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CITYVIEWS

October 2012

Photo: Lisa Burnell

YOUR FREE CAPE TOWN CENTRAL CITY PAPER

Cape Town as a

MOBILE CITY

Towards

complete streets

Mobility

in the city

>> page 4&5

CLEAN | SAFE | CAR I NG

>> page 8&9

Taxi poetry in motion

>> page 10&11

2

about

town

CityViews October 2012

CITYVIEWS Published by:

PS:

No small change

Give where it will make a difference Day, and an important opportunity to rethink your response to people living on the streets. Do you want to help, but don’t know how? Do you give R5 at the street corner, or buy someone milk or a loaf of bread instead? Do you prefer to ignore the issue altogether?

O

ctober in Cape Town is transport month, so be sure to make the most of this opportunity to explore different modes of moving around the CBD: Change your route into work, take the train, hop on a bus, learn to ride a bike. Take time to reflect on how your mode of transport changes your experience of the space (and start by reading this month’s edition of City Views, focused on what moves the CBD and the people in it). As you’re exploring the CBD, keep your eyes and your mind open to who and what you see there. In particular, let me encourage you to think more carefully about those who don’t just walk the streets, but live there. 10 October is World Homeless

“As you’re exploring the CBD, keep your eyes and your mind open to who and what you see there. In particular, let me encourage you to think more carefully about those who don’t just walk the streets, but live there.” As you’re reconsidering your response, I’d like to give you some more food for thought: What the CCID has found since focusing on social development issues in the city in a more sustained way, is that small change given on the street or at a traffic light only feeds the cycle of aggressive begging, anti-social behaviour and substance abuse that further entrenches homelessness and its stigmas.

The circumstances that force someone on to the streets – such as abuse, chronic illness, mental disability, or extreme poverty – can’t be fixed with a R5 coin or even a R50 note. Someone who is homeless needs professional help, shelter, and an alternative to life on the street. The way you can make that possible is by giving to organisations who are already working with the homeless, and by helping them to do their job better. Many of these NGOs are in desperate need of skills, assistance and funding. Give your R5 or your R50 to these organisations, so they can give people living on the streets the right help at the right time. Give where it will make a difference. If you’d like to know more about NGOs working with people living on the streets, visit www.capetowncid.co.za and contact our head of social development, Pat Eddy, at pat@capetowncid.co.za or 021 419 1881. Please keep giving, but give where it counts. Tasso Evangelinos COO of the CCID

We are very excited to announce the launch of our brand new website. Visit www.capetowncid.co.za to connect with us, and explore our CBD via an interactive map that details where to shop, eat, stay, learn and visit with the click of a mouse. I’m incredibly proud to announce that City Views recently scooped several awards: Not only did we receive a merit award in the marketing and communications category at the 2012 International Downtown Association’s Achievement Awards held in Minneapolis, but we also received certificates of merit at the 2012 SA Publication Forum in no less than five categories: for excellence in writing, excellence in design and excellence in communication, as well as second runner-up for best newspaper and finalist for the best publication with limited resources. The work of the Cape Town Partnership and CCID was also honoured with a merit award in the International Downtown Association leadership and management category.

The Central City Improvement District (CCID)

Editor: Judith Browne: 021 419 1881 judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

Contributors Alma Viviers Ambre Nicolson Hilary Alexander

Website: www.capetowncid.co.za www.capetownpartnership.co.za

Design: Infestation www.infestation.co.za 021 461 8601

The Central City Improvement District is a private-public partnership formed by the property owners of a defined geographical area to provide top-up services over and above what the City of Cape Town provides. The CCID and its managing agent, the Cape Town Partnership, were formed when the City of Cape Town, the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other stakeholders came together to address issues of urban degeneration, disinvestment in the Central City and related social problems. The Central City’s rapid regeneration process has been built upon the strength and pillars of successful private-public partnerships at both operational and strategic levels, and a shared vision for a clean, safe and caring Cape Town CBD.

SAVE THESE NUMBERS ON YOUR PHONE CCID Security Manager: 082 453 2942 CCID Deputy Security Manager: 082 442 2112 CCID 24-hour number: 082 415 7127 SAPS Control Room: 021 467 8002 Social Department: 082 563 4289

Central City snapshot

Telling your story in City Views

You would've seen CCID men and women in green and yellow, patrolling, sweeping and repairing the streets of the Central City: Here’s a quick snapshot of what they’ve done to keep the CBD clean, safe, caring and open for business between June and August 2012.

Photo: Lisa Burnell

SAFE: Our security interventions • Sponsored training for 15 trauma counsellors • Assisted 615 members of the public • Attended to more than 251 motor vehicle accidents • Made 758 criminal arrests • Acted on 40 medical call-outs • Issued R1.5-million in law enforcement fines • Attended the IFSEC international security conference in Birmingham, UK

CARING: Our social development initiatives • Distributed 1 000 care bags and 500 new pairs of shoes to NGOs in the CBD • Helped reunite 29 individuals with their families • Assisted 7 individuals in need of medical attention and escorted them to hospital • Referred 16 individuals to Straatwerk’s job creation programme • Assisted 35 adults and referred them to various NGOs for services

CLEAN: Our urban management • Attended to 439 road defects • Issued R58 000 in fines for illegal dumping (over 2.3 tons of waste dumped) • Recycled 71% of 35 tons of waste collected • Repaired 81 potholes • Completed 192 paving repairs • Repaired 56 road signs • Repaired 24 drains • Painted 42 road marking sites • Cleared 1 523 drains • Re-installed 11 bollards • Attended the ISSA Interclean exhibition and conference in Amsterdam

CITY VIEWS ONLINE Has the CCID changed your experience of the city in any way, big or small? Write to us and tell us about it. A member of the CCID cleaning team sweeps the gutters of the Grand Parade

Read the latest e-dition: www.capetownpartnership.co.za/city-views Friend us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CityViewsCapeTown Follow us on Twitter: @City_Views

City Views does not sell advertising or editorial space at this time. We are, however, always on the look out for city ownership stories: tales of people who love the CBD, who choose to live, work, study, invest, and play here. If you would like to be featured, please send your story to judith@capetownpartnership.co.za for consideration. Please note that submission of a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included.

