|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,
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
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
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.
· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: