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Just a thought: The Cape, town of good hope

November 17, 2013

I meet many Capetonians who are very proud of their City…but I often wonder if they are proud of ALL parts of the city, not only the best parts.

There is no doubt that Cape Town is visually appealing metropolitan city, with a globally renown cosmopolitan appeal and natural beauty…what with mountains, which offer stunning walking trails, blue skys and stunning beaches…dare I say, that even the city’s affluent suburbs are a wonderful spatial planning feat, with parks, convenient shopping, bicycle lanes, walking pathways and golf courses.

But there is another side to Cape Town…a side where the great majority of Capetonians live (certainly not where they make a living). This is the side that is at time conveniently forgotten when global superstars or international yacht races sweep into town. Yet this is the side where many of the city residents best servants, its most talented musicians and its abundant talent pool comes from.

If you follow the money, then you will notice that very little is invest in the City’s peri-urban community, in the way of ‘economic-enabling’ infrastructure and economic research (or even the socio-economic impact of programmes currently undertaken by the government, at local or regional level). Compare the little invest versus the much invested in urban areas, as well the public service expenditure of infrastructure maintenance.

Cape Towns peri-urban communities thrive because in densely populated areas, survival is the order of the day. Certainly much, much more could be done to create an economically enabling environment where Cape Town’s talent can be nurtured, entrepreneurship can thrive and an inclusive, equal opportunity city becomes possible.

Better together? Perhaps…

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