Beyond the polemics of race, religion and politics, I will always support the notion of Cape Town as a world class city. Decades ago, I had the opportunity to study and work abroad. This allowed insight into how other societies function and progress. My travels permits a comparison between Detroit, New York, Washington, Istanbul, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Cairo, Blantyre in Malawi and many other cities with Cape Town. Within this context, I consider, what is it that Cape Town represents in the mind of a local or that of a tourist.
For example, unlike Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Cape Town has partial spiritual value. That we have a progressive level of religious tolerance is praiseworthy. London, Paris and New York have museums, theatre, fashion and much more. Although we are limited with regards to museums and fashion, Cape Town has natural beauty which includes the mountain, the sea and pleasant weather.
Since an import economy have reduced our industrial potential, I consider, is tourism going to be sufficient to sustain Cape Town in the long term? I believe that our collective sustainability lies in our ability to redefine the notion of what it means to be a Capetonian. This implies that locals will have to identify the truth about ourselves. I am not just talking about race or class issues but a process that requires a much deeper introspection. For example, when pilgrims visit Jerusalem, the Vatican, Mecca or Medina locals know who the visitors are. Though this means little to a Capetonian, to the people of those cities it means a lot. Cities give people a history, a culture and a particular identity.
On Friday 18 October 2013, the City of Cape Town deployed 20 Law Enforcement Officers to Clifton and Maiden’s Cove to monitor Matric valedictory celebrations. Members were deployed at 14:00 and remained in the area until midnight. During the operation, officers confiscated 189 bottles of alcohol including wine, spirits and beer. They also broke up a fight on 4th Beach and issued notices to four males for behaving in a disorderly manner. Fines were issued for bringing alcohol onto the beach, creating a nuisance and hawking without a permit.
Also the City Law Enforcement Department has seized more than 600 litres of alcohol on the City’s beaches since 1 December. That’s nearly triple the amount compared to the same period last year.
Locals and tourist cannot even take a leisurely stroll along Lions head without some crazed knife wielding maniac trying to commit murder. Though it is common sense that the informal settlement in the Bo-kaap has much to do with this criminality, nothing has been done to remove this blight.
As a society we continue to struggle to educate a brand new generation concerning the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction. According to Mahatma Gandhi “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”.
How do we build a progressive society in Cape Town with locals who threaten our economic viability that is tourism by behaving like savages in a public spaces meant for leisure?
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress