The following days found us driving Cape Town in search of batteries and a new aluminium whisker pole.
Initially travelling by taxi, we drove through what was once a suburb lived in by the wealthiest of Afrikaans and had since become a middle class sector. Pointing out a series of yellow multi storied apartment buildings below and informed us they had been the living quarters for the blacks. Except for walking to and from their work places, they had not been welcome in the quarter above: – all that separated the two was a main road. How times had changed in Cape Town!!! The now middle class suburb was seeing an increasing number of native African inhabitants owning dwellings in the neighbourhood.
The attitude of the Cape Town people was a significant contrast to those we had previously visited. One viewed people of varying nationalities running or walking along the roadsides. Our driver informed us it was safe to amble along the beach at night and there were homes without electrified fences or barbed wire. One also saw mixed race relationships: the Cape residents appeared to be much more forward thinking.
We were told of the massive step forward taken as a result of the bush fire that had raced through, leaving in its wake destroyed homes and infrastructure in recent days. In a first, people forgot race and creed, instead joining and working together as a community to assist the evacuees by providing food, clothing, transport, accommodation and safety. The Cape Town residents were proud of this achievement and saw it as a stepping stone upon which to build a new South Africa.