Environmentalists have warned that several luxury beach homes could fall into the sea along the Garden Route in the Southern Cape due to rapid dune erosion.
Changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, spring tides and floods are causing protective dunes to collapse.
Warnings have been issued against building on dunes. Environmentalist Dr Steve du Toit says the erosion cannot be completely stopped.
“Unfortunately when houses are built on the top of dune systems, houses and roads and other infrastructure, depending on where they are positioned, they can damage the integrity of the dunes. As one can see here the damage that has been caused by the erosion is going to be very hard to fix without incurring additional environmental damage.”
A dune is a mound or ridge of drifted sand, occurring on the sea coast and in deserts.