Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Around Capetown

Drove out to the Cape of Good Hope National Park with hundreds of other FIFA World Cup supporters. Lots of succulent plants and hardies like proteas and leucudendron. There was not a lot of wildlife around but saw small birds - missed the Cape Zebras. This is the view down to Cape Point.

Made the 7km boat trip out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela and hundreds of other political prisoners and criminals were held. The island has been used as a prison for over 400 years. The guy in the picture was described to us as a political prisoner and he showed us around the complex. He said at the age of 15 he was trained in the use of explosives and he placed a limpet mine inside a military facility. When it exploded some 50 people were injured. Although he may have had political motive for his action it seemed to us to be a criminal rather than political act.

View of Table Mountain from the Waterfront area.

On the way up Table Mountain. 65 people fit inside this gondola and it rotated through 360 Deg. on the way up.

This is as far as John got to shark cage diving!

There were lots of street performers out on the streets during the cup period.

Wherever the football crowds were there were vendors selling stuff. When you stopped for a robot ( traffic signal ) people were selling flags and scarves. These animal carvings were were by the gate to Cape of Good Hope National Park.
Many of the vendors were from Nigeria and Kenya - a long way from home.

This is a very small part of the sprawling township of Kyalitsia on the Cape Flats - tens of thousands are living in this type of informal housing. After the World Cup there has been a spate of xenophobic attacks. Local criminals took the opportunity to attack and destroy shops owned by foreigners, mainly Somalians in the townships. Many illegal citizens live in the townships having come over the borders in the north of South Africa. The authorities do have housing improvement schemes but are unable to keep up with demand. People who do get upgraded housing often build backyard shacks on their properties to rent to illegals. Only
10 % of South African citizens are ratepayers so there is always a shortage of money for Government projects.