Bit of a moan – Pt.1

Part 2 may follow tomorrow. It may not.

But I’m fully aware that this is a moan. It even says so in the title. I’m not expecting anything to happen about this moan, although it would be nice (and really weird) if anything did.
Sometimes you just need to have a bit of a moan. Get things off your chest. This is one of those times.

Tourism. The lifeblood of the summer economy in Cape Town. Love them or hate them, tourists are plentiful and vital to keeping this country going.
This isn’t the first time I have lived in a tourist heavy city. I was in Oxford for almost a decade and that gets ridiculous numbers thanks to its proximity to London (and the whole of Europe). It’s also about 30 times smaller than Cape Town, so things can get very chaotic very quickly there.

Locally, comparative statistics are a bit difficult to gauge at the moment given the effects of the recent pandemic, but it does seem like the numbers of visitors this year will break all the previous records for people arriving to enjoy all that the Mother City has to offer.

I absolutely recognise the need for tourism as a valuable contributor to our economy.
But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

Still, as with any touristy place, if you avoid the touristy areas, you can avoid the tourists.

Just about…

There are two particular tourist “attractions” here that are seemingly unavoidable, incredibly intrusive and make life all a bit crap for the local residents.

The first is the Red Bus. Yep. I know you get them everywhere and they are a lot of fun. I’ve even done a couple of tours with the kids myself. But wow. Things have exploded recently. I mean, not literally, but…
Our roads are made for getting people from one place to another. When those roads are populated by any number of big red buses going around their two routes – here’s a shot from their “live bus tracker”:

Ah Jesus…

And of course they are deliberately driving at 20kph to give the visitors a nice leisurely view of the city and surrounds: on our suburban roads with 60 or 80kph limits. It causes a lot of congestion and a lot of frustration. Hugely disproportionate to the number of tourists actually using the service.

But that’s really nothing compared to the helicopter tours. Sure, they don’t cause traffic jams or delays, but could there be a more invasive, less eco-friendly way to annoy the local population? When the weather is good, there are no fires and the tourist season is on, we can get one every few minutes, coming over our back garden at (at best) a couple of hundred metres.

I’m not sure at what point the repeated noise, irritation, disturbance and greenhouse gas emissions:

would constitute a “hazard” as in (2)(a) there per se, but wow, if you not only want to have a look at the mountain, but also piss off everyone in the Southern Suburbs while you’re at it, then a helicopter flight is absolutely the way to do it.

Ironically, there’s one going over the house right now as I type, but then, that’s not very unusual.

There is even the double whammy, whereby you can book both these excursions on one single site.
A veritable synergy of local infuriation, at a discount price.
Who wouldn’t go for it?
No, I’m not providing a link.

So. Moan over. Did it turn into more of a rant? Does it even matter? Will it make any difference?

I’m off for a nap. If I can keep the noise out.