Rough Day At The Office

Rough Day At The Office
Sailing upwind in 22knots at the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Nice, France

Monday, June 28, 2010


While the World Cup is going on right now in South Africa and tourists are pouring in to places like Capetown to watch the matches and spend their tourist dollars, spare a thought for the majority of citizens that live there not ten minutes drive from the city centre in the Townships. Townships were created as living areas for non-whites under the old political system of Apartheid.
Most of Cape Town's townships are concentrated in the area known as the Cape Flats which lie to the East of Table Mountain.
When I was there in 2008 for the Volvo Ocean Race I spent a couple of days out there with the kids and taking them pens and cardboard so they could write on for school. These families I met were so warm and welcomed me and always seemed to have a smile on their face despite what very little they had. I shared a great moment about international rugby with a man that I was introduced in his late seventies that had lived through the horrific apartheid and showed me his identity book that he had to have on him at all times other wise he received a terrible beating.

More than half of Cape Town's population lives in the townships! It's not all palm trees and five star hotels. Township life offers an insight into South African history like no other experience.

In my eyes the beauty of Cape Town extends past Table Mountain and the wealthy suburbs, and into the townships themselves.
If you are visiting Capetown make a very small effort and gets some pens and cardboard and make the trip out of town and meet some beautiful people.