transport | urbanism | adventures | pontification
I started my time in South Africa by sitting in on a ten-day seminar about globalization, poverty, and the environment. This seminar’s focus on the country’s economic disparities, environmental challenges, and history of apartheid spatial planning served as an excellent introduction for my time in South Africa. It expanded my thinking about issues linked to transportation; for example, as one lecturer noted, the long commute times of South Africans who rely on minibus taxis tend to discourage home-cooked meals, undermining markets for fresh produce in township areas and increasing urban food insecurity. I learned a lot from the field trip focused on housing and water infrastructure in the Cape Town area. The seminar also helped me learn to appreciate the importance of cricket and braaing in South Africa.
To reach campus from the house I was staying at in Kenilworth, I relied on the University of Cape Town’s Jammie Shuttle. The free service’s different routes connect UCT’s campus, located on the slopes of Table Mountain, to nearby residential areas and public transport interchanges. When the Jammie Shuttle was inaugurated in 2002, the Mowbray/Claremont Main Road sector of the minibus taxi industry feared the new shuttles would be competing unfairly, so they blockaded routes and threatened violence. Successful negotiations between the University and minibus taxi representatives prevented serious problems.