Distributing City Views If you’re an eager reader of City Views – and you know others who would enjoy reading it too, consider becoming a distributor. All we need is your contact details, address and how many copies you need each month. Or, if you would just like to track down where you can obtain your FREE copy send an email to Aziza Patandin on aziza@capetownpartnership.co.za.

Reading City Views We love knowing who our readers are and what they think. If you enjoy your copy of City Views, why not mail a picture of you reading it, wherever you love to read it (Your local coffee shop? On a street bench while people-watching?) telling us what you enjoyed most. If we like it, we’ll run it. Get in touch: judith@capetownpartnership.co.za.

about

October 2012 CityViews

town

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mobility TRANSIT STATS

By: Alma Viviers

A

bout two or three years ago, the number of privately owned and registered motor vehicles in Cape Town exceeded 1-million. “That’s not a sustainable situation for the city,” says Councillor Brett Herron,

“Implementing BRT meant that the City of Cape Town gained access to a huge capital investment, which in turn stimulated the local economy – connecting people to economic opportunities and new growth corridors, and ultimately pumping R5-billion into the local economy over a five-year period.”

Photos: Lisa Burnell

Brett Herron

mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater. “We can’t have our roads congested with traffic that doesn’t move. It is not good for the environment or for the liveability of the city. Liveability is one of the key success factors of Cape Town – and to ensure that this continues to be the case, we need to stop that huge shift to private vehicles.” Bus rapid transport (BRT) was chosen for Cape Town over the expansion of the rail system for a number of reasons: Although buses have the same headway advantage as rail – meaning that they run on a dedicated track – BRT makes use of existing roads and infrastructure. As such, Cape Town didn’t have the delay and added cost of needing to acquire new land. In preparation for hosting the 2010 World Cup, national government made a huge push towards BRT, and provided most of the

A MyCiTi station on Riebeeck Street under construction

funding: “Implementing BRT meant that the City of Cape Town gained access to a huge capital investment, which in turn stimulated the local economy – connecting people to economic opportunities and new growth corridors, and ultimately pumping R5-billion into the local economy over a five-year period,” Brett explains. The phase 1 rollout of MyCiTi – including Hout Bay, the inner city, Woodstock, Paarden Eiland, Milnerton, Montague Gardens, Century City, Dunoon, Table View, Melkbos, Atlantis and Mamre – started in 2009. This corridor faces some of the worst peak-period congestion levels, especially to the south and east of the bridges over Diep River. The total budget for this phase is around R4.5-billion, including operating costs. The majority of the budget is capital expenditure on infrastructure: Preparing roadways; building stations, buses and bus depots; and implementing a card payment system made up the bulk of infrastructure spend. “The system and investment in it is heavily biased towards hard infrastructure – which ties into the infrastructure-led development philosophy that the City government is pursuing,” Brett says. “We’re stimulating economic development through infrastructure development.” The physical upgrades — such as improved sidewalks, landscaping and dignified transit spaces, as well as new traffic signals — are visible throughout the city. Private investors are now realising that these upgrades – and proximity to transport systems – makes a location more desirable for residential and com-

trick

A decent public transport service that is reliable and allows people to travel in a dignified manner is absolutely essential – both in overcoming socio-economic barriers and in ensuring the economic functioning of the city. To date, the City of Cape Town has invested some R2.795-billion in a rapid transit system. City Views investigates the impact.

Photo: Justin Pa

Investing in

port node

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

mercial developments, resulting in secondary economic investments. “We are seeing the economic impact on the West Coast: Almost every property development along this corridor uses its strategic location as a selling point. In Atlantis, where we are putting up the main station, the investment has catalysed other private development around it.” Brett argues that there is a lot more to be done in drafting a transit-orientated development policy: “We need to find a strategy for stimulating development along and around trunk routes and stations. This will allow us to bring opportunities to the people instead of trying to bring people to the opportunities. We can spread the opportunities around. High density and mixed land use along transport corridors supports the transport system in turn. We need transport corridors to be activity corridors.” The increased desirability of the public transport system over time will hopefully result in continued expansion of the MyCiTi network. “The idea is not just to satisfy the current demand with a different mode of transport but rather to grow the desire for it, creating more investment opportunities with resulting opportunities for operators and employment.”

Your investment counts too: Every time you make use of public transport instead of a private car, you contribute to the sustainability of the public transport system, and to the economies that surround it.

The 2012 State of the Cape Town Central City Report was launched by the CCID in September, and contained some key facts and figures about what moves the Central City.

Did you know that:

88% of businesses interviewed believe that MyCiTi makes the Central City a more accessible place MyCiTi has recorded over

2.6-million passenger trips on its routes since its launch in mid-2011

77.1 % of pedestrians coming into the Central City use public transport Nearly

8.5-million passengers passed through the Cape Town International Airport in 2011 on 21 different airlines Cape Town’s container terminal is the second largest container port in South Africa

about

town

CityViews October 2012

A city on the move The afternoon bus commute is part of many Capetonians' daily lives

October is transport month and City Views spoke to mayoral committee member for transport, roads and storm water, Councillor Brett Herron about the notion of complete streets, the launch of the Transport Authority and why he is excited about MyCiTi. By: Alma Viviers

F

rom Minneapolis to Ontario, Bogota to New York City, citizens are claiming their streets in an unexpected way. On a regular basis – in the case of Bogota as often as every second Sunday – they’re closing key streets to motorised traffic and opening them up as walkways, bike routes and community spaces. During October the status quo of Cape Town streets will be similarly challenged, with an Open Streets initiative that will see roads closed to vehicular traffic and opened to pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, skateboarders and more. “The City of Cape Town really wants to promote the notion of sharing the road. Streets are not just for motorists – we want to encourage people to take ownership and start enjoying streets as public spaces,” explains Councillor Brett Herron. “We are using the initiative in transport month as a kind of test run to see if this is something that we can do on a more reg-

ular monthly basis. As a start, on Sunday 21 October, Victoria Road in Grassy Park between 5th Avenue and Klip Road will be closed from 09h00 to 14h00 for a day of activities – in collaboration with organisations such as the Bicycle Empowerment Network, Pedal Power Association and Bicycle Cape Town.” If the launch event is a success, Open Streets will become a regular event, growing to connect more parts of Cape Town such as Woodstock and the Central City. Towards greater transport integration

