Our Black Pen Team: David, Warren, Bernadetta, Athina, Marieke, Margarete, Daddet, Kristina
The Black Pen Team decided to share their favourite bars, secret spots, winter activities, hidden places and much more with you!
We asked everyone questions – here’s what they had to say:
1. What is your favourite summer activity in Cape Town?
Margarete (General Manager, from Germany, has been in Cape Town since 2017): Summer concert at Kirstenbosch garden. Beautiful setting, selected bands and a lovely vibe. Rainbowculture on one spot. All for a good cause – turnover is for maintaining the garden.
Bernadetta (Senior Recruiter, from Poland, has been in Cape Town since 2015): Simply, going to the beach. I grew up in a small city in the heart of Polish Pieniny mountains, but I was always drawn to sea side. Cape Town has so many beautiful beaches to choose from, relaxing stroll on Camps Bay, peace and quiet on Bloubergstrand (best sunset pictures!), picnic and good book at Clifton 4th. Dream!
David (Immigration Case Manager, from Germany, has been in Cape Town since 2012): I really like the Cape Town Christmas Market, which happens in the Company’s Garden every year between Christmas and New Years’ Eve (yes, that is a summer activity here!) It’s completely different to the Christmas markets I grew up with, and you can get some fantastic crayfish curry there.
Athina (Immigration administrator, from South Africa): Road trips, there are many fun things to do in Cape Town and the Western Cape during the summer season.
Kristina (Immigration Case Manager, from Russia, has been in Cape Town since 2000): Definitely the Beach! Because I love to swim and tan.
Tanja (Intern, from Germany, arrived in April 2019): Love to go on the beach during summer, as well as going to festivals and general summer events with friends, because I like to spend my spare-time mostly in nature and with good friends.
Lisa (Intern, from Germany, arrived in March 2019): See the sunset from the top of Lion’s Head! You have to hike 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach the top. The panoramic view of Cape Town is stunning and worth it!
2. Cape Town can be busy and crowed. Where do you usually go when you want to relax?
Margarete: I can relax in busy places. I am going to coffees such as Raw and Roxy or Knead on Kloof and take a book or a diary with. If I need it really quiet – the backline in Muizenberg surfing or a hike around Lions head.
David: My favourite quiet spot is the forest at Deer Park, which is a little-known nature reserve on the slopes of Table Mountain just above Vredehoek. It is a hidden waterfall and great views over the city and the bay.
Athina: I love to go to KraalBaai / West Coast National Park. Which is a beautiful lagoon. Lovey to relax and unwind.
Kristina: There is not a nicer place to re-charge your soul – like beach or promenade walk; I like to go early in the morning to avoid people.
Tanja: Usually I try to do sports to clear my mind after a busy day but also do a hike on the lions head e.g. to see again how stunning this beautiful city is.
Lisa: When Cape Town get’s too busy I love to leave the City for the weekend. Cederberg is one of the most silent places I have ever been and definitely the best place for stargazing!
3. What is your favourite restaurant/bar in Cape Town?
Margarete: Dark Horse, Capetownian tappas. I love sharing food and unconventional spots. Very creative food for reasonable prices. For nasty food I like Fat cactus (party vibe every day) and for lunch Scheckters Raw (vegan and gluten free options for my diet :)).
Bernadetta: Smak on Bree Street, CBD. Superb combination of the best food from around the globe. Plus Oranjezicht City Farm Food Market at Waterfront.
Tray-lee (Recruiter, from South Africa): Primi Piat – that’s where my husband and I went on our first date.
David: That’s a tough question to answer – there are so many! At the moment, I really like Swan Café on Buitenkant Street. It’s a small French-inspired eatery with insanely delicious sweet and savoury crepes and a really unique décor.
Athina: Banana Jam in Kenilworth and Cape to Cuba in Kalk Bay
Kristina: Kloof street house/ Villa 47/ Gin Bar; good atmosphere, great memories…
Tanja: My favourite restaurant is Kloof street house because the food is absolutely delicious combined with such a lovely surrounding in the well furnished villa. My favourite bar is power and the glory, because you could go there by yourself but you always gonna meet someone you know.
Lisa: Cafe Ganesh in Observatory! They offer delicious traditional African dishes in an authentic atmosphere. The Secret Gin Bar on Wale Street: The bar is hidden and behind Honest Chocolate Café. The gin cocktails are super tasty.
Cannon Asset Managers investment analyst, Tlotliso Phakisi, said that the urgent amendment of South Africa’s stifling visa regime could be the quick fix needed to drag the country out of the economic doldrums.
“Introduced under Gigaba’s leadership, the tourism industry has been hamstrung for a number of years by unfriendly visa requirements that have negatively impacted the number of tourists entering the country,” he said.
“In particular, the controversial requirement that visitors travelling with children under the age of 18 years provide their unabridged birth certificates (UBC) upon entering or exiting has proven especially damaging to tourism numbers.”
Citing figures from the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), Phakisi said that over 13,246 travellers were prevented from entering the country between June 2015 and June 2016 after failing to meet the UBC requirements – losing the country many millions in potential revenue.
“Despite this, however, tourism has been one of the few sectors in the country to consistently show promise and resilience in terms of both job creation and economic growth over the past few years, demonstrating its potential as the lever needed for turning things around in the short term,” he said.
“These figures help to underscore the extent to which tourism has outperformed other key industries in job creation. And when compared to other countries’ tourism receipts, it becomes clear that tourism should be an easy win for South Africa, especially given our rich natural and cultural heritage.”
Phakisi said that New Zealand was able to attract $10 billion in tourist receipts in 2017, while Singapore, a country that is 0.006% the size of South Africa in terms of land area, was able to bring in $20 billion – more than twice that of South Africa.
“This highlights that to unlock the potential of tourism to stimulate our economy, all we have to do is take our thumb off the administrative pipeline that chokes the industry,” he said.
“And perhaps of even greater importance is that the cost of this tourism sector stimulus is zero or even negative – meaning that it will free up resources as we reduce administrative and regulatory requirements.”
“Ultimately Ramaphosa’s stimulus plan and particularly visa reforms should be welcomed as the quick fix needed to ignite economic growth and turn the tide on unemployment.”