Its majestic mountains, two oceans, picturesque beaches, botanical gardens, scenic farmlands and luxury hotels and shopping centres make it a tourist’s paradise.
And that’s exactly what the Mother City is: heaven for visitors who can afford it, but hell for locals who can’t.
This occurred to Munier, while reading the story of Pastor Ivan Jones and his wife Bronwyn, the founders of the NPO, Revelation Ministries, this week.
The couple, with the help of international foundation, Sage, took 14 children and two unemployed mothers from Lavender Hill on a trip to see Cape Point for the first time.
It’s a beautiful day out, stopping to see the penguins at Boulders Beach and baboons on the way to Cape Point.
But pricey! Entrance to Cape Point is R303 for foreign adults. The price has come down for locals (with a South African ID), now R76 only.
But R76 for a family of, let’s say four, that’s R304 in total.
The gate fee at Boulders is R38 per person. R150 for internationals.
And you need to factor in transport costs.
To enjoy the other bounties our home town has to offer, you’ll need to fork out:
For a cable car trip up Table Mountain, a whopping R330 return and R190 one way for adults. R165 return for kids, R90 one way.
For a trip to Robben Island - a pilgrimage every South African should make - prepare to pay R360 per adult and R200 for under-18s.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens charges R70 for adults; R20 for under-17s; under-6s are free; and senior citizens enter free on Tuesdays.
To go on the big Cape Wheel at the Waterfront, prepare to fork out R150 for adults and R75 for children.
A visit to the fantastic Two Oceans Aquarium costs R185 for adults; R140 for teens; ages 4 to 13 pay R90; and children under 4 are free.
That’s a dream holiday right there, but at these prices, sadly, for many people it’s only a dream.
Pastor Jones said of their outing: “The idea is to expose children to a different world. These children from Lavender Hill only get to attend school and the shops in their areas, and have never been to Table Mountain or the Aquarium.”
And in the process, he summed up quite well the tale of two cities we live in.
The prestigious one, which was named: “Best city in Africa and the Middle East” in a Travel + Leisure 2019 survey; “Best City on Earth” in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2018; Best Destination in Africa and World’s Leading Events and Festival Destination at the World Tourism Awards 2018.
Then there’s the gritty side of Cape Town: the neglected side where children grow up seeing drugs, guns and abuse before they get to see the penguins at Boulders.
Clearly, government is spoiling our tourists and failing our locals, especially our youth.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council 2018, tourism’s contribution to the SA economy is R425bn in indirect and R136bn in direct contributions to the GDP.
And R71bn worth of investments were made in the tourism sector.
How about ploughing some of these billions into community development programmes?
And getting more youngsters involved in the lucrative industry?