Another highlight of transport month is the launch of the Transport Authority: “This is a major step for the City of Cape Town to say we’re the authority over all land-based transport in the city,” says Brett. “The Transport Authority’s mandate will be to ensure that we have an integrated, seamless, intelligent and affordable public transport network that is multi-nodal.” He explains that MyCiTi has enjoyed a lot of attention because it is new and sexy, but the reality is that it is only one mode of transport – as such, the City is extending their focus to rail as well as

“Streets are not just for motorists – we want to encourage people to take ownership and start enjoying streets as public spaces.” Brett Herron

the Golden Arrow Bus Service: “We are applying to national government for the contracting authority functions over Golden Arrow and Metrorail to be taken over by the City. Ridding the city of a fragmented public transport system is important and the vision is that we will eventually be able to integrate timetables and ticketing, making sure that there are intelligent links at transport hubs, as well as setting standards of service delivery and monitoring it.” The change element

Brett is also adamant that public transport can act as a catalyst for change in our city – that if Cape Town can begin to move in a more integrated manner, society can overcome its social and economic

barriers. Transport is absolutely essential to improving the quality of life for all citizens. That’s why he’s eager to see a lot of work done on the integration of various transport modes by 2014 and would also like to see the infrastructure itself providing dignified spaces where the people can connect. “Once we have created a desirable public transport system, we can begin to explore how we move people from private cars onto the system.” Brett's also excited about how public transport will start to change his own life: “The MyCiTi feeder service will be running through Woodstock, where I live, in the coming months, and already, when I think about how it is going to change my own life, it is amazing. I talk about this all the time and now 200 metres from my own house there will be a stop. Suddenly I can walk to the end of the street and I can get to Hout Bay and Blouberg and the Waterfront without taking my car. I can go out at night and have a glass of wine without worrying about driving. It really is going to change my life and so I can only imagine how it’s going to change the lives of people who are captive users, who don’t have access to a car.”

Cycle city Moonlight Mass is a monthly full moon cycle that takes place on the streets of Cape Town. Started by Daniel Graham and Elad Kirshenbaum, Moonlight Mass has quickly grown into a popular social outing. The next ride takes place on 29 October. See you at the Green Point circle at 21h00. www.moonlightmass.co.za

Photo: Justin Patrick

Photo: Jacques Marais Media

4

Mass actions help create an awareness of cycling as a legitimate part of our everyday transport system

Critical Mass is a global movement with a local following: On the last Friday of every month cyclists gather en masse – at the Baxter theatre at 06h45, at the Salt River Circle at 07h00 and at the CTICC at 07h15 — for a casual cycle across Cape Town. www.ctbicyclecommuter.org Crowd commuting is for cyclists in the Southern Suburbs who want to commute into the City Bowl

but need a little mutual support. Every Friday, the ride leaves at 07h00 from Main Road and Campground in Claremont and cyclists can join in at various checkpoints along the way. The official finish is the Cape Town Station, from which point you can disperse to your office. The pace is easy and the ride is pretty flat so there’s no need to feel intimidated. www.ctbicyclecommuter.org The World Naked Bike Ride Cape Town is an annual cycle that takes place the day before the Cape Argus cycle tour (set for 10 March 2013) – and happens in varying state of undress as a way of highlighting the vulnerability of cyclists on the road. Go as bare as you dare. www.wnbr.co.za

about

October 2012 CityViews

The pedestrian life

town

5

The Long walk

Cities tend to reveal themselves best when you walk them. Whether it is the brisk march of a commuter or the slow saunter of a sightseeing tourist, navigating the city streets on foot holds the possibility of surprise encounters, urban adventures and meaningful connections.

Long Street is the location of choice for several new retailers and restaurants in the Central City. By simply walking the length of the street you can shop for shoes, sample some of the best pies in town, have a cocktail and even do some banking.

Zoom Footwear Step out in style with fashionable footwear from the Zoom outlet store, opening its doors at 2 Long Street. T: 021 418 3966 www.zoomfootwear.co.za

Ou Meul Bakkery

Photo: Justin Patrick

Passers-by will be seduced by the smell of fresh pies and baking bread at the newly opened Ou Meul bakery on the corner of Long and Riebeeck Streets. This bakery forms part of the Ou Meul bakery group originally from Riviersonderend. “After years of having customers driving out on the N2 urging me to open a shop in the city, I finally did it. I married and moved to Cape Town and my wife literally works down the road, which is very convenient,” says owner Antonie Basson. T: 082 374 6275 www.oumeul.co.za

Merchants Café

WALKABLE CITY

Travel on foot

Walking is free and good for your health too

When last did you take a walking tour of Cape Town? You might just learn something new about old places and discover spots you never knew existed. Footsteps to Freedom offers a city walking tour that explores the dramatic history of Cape Town, using the bustling streets, old buildings, people and places as props for a story that includes Dutch and British rule, slavery and apartheid, freedom and democracy. T: 021 671 6878 www.footstepstofreedom.co.za

Cape Town on Foot takes you on a 2.5-hour tour of a 17th century water reservoir and the historic Grand Parade via some incredible city architecture, murals, markets and landmarks, ending in the Bo-Kaap. T: 021 462 4252 www.wanderlust.co.za

Why not host a personal walking tour of the Central City for friends and family, and share some of your own discoveries and favourite spots in the city. Coffeebeans Routes creates experiences around the stories of Cape Town, and offers a half-day inner city tour that includes new city developments, the Camissa Rivers, District Six Museum and the Bo-Kaap, with several local tasters along the way. T: 021 424 3572 www.coffeebeansroutes.com

Park here Parklets popped up all over Cape Town during Creative Week in September 2012. These temporary public spaces occupy a parking bay, making a strong statement about citizens reclaiming their streets from cars. City Views spoke to Lyndall Maunder, owner of popular Central City eatery Clarke’s, about why she chose to put up a parklet. “We thought that the space in front of Clarke’s would be great for a parklet. The space isn’t actually a parking bay or loading zone but just this dead area that used to be part of the driveway of the bike shop that was here previously. So we created a public space where there wasn’t one before. It was very much about bringing people out onto the streets.”

