The theme of last week’s language excursions was Building Cities.
The first day, on Tuesday, we took a Walking Tour of Cape Town, guided by Abi of the Cape Town Partnership. It was a rainy day so we weren’t quite sure if we would be able to do the tour but the rain man helped us and it was dry by the time we left from Kurus English. Before starting the tour, we went to the office of the Cape Town Partnership to get some information and a complementary bag filled with a bottle of water, brochures with safety tips, information about creative cape town, give responsibility and CCID profile. There also was a little tourist book in it with the best of Cape Town central city.
Abi showed us places where new buildings are going to be built and where old heritage buildings still exist.
The next day we drove to Kalkfontein, using 2 buses. Kalkfontein is a township located between Cape Town and Stellenbosch and has both proper housing and an informal settlement area. We met Joanna and she showed us the place where she’s doing good work for the people who live in Kalkfontein. Once a day, she distributes food. People queue up to be served a little portion of nutritious food. Mostly, this meal which Joanna serves once a day is everything the people consume. She also has space where she sews clothes for the local people. It was really impressive to see the way the township people live. They possess almost nothing but yet there’s always a smile on their faces. After seeing Joanna’s place, she guided us on a short walk through the township. We saw the difference between an informal settlement and an authentic township.
On Thursday, we visited an architect’s office, Makeka Designs Laboratory CC, in City of Cape Town. Our guide for this day, Holger, gave us a presentation of the renovation and upgrading the central station. There is still a lot of work to do before the 2010 World Cup. Cape Town is getting an upgraded central station. The difference between the new and the old is huge. During Apartheid there were different areas for whites and non-whites and even nowadays, something of that feeling still remains. Now the plan is to have a central station for ALL the people.
During the week we learned so much about the city’s development, especially concerning the infrastructure, buildings & informal settlements. It was great to do these excursions.