Tag Archives: cape town

C Is For Cape Town (Water Crisis)

The most beautiful city in the world. Home of Table Mountain, one of the 7 wonders of the natural world. In the midst of the worst drought ever recorded in the region, it is at risk of running out of water. Rainfall hasn’t been bountiful in the last few years and dams have fallen to alarming levels. Water restrictions are in place, and people have a daily limit of 50 litres of water. With greater awareness and people getting serious about saving water, the so-called ‘day zero’ has been pushed back – the day when the taps will run dry and water trucks will be sent.

View of the Table Mountain upper cable station
©2018 Regina Martins

I travel a lot to Cape Town and in previous years it has been an absolutely beautiful experience flying over the Winelands and fertile valleys. Flying over the area, it now looks like the Karoo has moved all the way to the sea. People talk about desertification, and I can see that happening in that region.

Both degradation and desertification are among South Africa’s most critical environmental issues, intricately linked to food security, poverty, urbanization, climate change, and biodiversity.  Globally, desertification affects 70% of all drylands, and 73% of Africa’s agricultural drylands are degraded.  As much as 91% of South Africa comprises drylands, making it susceptible to desertification. 

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs, State of the Environment report.

I live in Johannesburg, and in the last week, we’ve had enough rainfall to fill the Cape dams 2 times over. Cape Town is a winter rainfall area and I can only hope that this winter will be a wet one for them.

My Cape Town uber driver of a couple trips back said to me as he drove me to the airport:

“Regina, I just want to fill a bath with water and just lie in it.!

People are stockpiling bottled water and there have been reports of fights breaking out in supermarkets to get the last bottles on the shelves.

People have come up with inventive and creative solutions – like a colleague who’s got a hand washing system in the bathroom and kitchen made with just a coke bottle and a thin rubber pipe. I’ve used it and can report that it works very well, uses a negligible amount of water, and is most satisfactory to clean hands:

A handwashing solution…
©2018 Regina Martins

 

Of course, it’s not just climate change that causes desertification. A lot of it has been driven by human activity. Degradation of previously fertile land, depletion of groundwater supplies, overgrazing and deforestation, to mention just a few.

Integrated land and water management are one of the ways to control the progression of the sands time, protecting soils from erosion and other degradation. Prevention is better than cure because such cures are expensive and yield limited results. 

In seemingly intractable issues, there is no one solution, only a series of next wise moves to shift the system, to make it better than it was, each and every day.

 

 

The Silos Transformation

An incredible structure, mind-boggling, and awe-inspiring! That’s the Zeitz MOCAA Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Located in the Grain Silo Complex of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, it left me breathless. I can’t gush enough 😉

If you’re ever in Cape Town, just after going to the top of Table Mountain, you just have to visit it. Whatever you do, whether you’re an architecture buff or an art lover, please put aside at least half the day to begin to do it justice.

The entire space has been carved out of 42x 33m high concrete grain tubes. The moment you walk in there’s a cathedral-like quality to it, the carved silos akin to huge organ tubes. The atrium stretches right up to the roof, the round tops of the silos covered by hardened glass which you walk on when you reach level 6.

Zeitz MOCAA: Level 7 upwards on the right is a hotel. The Museum spans the whole breadth of the structure until level 6
©2017 Regina Martins

Level 7 upwards on the right is a hotel. The Museum spans the whole breadth of the structure until level 6.

Zeitz MOCAA: Level 7 upwards on the right is a hotel. The Museum spans the whole breadth of the structure until level 6
©2017 Regina Martins

The atrium is 27m high and is the central point from which all the 80 gallery spaces on 8 floors connect from. It is shaped like a single grain.

Zeitz MOCAA: in the atrium, looking up at the roof
©2017 Regina Martins

The spiral staircase, in one of the old grain tubes, goes all the way from basement 2 to level 6 – it is an engineering feat all on its own.

Zeitz MOCAA: the spiral staircase, in one of the old grain tubes, goes all the way from basement 2 to level 6 – it is an engineering feat all by itself
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the engineering feat that is the spiral staircase, from basement 2 to level 6, in one of the grain tubes
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: looking up at the roof
©2017 Regina Martins

A repurposed remnant of the old silo.

Zeitz MOCAA: a remnant of the old silo
©2017 Regina Martins

The elevator shaft, neatly fitted into grain tubes.

Zeitz MOCAA: the elevator shaft, neatly fitted into grain tubes
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the vaulted atrium provides access to all of the exhibition spaces, which total 6,000 square metres
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the atrium is shaped like a single grain
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the atrium is huge and 27 metres high
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: looking up from the basement up to the roof
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: another view of the base(ment) of the silos and museum
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: basement 2, the base of the grain silos, the thick concrete polished to a sheen
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the polished basement floor, the pattern created by the shape of the silos
©2017 Regina Martins

Looking up at the roof from the atrium, at the top of the tube which is covered by laminated glass in a fritted pattern designed by the late African artist El Loko.

Zeitz MOCAA: looking up at the roof from the atrium, at the top of the tube which is covered by laminated glass in a fritted pattern designed by the late African artist El Loko
©2017 Regina Martins

The roof is the tops of the tubes, covered by laminated glass with a frittered pattern by the late African artist, El Loko. You can see all the way down to the atrium if you look in between the patterns, very exhilarating.

Zeitz MOCAA: the roof is the tops of the tubes, covered by laminated glass with a frittered pattern by the late African artist, El Loko. You can see all the way down to the atrium if you look in between the pattern, very exhilarating
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the frittered pattern on the laminated glass atop the tubes
©2017 Regina Martins

The roof has a sculpture garden and bulging windows providing gorgeous 360-degree views of Cape Town and Table Mountain.

Zeitz MOCAA: the roof has a sculpture garden and bulging windows providing gorgeous 360-degree views of Cape Town and Table Mountain
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: the top of the frittered pattern laminated glass covered grain silo as seen from the atrium
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: looking down the spiral staircase
©2017 Regina Martins

An old door on the outside, the industrial origins of the building still very much evident and preserved.

Zeitz MOCAA: an old door on the outside, the industrial origins of the building still very much evident and preserved
©2017 Regina Martins
Zeitz MOCAA: what looks like an old winch, still preserved at the entrance to the museum
©2017 Regina Martins

Entered in WordPress’s weekly photo challenge: Transformation.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter H – Happy

These photos make me happy, especially seeing the mountain from this side of Table Bay. I never tire of looking at Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders of the world.

Famed for its strong winds, on this day, Cape Town didn’t disappoint. The kite-surfers were blissfully happy as the wind carried them high over the waves, fast.

The poor seagulls were being tossed around a bit. Many of them just sat down on the ground, infinitely safer than being swept away. Those brave enough to fly didn’t have to do much work, as the wind carried them effortlessly. As to whether they were blown where they wanted to go, well, that’s another thing altogether. Sitting down, well, that proved to be the safest bet altogether.

Enjoy the slide-show I’ve put together for you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Entered in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Go here to check out more happy pics.