Merchants on Long is expanding. The retailer is now opening the Merchants Café across the road at 33 Long Street, offering a variety of African cuisine from Ethiopian to Ghanaian for take-away and also hosting pop-up evening restaurants. “Our customers will not only be able to shop for great goods from Africa but also get a taste of the continent right here,” says Tammy Gibson. Merchants Café will open at the end of October. T: 021 422 2828 www.merchantsonlong.com

Nedbank Nedbank has opened a new branch in the Central City at 148 Long Street next to Cape Gateway. T: 021 480 3180 www.nedbank.co.za

Love on Long Love on Long is a coffee shop turned cocktail bar and lounge. Now you can sip you favourite classic cocktail at 210 on Long and fall in love with this great spot all over again. T: 073 158 0354 www.210onlong.co.za

Nova Initia Nova Initia is a new bistro-style coffee shop open at 210 on Long. “Opening a coffee shop has been a lifelong dream of mine,” says owner Hashemayah Hendricks. “Nova Initia means ‘new beginnings’ in Latin and really is a new and exciting venture for me.” You can expect affordable gourmet sandwiches and salads from this fully halal kitchen. Hashemayah, who comes from the catering industry, also offers take-away dinners and catering for functions. T: 021 827 1263 hashemayah@gmail.com

Jimmy Jimalo Bar & Grill

Photo: Lisa Burnell

If the City Council think the experiment went well, the parklet might be allowed to be re-erected from November to March 2013. Watch this space:

The experimental parklet at Clarke's might help pave the way for future parklets in the city

Clarke’s Diner 133 Bree Street T: 021 424 7648. www.clarkesdining.co.za

Stop by for a steak at the new Jimmy Jimalo Bar & Grill on Vredenburg Lane, just off Long Street. The relaxed spot will soon have couches and flat screen TVs where you can catch your favourite sporting event. “This is a prime spot for a business like ours to be in,” says owner James Macadam. “The potential of the area and the good energy complements our fun new venture.” T: 021 426 5338 www.facebook.com/ JimmyJimaloRestaurantBar

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Minibus taxis congregate at the Cape Town Station and ferry commuters on dedicated routes throughout the Central City. Simply wait at the side of the road along the routes and hail a taxi travelling to your destination. Ticket prices are determined by distance travelled but start from approximately R5 to R6 per trip.

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R83-million has been allocated in the city’s transportation budget for more pedestrian lanes and the expansion of bicycle lanes. Dedicated and segregated lanes are helping to make Cape Town a cycle-friendly city.

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Rovos TON Rail, a luxury tourist train, has a regular BUX route to Cape Town from Pretoria. T: 012 315 8242 www.rovos.com

4 Cycle routes

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The Blue Train is an iconic South African tourist train travelling between Pretoria and Cape Town. The name refers to the colour of the painted steel carriages and is now WELGEMEEND synonymous with travelling in the lap of luxury. The service departs from the Cape Town Station Blue Train lounge. T: 021 449 2672 www.bluetrain.co.za

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From Cape Town Station, Metrorail operate four lines, all of which originate in Cape Town: the Southern line via the Southern Suburbs to Simon’s Town; the Cape Flats line via Athlone to Retreat; the Central line via Langa to Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Bellville; and the Northern line via Bellville to Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West. Cape Town Station, corner TABLE MOUNTAIN of Adderley and Strand Street T: 0800 65 64 63 EET KLOOF STR www.metrorail.co.za

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The Shosholoza Meyl is an inter-city passenger service that departs from Cape Town Station. From here you can travel to Johannesburg, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Durban, Pietermartizburg, East London, Port VARSITY Elizabeth, George and Oudtshoorn. T: 0860 00 88 88 www.shosholozameyl.co.za

BURNSIDE

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CityViews October 2012

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T: 021 461 9202

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October 2012 CityViews BOUND

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The MyCiTi route stretches all the way to the V&A Waterfront via the Helen Suzman Boulevard

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The CDB is only 1.6km² so you can easily traverse it on foot. We’ve plotted a straight route all the way from The Fringe to the Bo-Kaap on Longmarket Street, highlighting seven treasures along the way:

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COEN STEYTLER JETTY

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3 Eastern Food Bazaar — located in the old Wellington Fruit Growers Building – serves fast, affordable, good food.

3 Civic Centre

CITY HALL

96 Longmarket Street T: 021 461 2458

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D.F. MALAN ARTSCAPE

foreshore FOUNDERS GARDEN

1 OLD MARINE

HAMMERSCHLAG

CIVIC

LOUIS GRADNER

THE CASTLE

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JACK CRAIG

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JAN SMUTS

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Towards Table Bay on the MyCiTi F14/15/16 route

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Corner Bree and Waterkant St T: 021 4210788

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T: 0800 65 64 63

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162 Kloof St T: 021 423 6921

Kloof St (near upper Long Street )

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130 Bree Street T: 021 422 1325

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16 Wizards Corner of Mill and Buitenkant St, Gardens Centre

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13 Vista Cafe 44 Hertzog Boulevard (opposite Civic Centre Station) T: 021 422 1577

S 309ERILong st CK U (next to Long St Baths) ST

285A Long St T: 021 424 2994

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4 The Old Town House situated on the north-facing edge of Greenmarket Square was built in 1755 as a Burger Watch House during Dutch colonial rule. The building was restored in the 1920s by architect JM Solomon (who designed UCT campus) in order to house the Michaelis art collection. Greenmarket Square T: 021 481 3933

5 Dear Me is an all-day brasserie, pantry and events space just off the bustle of Long Street. Stop in for a gourmet sandwich. 165 Longmarket Street T: 021 422 4920

TO AIRPORT

WICHT

DUNCAN

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memorial consists of 17 concrete bollards by artist Ruth Sacks, commemorating 17 laws that were passed because of the "Jewel of District Six" Cissie Gool’s actions.

