Pes­simists no balled

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

BY all ac­counts, the first sport­ing event in Cape Town’s new sta­dium went off like a well-oiled clock. I am pos­i­tive the re­main­ing tri­als will be even slicker. Nat­u­rally there are con­cerns to be ad­dressed but I am sure the suc­cess­ful event has now put egg on the faces of most of the pes­simists who said the city would never be ready as a World Cup host.

Mean­while, we are still fac­ing huge traf­fic con­ges­tion as we bat­tle to get to grips with roads that are in tur­moil. Again, al­though the de­lays and de­tours, which of­ten take you by sur­prise, are caus­ing con­cern, credit must be given to the plan­ners and en­gi­neers who have been able to work around the traf­fic flow.

It is quite amaz­ing how they have been able to jug­gle the lanes. It is like liv­ing and work­ing in a huge high-rise build­ing while it is still be­ing built.

In prepa­ra­tion for the big event, Cape Town has sud­denly ac­quired a host of new ho­tels, guest houses, apart­ments and other ac­com­mo­da­tion across all price ranges.

The big ques­tion is whether we will get the ex­pected num­bers of vis­i­tors.

In the past few months I have seen top-class ho­tels such as the Taj at the top of St Ge­orge’s Mall open, of­fer­ing a fives­tar spring­board into the his­tor­i­cal ar­eas of our great city, as well as the Coral In­ter­na­tional at the top of Wale Street and, late last year, the One&Only in the V&A Water­front.

Then there are myr­iad oth­ers scat­tered through­out the penin­sula, as well as most of the older es­tab­lish­ments ei­ther re­fur­bish­ing or up­grad­ing many of their ser­vices and, in many in­stances, of­fer­ing more up­mar­ket ser­vices.

Restau­rants, bistros, cof­fee bars and l ounges have ap­peared on ev­ery street cor­ner.

The hope is that vis­i­tors ar­rive in large enough num­bers to take up all the ad­di­tional beds and our hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try keeps the prices of its ser­vices at a rea­son­able level.

Al­ready there are many con­flict­ing re­ports about how many beds have been booked and whether the es­tab­lish­ments are re­ally go­ing to be full.

On a re­cent visit to Switzer­land, we had the op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­view the man who headed the or­gan­i­sa­tion for the World Cup in Switzer­land.

Al­though he re­ported that all went ac­cord­ing to plan, he also con­ceded that the num­bers ex­pected did not fully ma­te­ri­alise. Even at the past Olympics in China, Bei­jing was not full to ca­pac­ity.

Af­ter all the prepa­ra­tions and the bat­tle the world is hav­ing in a mas­sive re­ces­sion, what we do not need is for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try and shop­keep­ers to get greedy and spoil our golden op­por­tu­nity to at­tract mil­lions of vis­i­tors in the years fol­low­ing the World Cup.

Af­ter we pub­lished the ar­ti­cle on Put­son­der­wa­ter, the ghost vil­lage in the North­ern Cape, we re­ceived many emails from peo­ple who lived hap­pily in the vil­lage many years ago.

They have also sent us in­ter­est­ing ac­counts of what life was like.

Un­for­tu­nately all the pho­to­graphs were of a low res­o­lu­tion, but we are work­ing on it and will soon pub­lish a look at life in Put­son­der­wa­ter. CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Sheila Marchant-Webb for her pho­to­graph of chil­dren to­bog­gan­ing on the beach at Wor­thing, Eng­land. Sheila wins din­ner for two at CinCin, where food and life are cel­e­brated with su­perb views of the Cape Town city sky­line, Ta­ble Moun­tain, and its pièce de ré­sis­tance, a 3m gen­uine Swarovski crys­tal chan­de­lier.

CinCin is syn­ony­mous with el­e­gance and am­bi­ence. The menu changes with the sea­sons, in­clud­ing a num­ber of themes: the veg­etable gar­den, the sea, the farm, the veld and fyn­bos.

From the moun­tains to the sea, the colourf ul dishes re­flect l ocal f l avours; sweet, sun drenched, earthy, rich in taste and aroma. Visit CinCin at the Protea Ho­tel Colos­seum in Cen­tury City and al­low its team to re­veal the true essence of CinCin. What­ever lan­guage you speak, may it be a cel­e­bra­tion.

Our run­ners-up are Ruth Rom­burgh for her pho­to­graph of a sun­set; and Derek Wat­ters for his pho­to­graph of a pea­cock t aken i n t he Saasveld district near Ge­orge.

Travel2010 will con­tinue to pub­lish the pop­u­lar read­ers’ pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion, with a prize of a din­ner for two for the win­ners each week.

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