Cape Town - Summer days and celebrations



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March 8, 2004 #issue 02.

THE MIX

Editorial

Celebrity News

Celebrating in District Six
A welcome homecoming - for some..

On the calendar
Cape Town events..


Editorial

Welcome <> to the second edition of the Cape Town e-Bulletin.

The month has certainly sped by since the first e-Bulletin was mailed out - and the summer weather is still lingering, with delightful warm days and cool evenings..

The Cape is in a winter rainfall zone so the summers are generally dry.

Cape Town's location and the surrounding mountains determine our weather to a great extent - and believe me when you're between seasons it changes regularly.

In summer when the 'Cape Doctor' South Easterly wind blows, the hot days become more bearable, but be prepared to hold on to your hat!

Spring (Oct-December) is an excellent times of the year to visit the Cape. Accommodation is easier to obtain and there are less tourists crowding the beaches and other popular attractions. Autumn (March-May) is also worth considering - if you don't mind the occasional rainy day.

Right now we're preparing to vote in April for our government elections, and the various political parties in contention for seats in parliament are making themselves heard in the media and in the form of posters adorning every lamp post in Cape Town and elsewhere in South Africa.

It is seen as a foregone conclusion that the current ruling party - the ANC (African National Congress) will again emerge victorious in this third free election since democracy in 1994.

Historically the ANC and it's leading role in the 'struggle' for racial freedom has become the symbol of freedom from racial oppression and as a result it enjoys majority support in many communities.

Unfortunately the ANC has failed to deliver on its promises - in the eyes of many, and its support base has eroded considerably.

That leaves the DA (Democratic Alliance) as the most likely official opposition and they have been feverishly canvassing support from lower income groups in order to minimise their public image of appearing to represent the more affluent sections of local society.

Throw in all the other minority parties for luck and we should end up with an interesting general election..

Celebrity News

South Africa is rejoicing with the news that Benoni home girl Charlize Theron won the best actress academy award at the recent Oscars ceremony. Talented she is, but this is the pinnacle of her success.
Well done Charlize!

The Cape Town e-Bulletin will put your finger on the pulse of this vibrant and fascinating city.

Find out what's happening in Cape Town from the street up.

You'll read about popular surrounding attractions - with a touch of Cape history thrown in..

Discover the people of Cape Town and what they do with their lives.

Your Cape Town e-Bulletin will provide useful information to prospective Cape Town visitors - but hopefully you will also become a part of it..

How?

<> your feedback and participation will help this ezine grow.

I look forward to giving you a monthly insight into the Cape lifestyle.

Enjoy!

Ed Berry

Webmaster
Cape Town Travel Adviser


Celebrating in District Six

Home at Last?

On 11 February 2004 a ceremony of significance took place at Zonnebloem, the original District Six land on the outskirts of Cape Town.

District Six was the name allocated in 1867 by the local government to the 6th municipal region of Cape Town. This area bordering the eastern fringes of the city became home over the years to a vibrant and diverse community of people from all walks of life.

Immigrants and wealthy merchants mingled together with labourers and freed slaves in this colorful environment of many cultural influences.

Despite impoverished conditions in parts of District Six, the area of 43 hectares provided homes, schools and a stable environment to the inhabitants, and the population grew steadily.

In February 1966 the Apartheid regime of South Africa applied the terms of its Group Areas Act which officially confined people to certain areas based on their race and skin color. District Six was declared a White Group Area.

Between 1968 and 1982 the 66,000 inhabitants of this community were forced to move out of District Six. Their homes were demolished and they were relocated to various undeveloped townships on the Cape Flats.

The bulldozing of District Six became a national symbol of government repression, highlighting the experiences of many other communities in the Cape and elsewhere that had been systematically uprooted.

Since South Africa acquired a democratic government in 1994, various land claims have been made by the ex residents of District Six and their families under the land restitution program.

The much publicised ceremony in District Six on 11 Feb was an emotional and symbolic reminder of the family turmoil endured by the previous residents. Before the large crowd - 24 families were officially given ownership of terraced houses which were still in the process of being built.

Guest of honour was 'Madiba' himself, ex president Mr Nelson Mandela who, amid cheers and weeping from the crowd, unlocked the doors of the first two uncompleted houses in Chapel st., new homes for the Murat and Ndzabela families.

4000 of these housing units will apparently be provided over the next 3 years to ex residents and their families, according to promises made to the crowd. This commitment would rehouse but a few of the approximately 66,000 people who were evicted fom their homes.

One of the highpoints of the occasion was the assurance to the thousands by mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo that the name 'District Six' would be restored. It remains to be seen how long that formality would take to be put into effect, but it was a hope that many in the crowd shared.

On the Calendar

We're all winding up for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour on 16 March as reported last month. 104 km around the Cape Peninsula Cycle Tour
It's become very much a traditional event despite the increasing cost of participation, and now that the original route over Capmans Peak has been restored, it's more popular than ever with several top international riders taking part. Good luck to all!

That's all from me for now <>. Speak to you next month.. and remember, your comments are welcome Click here

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