www.capetown.at Roddy Bray's Guide to Cape Town  
Click for Home Page
Click for Cape Town City Guide

Click for Heritage
SA Flag - Click for MP3 downloads
Audio Guides
Click for Directory of Cape Town Weblinks
Penguin at Boulders - click for Photos
Click for Storyletters

New South Africa
(page 7)
The decade following 1994 was characterised by unprecedented development, mostly related to tourism which had emerged as the city's best hope for economic growth. By 1996, 600,000 visitors were coming to Cape Town each year and spending four billion rand in the city and nearby areas. Developers predicted further growth and this created demand for the best sites in the city, and exciting and stylish designs.

The extraordinary success of the V&A Waterfront no doubt encouraged other large-scale projects. The first of these was Ratanga Junction - a theme park. Later, Century City, which includes the biggest shopping centre in Africa (Canal Walk) followed. Other shopping centres, such as Cavendish Square, greatly expanded.

Numerous hotels were built, including large 5* facilities. Attractions such as Cape Point, Kirstenbosch, Spier and the Cable Car were modernised, to high acclaim. The airport was enlarged and improved. A large casino complex opened for the Millennium. Luxury marinas developed around the Waterfront. In 2001 work began on a large convention centre, linked by canal to the Waterfront.

In the mid-90s the prison on Robben Island was re-opened as a museum. It's status was enhanced by memorial events led by President Mandela, and the UNESCO declaration of the island as a World Heritage site for 'the triumph of the human spirit'. Tours of the island have proven very popular.

Cape Town found ways to express, for the first time, its diverse cultural heritage. An award-winning museum opened dedicated to District 6. Established museums re-interpreted their exhibits. There was also a resurgence of interest in the Khoe and debate around 'white', 'coloured' and 'african' identity. Township tours graphically illustrated life in the shanty towns and the struggle against apartheid. The annual Cape Town Festival was launched and the gay community became more open with the celebrated Queer Project each December.

Renewed appreciation of the unique Cape flora led to the declaration of the Cape Peninsula as a national park and conservation area. An application was lodged for it to be included in a proposed World Heritage Site dedicated to the biome.

Much of this development was based upon tourism. Current trends would indicate that the investment will be rewarded and that tourism is the key to the continued prosperity of the city.

Go to the next page >>>>>>

© www.capetown.at 2008. You may print this article for personal use; if for reproduction please acknowledge 'www.www.capetown.at.co.za'. You may not use this material for any electronic media except with written permission. www.capetown.at accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies or the work of service providers.


Heritage Sections
· Culture ·
· Environment ·
History · Society
Personalities · Areas

In this period of Cape History:


Mandela's Release




New Government

& Change



Bibliography & Contacts


Return to top