Els because the nature of the works exposes areas that become unstable which may pose a risk to road users. The aim remains to restore access between these two points during the festive period, but it is not clear whether this will be possible. Members of the public should assume that the road will be closed during the festive season unless they receive a different message from the Department of Infrastructure.

A word of caution – even when one-way traffic becomes possible, based on construction requirements, there is a high likelihood of extended closures which will either be for set times during the day, or for a number of days at a time. The Department strongly advises regular users of this road to make longer-term plans to use alternative routes. Current indications are that considerable time will pass before this road can be reopened for two-way traffic.

“I am extremely concerned about the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who disregard the closure signs,” said Tertuis Simmers, Provincial Minister of Infrastructure. “These road users are acting recklessly and putting their lives at risk and creating situations of risk that can be avoided,” he added. “I know this is a scenic route and many want to use it again, but we cannot allow premature access and risk injury or worse. I can assure the public that we are doing everything we can to get the route open for public access as soon as it is safe to do so,” the Minister concluded.

Media Queries:

Jandre Bakker

Head of Communication

Department of Infrastructure


Mr. Ntobeko Mbingeleli

Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers

021 483 8067 (o)

061 447 7851 (m)