CTICC

Thibault Square

CAPE TOWN STATION

GRAND PARADE

2 The Cissie Gool

BARTOLEMEU DIAS

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ADDERLEY

Corner of Longmarket and Darling Street T: 021 467 1567

VASCO DA GAMA

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1 Cape Town Central Library in the old Drill Hall is used by 3 100 people per day and is open 63 hours each week.

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6 Barnet Fair is the place to stop if you’re a gentleman: This barber shop offering traditional hot towel shaves, head shaves, beard maintenance, and haircuts. It’s also located in the oldest theatre building in

Cape Town, which was later purchased and used as a church for ex-slaves. 98 Bree Street St Stephen's Church Riebeeck Square T: 021 424 1302

7 Masjid Boorhaanol Islam was built in 1884. Originally known as the Pilgrim Mosque, this was where the first minaret was built in Cape Town, and it was made out of wood. After the minaret blew off in a storm in the late 1930s, it was replaced by a concrete structure. 192 Longmarket Street www.bokaap.co.za/ mosques

HANDY TIPS WHEN WALKING IN THE CITY IN SUMMER • Signage throughout the city points to landmarks, so look out for the navy and white signs • Sun protection, such as a hat, sunglasses and sunblock are important • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated • If you do lose you way, ask one of CCID security officers, stationed throughout the Central City, to point you in the right direction

T: 021 461 9334

17 Ashanti 11 Hof St T: 021 4238721

18 Caltex Fresh Stop Orange Street T: 021 422 0549

19 Oxford Books Gardens Centre T: 021 465 7654

If you have any transportrelated questions, call the City of Cape Town’s toll-free, 24/7 Transport Information Centre number:

0800 65 64 63

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CityViews October 2012

INNER-CITY LIFE

Photo: Lisa Burnell

Mobility in the city

UNIVERSAL DESIGN Alan Small near his office in the Central City

The term “universal design” is applied to products, services and built environments that are usable to the greatest extent possible by all, regardless of age or physical ability. In the urban transit environment the following devices aid accessibility:

1 2 3

Light-on-dark visual contrast assists visually impaired people to distinguish signs. Rendering curbs, stair edges and devices like bollards in white or yellow helps distinguish these elements from the surrounding environment. Tactile paving with truncated domes or elongated bars is detectable underfoot or by a long cane, warning blind or visually impaired pedestrians of an imminent interchange or road crossing. Beeping signals as well as vibrating buttons at pedestrian crossings alert blind or visually impaired pedestrians when it is safe to cross.

All photos on page: Lisa Burnell

Beeping signals at pedestrian crossings and tactile paving have been installed with the rollout of the MyCiTi routes

CV What exactly does a senior state law adviser do? A senior state law adviser provides all organs of state with legal instruments, such as bills, regulations and proclamations, as well as legal advice on any question of law. I am primarily responsible for providing the Executive and Parliament with a view on the constitutionality and quality of proposed laws before they are introduced in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. When an introduced law is being considered by Parliamentary Committees, a senior state law adviser is always present and available to assist. Legal opinions on any question of law are provided by my office. This entails consideration of the Constitution, applicable and relevant laws and policies, case law and other domestic jurisprudence and comparative international law and jurisprudence. CV You live in Kuilsriver, but work here in the Central City. How do you commute to work? I take a train from Kuilsriver but it is a massive suburb and the trains are often packed. I’ve got my work bag and cane with me, making it impossible for me to get into overcrowded trains. It’s happened that my bag gets stuck outside and so for my own safety I now take the business express train. It is nice because they’ve got security and I am assured of a seat but I have to cough up R748 a month. There are no transport concessions for disabled people. CV How do you travel from the station to your office in Lower Burg Street? I am very mobile and independent. I also walk from there to Parliament using my cane. Parliament is another world though;

a sighted world. They don’t think about the fact that I can’t read hard copies. How do you convince or motivate an institution that has been there for eons, to change for one blind person? So they have recently appointed a personal assistant that travels to Parliament with me and we work closely together.

“At Blind Cricket South Africa, we want people to see us as able as possible. But it is so difficult to get the opportunity to prove yourself.” Alan Small CV Do you make use of other modes of public transport? The difficulty with buses is that you can’t see them coming and they don’t have a culture of stopping at every stop. I also need to use a placard to indicate where I want to go. Drivers need to be educated about how to handle visually impaired or blind passengers. If they see the white cane they should know to stop. Also, at the bus and train terminus there aren’t any marshals to assist us. Trains and buses only run during peak hours so if you need transport later at night there are very few options. CV Do you make use of the Dial-aRide service? I had an assessment done when I first became blind with Cape Town Society of the Blind and used the service when I didn’t have an alternative or in emergencies. Recently I had another assessment done and I was deregistered from the service which was tendered out and coordinated by the City. I have tried to query the reason for deregistration but haven’t received a response. Until our public transport infrastructure is more accessible they can’t expect the service to cater for wheelchair-

Advocate Alan Small works as a senior state law adviser in the office of the chief state law adviser; he’s a cricket player, a father and a husband. Alan also has hereditary Leber’s optic atrophy which meant that 25-odd years ago he abruptly lost most of his vision. At the time he was working as an apprentice panel beater and this traumatic experience catapulted him into a long journey that has taken him all the way to Parliament. City Views' writer Alma Viviers spoke to him about mobility in the city. bound people only. They need to get smaller vehicles that also cater for other handicaps. CV Do you rely more on your other senses to get around? Acute listening is critical in orientating yourself. Blind people are creatures of habit. Once we gain an infrastructure we try to hold onto it because a change of infrastructure is sometimes very difficult to deal with. CV What devices make it easier for you to navigate the city? I use a white cane. I was taught how to use it in orientation and mobility training. You arch it from side to side at the width of your shoulder to determine your path. Using this technique, I navigate the city. I can still discern light and dark contrast with my one eye. If there was higher contrast in our urban landscape, with things like stair treads and curbs painted in yellow or white, it would make it so much easier. CV What do you do when you are not working? From 2007 until May this year I was the chairperson of Blind Cricket South Africa. I am now the vice-president and I am still an active provincial player. I enjoy the game and I enjoy seeing it develop and grow. We want people to see us as able as possible. But it is so difficult to get the opportunity to prove yourself.

