The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) has opened its new motorised pont at Malgas. This allows public traffic to cross the Breede River at this point avoiding a time-consuming and expensive 90 km detour by road to reach the other side of the river.
Operating hours are 06:00 to 18:00 every day. However, operators may, at their own discretion and without notice, close the pont at any time for safety reasons (as was the case with the old pont). When weather, water and vessel conditions are favourable, and when the pont is not required for transporting DTPW vehicles, members of the public may have their motorised vehicles transported across the river free of charge. No pedestrians or non-motorised vehicles will be transported across the river unless there is also a motorised vehicle on the pont.
A pont is a flat-bottomed ferry. It essentially takes the place of a bridge in a location where the expense of constructing a bridge is not warranted. The old pont, which was connected to a cable and drawn by hand across the river, was put in place a century ago. The old vessel had to be replaced because it had become a hazard to public safety, and because it was no longer fit for purpose. The cable across the river, which is also a hazard to public safety, is not higher from the water surface but will be removed in due course.
The pont slipway is DTPW property as it forms part of the public road crossing the river. However, as a courtesy to the public, boat operators wishing to launch a boat from the road may do so, provided the pont is not currently using the slipway. Boat operators are not permitted to ask the pont operator to move the pont to make way for their boats.
Head of Communication
Department of Transport and Public Works