Fresh face for Adderley Street fountain

The Adderley Street fountain will soon receive a facelift.

The iconic fountain in Adderley Street, which has fallen into a state of disrepair since it was switched off following Cape Town’s drought, will soon receive a facelift.

The motion to repair the fountain was put forward to Sub-council 16 in January this year by ward councillor Dave Bryant.

He raised concerns with regard to the derelict appearance, deterioration and vandalism of the fountain, located at the circle on the Foreshore.

According to a release by Mr Bryant, the fountain will now undergo a redesign process after which repairs will be initiated.

“The redesign and repair of the fountain is yet another step towards neatening up and improving the important public areas in the Cape Town CBD,” said Mr Bryant.

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo, said the City’s facilities management department was currently in the process of sourcing quotations as a short-term intervention.

“Funding will be available in the 2020/2021 financial year for the upgrade of the Adderley Street fountain.”

Asked about the specifics of the repair work, Mr Tyhalibongo said the short-term goal is to complete the waterproofing as well as other repairs that are needed.

However, due to the extent of vandalism, the City may not be able to fully restore the fountain to its previous condition, he said.

“The pump station is operative, but some of the water-jets have been stolen. The City will attempt to emulate the previous look and feel with alternative components.”

He said the intention was to further develop the fountain and restore it to its former beauty. “This will be done to not only embrace sustainability, but to ensure a new symbolic fountain that will enhance tourism and effectively rejuvenate the precinct and add value to the Adderley Street Circle.”

He said they will also look into using spring water if it proves feasible.

“The City shut off the fountain during the drought to save water. Once an assessment is made with regard to water restrictions, at the end of the hydrological year in November, a decision will be made on the switching-on of the fountain again.”

Some businesses in the area welcomed the revitalisation of the fountain.

Ebrahim Davids, who has a fruit stall opposite the fountain and has been working in the city for more than 30 years, said the fountain was the beauty of Cape Town.

“Everyone knows the fountain. It was a feature that came with the lights in Adderley Street.”

He said he remembers people taking wedding pictures at the fountain back in the day. “No one comes here for that anymore – they now visit the Company’s Garden. We don’t even get the birds here anymore.

“I am happy that the fountain will be revitalised. We need to bring back the beauty of our city, especially in Adderley Street.”

Nabeel Jacobs, who also works nearby, said the fountain was an attractive feature for the people working in the area.

“It would be great if they can revamp it and make it work again, but this time, with non-potable water.”

Mr Bryant tabled the motion in 2014 to restore and move the fountain to the Company’s Garden, but the sub-council said the memorial should remain in its original place.

He said the revitalisation of the fountain followed from other improvements in the CBD area which included the restoration and repairs to the City Hall (“Make-over at City Hall nearing completion”, CapeTowner, August 19 2018), the Bo-Kaap Heritage Protection Overlay and the recent restoration
of the Lightfoot Memorial in Trafalgar Place (“Fresh face for fountain, CapeTowner, September 20 2018).

“I am also very pleased to hear that idea of using the underground streams to power the new fountain is being explored. This is another step towards making our public infrastructure more sustainable and a nod towards the ancient heritage of our city.”