Premier Winde and Provincial Minister Mitchell celebrate 100th anniversary of Chapman’s Peak Drive

06 May 2022 in Where We Govern

On Friday, 06 May, Premier Alan Winde and Provincial Minister Daylin Mitchell unveiled a plaque at Chapman’s Peak Toll Plaza in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Western Cape’s most iconic road.

Chapman’s Peak Drive, which connects Hout Bay to Noordhoek, was opened to the public on 6 May 1922.

As part of the anniversary weekend celebrations, the drive will be open to the public at no charge on Sunday, 8 May 2022 from 08:00 to 20:00.

Following a number of incidents on the road, the Western Cape Government and its private sector partners found a long-term solution to ensure the safety of commuters. The road was rebuilt through a joint venture to exacting safety standards and reopened in 2003. A public-private partnership was established, the road became a toll road under the Western Cape Provincial Toll Road Act, and Entilini Concession was awarded a 30-year concession over the road.

Chapman’s Peak Drive is now an extremely safe road that reflects leading edge safety engineering in line with international best practice. It is an environmentally good fit in the sensitive environs of Table Mountain National Park. Entilini’s management obligations include ongoing monitoring and maintenance, and closing the road when conditions are unsafe.

The road has receive awards from the South African Association of Consulting Engineers, the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, and the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, among others. It features advanced rockfall protection measures, a half tunnel, rock shelters, concrete impact protection canopies, and catch fences, among other things. Advanced Traffic Management Systems enable Entilini to monitor risk in real time and ensure ongoing maintenance is done to keep the road safe.

Premier Winde said: “Chapman’s peak or Chappies has consistently been ranked as among the most scenic drives in the world. It also plays a significant role in connecting tourists, cyclists, commuters, and businesses between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, and demonstrates clearly how infrastructure can enable growth into the future.”

Premier Winde continued: “As the Western Cape Government moves ahead with our own infrastructure projects today, we must ask ourselves: will they still be benefiting our residents 100 years from now – just as Chappies has done? These are the questions I will be asking, as we move ahead with our strong focus on infrastructure enabled private-sector led growth in the Western Cape.”

Minister Mitchell said: “It’s an honour for me to join the Premier and unveil a plaque in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of Chapman’s Peak Drive, the Western Cape’s most iconic road.  This road attracts thousands of international and local visitors to the South Peninsula every day.  Over 5 000 Capetonians are registered as frequent users of the drive, passing over the scenic route daily. However, far more people visit the drive every day to take in the stunning vistas over Hout Bay and Long Beach in Noordhoek. Chappies is the only provincial toll gate. It’s also one of the few Public Private Partnership’s in the province.

The volume of traffic crossing Chappies fell by 53% during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this has recovered to almost 80% of pre-pandemic levels as tourism to and in the Western Cape recovers.