Tourism angers Bo-Kapenaars

In the colourful Bo-Kaap, residents are angered by gentrification in an old inner-city neighbourhood that still holds on to a lineage of Islamic and Cape Malay traditions.

Their ire seems not been influenced by Gatvol Capetonian and is directed at the tourism industry.

Three months ago, Shakirah Dramat began a small protest in Wale Street, on the periphery of the Bo-Kaap, during peak-hour traffic. She would stop drivers and tell them how gentrification has caused rental prices to skyrocket and how local businesses have shrunk next to new investments.

It was a Facebook video that Dramat posted, echoing the sentiments of Bo-Kaap residents, that inspired some young people to become more active in the protests.

READ MORE: Bo-Kaap unites in protest to hold onto heritage

“I’m fucking tired of the way this community is being treated. I’m tired of the tourism industry in South Africa and the tourists coming in and out of this area, going to view all of two roads and thinking that they understand Cape Malay history. I’m sorry but you understand nothing about slavery,” Dramat said in the video.

Over the past two weeks, protest action has intensified as young men have rolled burning tyres into Wale Street to block traffic during peak hour.

However, one protest leader says that he has never heard of Gatvol Capetonian. He wants to keep his identity hidden to prevent being identified as a protester by police.

Dramat, who has now started Bo-Kaap Rise, says that she knows of the Gatvol Capetonian group in passing through social media but does not know the people involved in the group. 

Make sense of your world

Subscribe to Mail & Guardian at R10/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Just three car models make up nearly 50% of SA...

‘Toyota Quantum and HiAce vehicles are on road on a semi-full-time basis and travel more kilometres vs other models and would, thus, be exposed to more on-road conflict situations,’ the report reads

Load-shedding on the cards as Eskom prioritises maintenance

Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer says the utility will continue with planned maintenance, even at the risk of load-shedding

Reserve Bank lifts rates again as high inflation takes its...

The monetary policy committee has voted to lift the repo rate by another 25 basis points as advanced economies mull policy tightening

Counting the costs of childbirth in young girls

Among other psychosocial concerns, pre-teen and teenage births contribute to poor mother and child nutrition results

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…