oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Victoria & Alfred Waterfront canal boat lock

Volume 19, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The first harbour basin in Cape Town was the Alfred basin, excavated out of the rock behind the shoreline between 1860 and 1870, under the direction of the British engineer Sir John Coode. Excavation of a second basin landwards of the Alfred started in 1877 and the rock was used to create the breakwaters for what was to become the outer Victoria Basin. However, by the time that the excavations were complete, ships had increased in size significantly and the second basin was considered to be too constrained and was therefore not flooded. It became an oil storage tank farm until the start of the Waterfront development, and was then decommissioned and rehabilitated by the oil companies.

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