Organisations like League of the Friends of the Blind, an NGO based in Grassy Park, provide a wide range of services to partially sighted and blind people in order to aid independence and mobility. Find out more about their work: League of the Friends of the Blind T: 021 705 3753 www.lofob.org.za

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Taking the train On a rain-splattered Thursday, City Views ventured into the Southern Suburbs to take the morning train from Plumstead to the Central City with regular commuter Anton Pietersen. By: Alma Viviers

photo: Lisa Burnell

When last did you take the train? Special MetroPlus train tickets or tourist rail passes cost R30 for a one-day and R50 for a two-day pass, and allow unlimited train trips between Cape Town and Simon’s Town for the day of validity. Tickets are valid between 08h30 and 16h00 and can be purchased at any participating stations.

it is not only mindless but people actually lose their minds and tend to drive irresponsibly because they are all stressed and want to get to work.” Instead of stressing about traffic, Anton – like many of his fellow passengers – likes to take the 30-minute journey to read a book or catch up on emails. He shares the carriage with other regulars, all of whom have their favourite seats. Despite these pros, Anton is concerned by the hike in ticket prices: In just one year, tickets prices have increased from R128 to R200, and although taking the train is still cheaper than taking a taxi or driving, he is worried that rail is

becoming unaffordable for the broad spectrum of users. Delays are also a reality and can be disruptive: “Maintenance is so important. If Metrorail doesn't ensure upkeep, delays become inevitable. Rail is integral to thousands of people who take the train to work daily. Strikes can be hard on business, but transport delays can disrupt business just as much. An unfortunate consequence of this is that train commuters are often branded as being unreliable in the workplace and employers have a negative association with them.” Is safety on the trains an issue? “I have

never had a bad experience, although I generally only travel in peak hours and take my car or get a lift when I know that I am going to work late. I think you’ll probably have different experiences depending on which line you travel on as well as whether you are travelling in MetroPlus (first class) or normal Metro (third class).” The bell signalling our arrival at the Cape Town Station sounds and we pour out on the platform. Striding through the recently upgraded concourse, Anton remarks: “When Metrorail is on song it is the most reliable and safe transport for me.”

DID YOU KNOW? On the day of the interview, a car left the Plumstead station at the same time as the train, travelling via the M3: While the train rolled into the station 30 minutes after departure, the trip by car took an hour. Photo: Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town

R9

gets you a single MetroPlus ticket at the counter. The 08h02 train rolls into the station right on time and off we go. Sitting across from me at a window, Anton comments on how he often has to stand when the train gets full. He’s quick to point out that this is a relatively new carriage – its walls are relatively free of graffiti. Anton, who works at New Media Publishing as the art director of décor, design and architecture magazine VISI, has been taking the train regularly for the past 12 years. As we roll along to the reassuring click-clack that is so synonymous with train travel, he explains why rail is his preferred mode of transport for his work commute. “I first started taking the train in 2000 as a student travelling to tech (CPUT) and have been doing so ever since,” he says. “It is really the most convenient mode of transport for me, so much so that I’ve decided where to live based on how close the house is to a station. Now it is about 8 minutes’ walk from my house to the station and about 5 minutes from the station to my office in Bree Street.” Although Anton owns a car, he is adamant that he simply can’t handle sitting in peak-hour traffic: “I love driving but I am not a stop-start driver and prefer the open road. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in traffic;

GoMetro is a free mobisite where you can get information on timetables, announcements, updates and information on Metrorail services. Go to www.gometro.co.za and register to use the service. You can also send Metrorail your feedback on Facebook (via the GoMetro app) and Twitter (@go_metro) or call the transport information centre on 0800 65 64 63 toll free. According to the 2012 City of Cape Town Transport Survey, 64 983 people use Metrorail as their primary mode of transport into the Central City on a daily basis. Cities that are famous for their rail transport include London for its underground, Johannesburg for the Gautrain and Japan for its speedy Shinkansen bullet trains. A local blogger recently captured a moment of light relief on the train: Go to www.projectjennifer. wordpress.com and search for a video blog entitled “The Metrorail shuffle”.

“It is really the most convenient mode of transport for me, so much so that I’ve decided where to live based on how close the house is to a station. Now it is about 8 minutes’ walk from my house to the station and about 5 minutes from the station to my office in Bree Street.” Rather than sitting in traffic, Anton Pietersen prefers to take the train to work

Anton Pietersen

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CityViews October 2012

Keeping Cape Town mobile

DID YOU KNOW?

Photo: Jacques Marais Media

According to Arrive Alive, South Africa’s minibus taxi industry consists of approximately

150 000 vehicles with more than

20 000 owners and

200 000 employees – with an estimated turnover of more than

R16.5 billion

Close to 35 000 commuters take minibus taxis as their primary mode of transport in the Central City

How did you become a taxi driver? I’ve only been a taxi driver for six months, but I have been in the industry for several years. Before I became a driver I worked as a guardtjie, operating the door. Now, because I have a driver’s license and professional driving permit, CV

as well as permission from the taxi association, I am working driving one of a fleet of 40 taxis, all of which are owned by one guy. CV What does your day look like? I wake up at 03h00 and drive from Phillippi, where I live, to Woodstock where I park the taxi overnight. By 05h00 I am in Sea Point, picking people up who are coming into the city for work. Firstly, it’s people like security guards and restaurant staff who need to get into the city for early shifts but later it’s all sorts of people: domestics, office workers and school children too. I spend my day driving between the city and Sea Point, until 19h00 when I return the taxi to Woodstock. All in all, I work about 15 hours a day, seven days a week.

photo: Lisa Burnell

CV Who are your customers? When I take people from the Central City to Sea Point, it can be anyone: tourists, locals, old, young – all

What’s a day in the office like for those whose business is on the road? City Views' writer Ambre Nicolson stopped by the Cape Town Station taxi rank and spoke to Mzi Phephani to find out.

