Article by Kabous le Roux, original here
My wife and I regularly go for evening walks along the Sea Point beachfront, one of my favourite spots in and around the Cape Town city centre.
There are more than three kilometers of flat, paved walkway along the length of Sea Point with dramatic views of the mountain on one side and the wide open ocean on the other. And the sunsets! You have to see it to really appreciate it.
All along the path there are large lawns where people have picnics or play games such as informal soccer or touch rugby matches. Many families go there to get fresh air and spend some quality time together. You’ll find people jogging from one end to the other while others will be walking their dogs. There’ll be children playing cheerfully and old ladies gossiping on the benches. It’s an awesome, chilled-out vibe and a great place to enjoy the city and its people.
The young, the old, the rich and the poor love the Promenade. In fact, I can’t think of another public space in Cape Town where its ultra diverse population mixes so effortlessly. The Promenade is one of those places that makes you feel grateful you live in such an amazing place.
All of which explains The Dance of Joy I did upon hearing the news of the Cape High Court’s ruling against the rezoning and development of the Sea Point Pavilion site.
Do we need even more shopping malls, boutique hotels or über-trendy coffee shops? I would say no, but I’d admit it’s debatable. Do we need them in one of the last remaining open spaces in a city that seems to have shopping malls, boutique hotels and a vida e café on every corner? Hell no!
The failure of the Province and the City to see the inappropriateness of this development (as well as the determined fight against it) makes me think of a Nine Inch Nails song from way back:
God money’s not looking for the cure;
God money’s not concerned with the sick among the pure;
God money let’s go dancing on the backs of the bruised;
God money’s not one to choose.
No, you can’t take it; no you can’t take that away from me!
Thank you so much to Seafront for All (SEAFA) for fighting to preserve the Sea Point Promenade!
SEAFA, an organisation funded by private individuals, will now mount a fundraising campaign to cover its legal costs. According to Bennie Rabinowitz, the Chairperson of SEAFA, their costs have been significant. “It is disgraceful that civil society has had to protect interests which government should rightly have upheld,” said Rabinowitz.
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