sorts of people. My customers are very multi-racial. In fact, if you look in the back of this taxi, often you will see the whole rainbow nation, from Asians to Indians, white, black, and coloured people! CV What music do you play in your taxi? Personally I like reggae and any music I can sing to, but my customers like a very wide range, all different kinds from gospel to house music. I have noticed that people of different ages like different music so now I always look to see who is in the back, then I choose what music I think they would like. If it’s old people I choose some R&B or some gospel maybe, if its youngsters I play house music. CV Are you a safe driver? I think so, yes, but you know, as a taxi driver you have to keep time. Time is money. So sometimes you have passengers that say, “Please go faster, I am late!” but then at

other times you have people that say, “Slow down!” You have to be careful and listen to your customers. But I don’t do four-four [the practice of seating four people in each of the four rows of seats in a taxi], my taxi is only 3, 3, 3, 4 – so it only fits 12 people. CV Do you like working in Cape Town? I like almost everything about Cape Town. I like the infrastructure, and it’s a beautiful city, right? And the people are lovely here. My favourite place in the city is Long Street. I love that place, especially at night when it is very vibey.

A trip between Sea Point and the CBD by minibus taxi costs R6 (regardless of where you get off) and you can hop on and hop off pretty much anywhere along the major transit routes.

Taxi driver Mzi Phephani at work on his route on Strand Street

ITUDE T T A E UD GRATIT

Keeping the wheels of the Central City turning

photo: Lisa Burnell

Everyday acts of kindness help transform Cape Town into a more liveable, caring city. City Views would like to recognise those individuals who don’t think twice about doing their part.

Alec van de Rheede doesn't think twice about going beyond the call of duty

Do you have a positive experience with someone in Cape Town? Send your story to judith@capetownpartnership.co.za

City Views recently received an email from Charline Jantjies, whose car broke down in early September at the busy interchange of Christiaan Barnard Street and Table Bay Boulevard. CCID Deputy Security Manager Alec van de Rheede came to her rescue.“My car was giving me some problems and I was under tremendous stress – I didn’t know what to do. Within five minutes of my incident one of the CCID employees, Alec van de Rheede, arrived at the scene where he offered

assistance. He then called in one of his other colleagues Clive Pietersen. He immediately looked at my car and offered to take me to the shop where I could get new parts to fix my car. Within the hour my car was fixed and I was back on the road. Both men kept me so calm and went out of their way to help me – they really went the extra mile. They are true professionals and a real asset to South Africa ... I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart, words can’t describe how I feel.”

While changing a tyre, pushing a car or giving lost tourists directions aren’t part of the CCID’s core function, Alec believes that these actions are part of creating a sense of community in the Central City. “I believe in leading by example – consistent service and passion for our work is something that we want to instil in all our officers. Our commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty often takes people by surprise, but it leaves them feeling that we care.”

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October 2012 CityViews

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Poetry in motion

A tale of Cape Town’s taxis Cape Town-based writer, academic and author of The Institute for Taxi Poetry Imraan Coovadia talks about transport and why Cape Town is a great city for writers.

Photo: Jacques Marais Media

ning a competition to put poetry on taxis. There are, after all, examples of transportation poetry around the world: There’s an interesting book of South African railroad poetry, Pakistani taxis sometimes have religious verses written on them, and there is often poetry on the London underground and the New York subway. The Cape Town in your novel is a oneparty state in which Portuguese is the dominant language. What made you choose Portuguese? I suppose I wondered why we have all these countries next to us, some of them Portuguese speaking and quite different, yet our imagination tends to be quite national or neighbourhood based – as in the Kalk Bay novel or the Sea Point novel. Rather, I thought it would be interesting to imagine Southern Africa as a cultural unit, and as a Portuguese speaking place. That would give a whole different feeling, to the names in the novel ... one of the curses of being a South African writer is that race is such a compelling problem, but there are not that many new ways into it imaginatively. The Portuguese-speaking Catholic countries, like Brazil, Mozambique and Angola, have different angles on this stuff and I thought it would be good to be more open to these things. CV

“If you followed every person’s transport day, you would find out a lot about people – just the route they take, where they come from, the connections they make – these facts are very revealing and interesting.” Imraan Coovadia

You were born in Durban and lived in the United States for over a decade. Do you now consider yourself a Capetonian? On one level writers only need a pen, or a nice laptop perhaps, but on another level there are places in South Africa where I think it would be hard to be a writer unless you were very self-reliant. Cape Town is not like that, it’s a city of culture. I think that’s why it’s an interesting place to write. I have lived here for a number of years but I still find it quite odd ... I think that’s really key for writers, to ask questions and be curious about things that other people consider too simple. When I first arrived there were some obvious differences that set me apart from the locals. Capetonians spoke slower, they were generally happier; they had a few close friends, rather than a huge social circle. I think I have become a lot more like that. I eat and talk slower, I like to be outside and I cycle these days. So yes, in some ways I am a Capetonian now. CV

Do you have a favourite place in Cape Town, somewhere you go for inspiration? I think there are too many places to choose from. I do think that it is truly wonderful how proximate and accessible all these shockingly great places are, that you don’t have to drive two hours to be on Lion’s Head or the beach – everything is close and extraordinary. I also love to cycle; I think perhaps I should have written a book about bicycling in Cape Town. I think writers are natural cyclists: there is an affinity between cycling and writing, something about the rhythm of sentences and cycling that go together. I do feel it is quite dangerous to cycle round Cape Town because of the traffic but I believe that the more bicycles you have, the more novels you will have. CV

What do you imagine Cape Town to be like in the future? On the one hand as a writer I think you are a natural revolutionary: you want to sweep everything aside and start over, but in another way I think it’s important to recogCV

photo: Lisa Burnell

Part satire, part thought experiment, your new novel is set in an imagined Cape Town in which the Institute for Taxi Poetry trains young people to use taxis as canvases for poetry. What made you combine the different worlds of poetry and taxis in the book? I think the question really is why not taxis? They are such a paradoxical and unexpected part of the new South Africa, and such a central feature of our society and yet they have never made it onto the page. I also think that our ordinary means of transport are actually very strange in this country. If you followed every person’s transport day, you would find out a lot about people – just the route they take, where they come from, the connections they make – these facts are very revealing and interesting. When it comes to poetry, I’ve always had the feeling that imagination belongs to everybody. Perhaps you get people who are faster and slower, but I don’t think you get people who are more or less imaginative. I think imagination is quite democratic and people have all sorts of expressive resources which are often invisible. So, in the case of the book, I invented a genre in which they would be visible. In fact, since I wrote the book, the Goethe Institute in Joburg has suggested runCV

Let The Institute for Taxi Poetry take you on a journey of an alternative Cape Town. Copies can be found at Central City bookstores, Clarke's and the Book Lounge, and at the Central Library on Darling Street. nise that there is a lot that is very valuable about Cape Town: the ways in which people have preserved it and grown up here over generations and the specific rituals that accompany this. It’s hard to see how Cape Town’s future will unfold without undermining some of the things that make it special. Of course, it’s natural for places to go through transitions. If you look at America, there are all these problems

but it’s quite open, whereas here I think our subculture is quite closed. So I think the question is how to make Cape Town’s default position more open. The easy way is for it to become a pseudo city, a shallow hotel-ridden international city with too many developments, but that’s just the openness of money. It could be open in a deeper way, and I think that’s the experiment of cities.

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CityViews October 2012

My Cape Town Ncedo Gomba

Ncedo Gomba went from living on the streets of Cape Town to ranking #2 in the world in kickboxing. Here’s his extraordinary story.

Is that how you ended up on the streets? I left Gugs and walked to Cape CV

“At some point I met Gerald, from the Homestead. He made me realise that I can do something with my life.” Ncedo Gomba

When did things start to change for you? At some point I met Gerald, from the Homestead. He made me realise that I can do something with my life. One day he asked me if I liked to play football. He invited me to come and stay at the Homestead, to play football for their team. I went there the following week and joined the football team. CV

The Haven’s vision is to get the homeless home. 021 425 4700 The Homestead provides residential care and family integration for boys. 021 461 7470 Straatwerk has job rehabilitation projects for men and women. 021 425 0140 Salesian Institute Youth Projects provide education, skills training and rehabilitation to vulnerable youth. 021 425 1450

Ons Plek provides residential care while undertaking reunification process for girls. 021 465 4829 The Carpenters Shop provides rehabilitation services and skills training for adults. 021 461 5508

It was difficult at first because I didn’t want people to tell me what to do. But Gerald is a good guy and so I wanted to try my best for him. I will never forget how much he helped me. In 2007 I was sent to London to play in a football tournament with the Homestead. It was amazing! After two years at the Homestead in District Six, I moved to the home in Khayelitsha, which is where the boys are sent to if they are well behaved. But I ran away back to my friends. I told them I was clean, but then I started to smoke marijuana again. Gerald found me and brought me back to the shelter. That was when I started doing kickboxing training. I trained at the gym and after a week the coach got interested in me. I won my first fight and took it from there.

aB urn ell

CV What happened then? I ended up living with friends. I started sniffing glue and started smoking. We were in a gang and would steal money and goods from people. One day, my friend came to call me to do something that he had planned. I sensed that I shouldn’t go with him, so I stayed behind. Not long after that, the community found him and beat him in punishment for the things he had done. He died that day and I ran away because I was scared the same thing would happen to me. I lived on the streets in Wynberg for three days until my friend’s father came to find us. We went back to Gugs. But I dropped out of school and spent most of my days with my friends.

Town. I met some new friends and felt free: no-one was shouting at me anymore. We became good friends. No-one talked about their stories – I think we were scared to, because we were worried about our families, but there were problems in our communities. We were all different but we were there for each other all the time. I lived under bridges and at the taxi rank. We would beg at the traffic lights, and got about R50 or R100 a day. We would buy food with the money. But I was still using glue and then started on marijuana. I lost interest in everything. I lived on the streets for five years.

Phot o: L is

Ncedo, what’s your life story? I was born in Butterworth and moved to Cape Town with my mother, who was looking for work. I was about 4 years old. We lived with my grandmother in Gugulethu. There was trouble in the family and we moved in with my aunt and her husband. But I had problems with him. My mother left Cape Town to go back to Butterworth. She left me behind. She died in a fire three days after she left. CV

The right help at the right time put Ncedo Gomba on the road to success

told myself, “Don’t give up.” The next year I was chosen for the world championships in Korea. I did very well, placed number two in the world. When I got back, I went to a new gym. I moved to Phoenix and I’m now a professional fighter. People know me by name, in Joburg and in Cape Town. This experience helped me to forget about my past and life on the street.

What do you hope for your future? I want to keep boxing. I’m living with my foster mother in Woodstock. My dream is to live in Thailand and train there for four years. One day I want to open my own gym and give free training to kids who are living on the streets or in townships.

Do you ever revisit your life on the street? I do go back sometimes to visit my friends there. I spend time with them, buy them food, and try to convince them to find help. Some of my friends have also been able to find success in their lives. One is a professional chef. Another has just graduated with an engineering degree. But it’s difficult. People need to trust you first. They don’t trust people who haven’t lived on the street before. I’m different: I know what it’s like.

There are many factors that can help someone turn their life around, but it’s about more than small change. Give to organisations like the Homestead, who help people like Ncedo make big changes in their lives.

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What does kickboxing mean to you? The sport gave me discipline. I was very angry with life. It helped me forget about my past. I became a junior fighter and was chosen for the world championships in Thailand. It was an amazing time. I kept asking myself “What’s happening with my life? Things are changing for me.” On my first trip to Thailand, I placed number three in the world. I was very angry with myself for not winning, but CV

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The Homestead 150 Strand Street T: 021 461 9763 www.homestead.org.za

Many children and young adults living on the streets have severe drug addiction problems. More often than not, the money they receive from begging is used to buy their next “fix”. The CCID therefore requests that members of the public do not give money or handouts directly. If you would like to help, please contact one of the listed organisations mentioned. Contact the Central City Improvement District’s (CCID’s) Social Development Department for further information or assistance.

Pat 021 419 1881 | Dean 082 928 3862 Headman Sirala-Rala 082 262 0113 Mark Williams 082 262 0112

www.capetownpartnership.co.za


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