Cape Town Local Customs

  • The Minstrel Festival, Jan 2014
    The Minstrel Festival, Jan 2014
    by MM212
  • Local Customs
    by mvtouring
  • Lamb on the spit
    Lamb on the spit
    by morne

Most Recent Local Customs in Cape Town

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Signage so funny it poses a safety hazard!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Apr 27, 2012

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    Hmmm ... maybe this one should be under 'Warnings and Dangers', because the first time I saw it, I was behind the wheel and was laughing so hard that I almost drove off the road!

    This sign is for an ostrich farm off the R27 just north of Cape Town, where they indeed breed ostrich - if you choose to put a smutty spin on this (as, of course, I did myself), then that's your problem!

    Apologies for the picture quality, but we were going fast ... and in case you're jumping to the logical conclusion ... no, I wasn't driving this time!

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  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo

    Meets the Cape Malays

    by kenHuocj Updated Feb 24, 2012

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    Bo kaap museum

    their humour, their traditions, their foods
    all sperlatives;
    for those who know "old adderley" street and the flowers vendors, the witty biting remarks;
    the removal of District 6 and others to lands too far away, took away the original heart and soul of Ou Kaapstad.

    on my last trip in 2009, walking along Adderly Street and the CBD area, the flower sellers were not with the quick wits and comments indelilble in my mind from the early 80's and even 60's

    Bo Kaap below Signal Hill has a touch, but not as intense as before. It remains colourful, and the emergence of B&Bs are a positive sign.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Hout Bay fishing

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Hout Bay

    The fishermen in Hout Bay go out EARLY in the morning (a LONG time before the average perosn is awake...) to bring in a good catch. A really nice thing to do is be there at the harbour when they come back in again to sell their catch :)

    Just a tip? Boat A might be selling a large snoek for R30... the next boat will come in, selling their snoek for R25 and the next for R20... each one marks the other down. Al the fish is pretty much the same in quality and size... so shop around! Go home and cook it in the oven or, even better, have a snoek braai! Mmmm :)

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Fishing
    • Beaches

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  • cokes's Profile Photo

    The Cape Coons

    by cokes Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    2 more images

    Every Year the Cape Coons march in the streets of Cape , I guess here you`ll get to see all the local people here.

    I have collected some info on them which you can checkout for interest sake.

    Coon Carnival CEO Mr. Melvyn Mathews (picture at left) of the Hip Hop All Stars (previously The Penny Pinchers All Stars) who was responsible for the organisation of the 2003 road march confirmed this view. “This carnival is getting big and big sponsors are starting to throw good money at us and we cannot afford the image of gangsterism to ruin the coon carnival... It’s now become one of Cape Town’s major tourist attraction’s and we (the minstrels board and the city of Cape Town) are working very hard at improving our image so we can even take on the Rio Carnival... Yes we had problems in the past, you even photographed some of them. But if you look at this years carnival then you can see that we are succeeding and that with our big plans for 2004 we’re taking this to a higher level, never seen before” said Mathews.

    Melvyn Mathews (54) is an authority on the Cape Town Coon carnival and has been a part of it since he was two years old. For more information, Mathews can be contacted in Cape Town at telephone numbers +27 83 733 8522 or +27 21 593 1888

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Reiki

    by mvtouring Written Apr 14, 2008

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    IF you are a Reiki practitioner visiting our city or just having moved here and looking for a group where you can practise your Reiki and learn a bit every time, why not join our Reiki group. We get together once a month at the Spinnery in Durbanville where we do group healing as well as universe and distant healing. Give Suzi a ring if you are interested and she will provide you with more information

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  • glennkasner's Profile Photo

    Load Shedding

    by glennkasner Written Jan 24, 2008

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    Load Shedding, well that's become quite a buzz word in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa recently. Our national energy supplier ESKOM has tried to blame this on the rapid develoment of the economy, locals blame it on ESKOM'S inefficiency but actually the real reason is that us locals care so much for this planet that we are prepared to go without electricity for extended periods to make this a better place to live.
    Besides that, the hidden agenda is to market Cape Town (and the rest of South Africa) as a romantic destination where everone dines by candle light.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Purchase a mobile or a SIM Card

    by TRimer Written Jul 5, 2007

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    Despite what we had read beforehand, we found it impossible to rent a cell/mobile phone while we were in country (wanted to have one for emergencies/convenience while driving the garden route). So we ended up purchasing one rather inexpensively. We bought a nokia model for about $40 US and a prepaid plan for another $20. It came with about 30 minutes airtime which was more than enough. Again- we bought it for security. Went to the local Vodafone in Greenpoint not far from the rental car pickups.

    Related to:
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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Biltong and Droe wors

    by mvtouring Written Jan 23, 2007

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    biltong

    The best delicasy for most South African's are biltong and droe wors (dried sausage) Biltong and Droe wors is sold in nearly all supermarkets, most malls and sometimes even on fleamarkets. You get various varieties from beef to venison. Best for me is the beef followed by the kudu biltong.

    QUICK BILTONG RECIPE

    So, it is Wednesday and you are on your way home from work. You remember that the guys are coming over to your place on Saturday to watch sport on the box, and you decide to treat them with some homemade Biltong. You pop in at your local butcher for some good quality fresh meat, Silverside (London Broil), Topside, Steak or such, now:

    INGREDIENTS

    2 kg good quality meat
    Biltong spice (available from Biltongmakers-see our home page)

    METHOD

    Slice the meat into suitable strips, making sure that there some thin strips for those who like their Biltong a bit dry.
    Place the meat in a tray.
    Sprinkle 100 grams of dry Biltong spice (available from “Biltongmakers”) evenly over all sides off the meat.
    Protect the meat against flies and leave for 3-4 hours.
    Dry the meat with some paper towels and hang in the Biltong Maker (or a dry, drafty area).

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    Tipping in Cape Town

    by jo104 Written Jan 21, 2007

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    As regards to Restaurants tipping is considered appropriate anything from 10%, service charge may be added into bills if stated on the menu for larger parties. Waitrons do not earn a high basic wage & do rely on tips preferable to be left in cash rather then on the card.

    Tipping at bars seems to have become mandatory, for example if you order 2 drinks at total cost R25 patrons give a R2 tip on the saucer once change is returned. Of course it can get a bit silly if you are at a bar for a while so at the end of the evening you may wish to leave the bar staff a tip.

    There are a lot of car guards around in Cape Town whose job it is to watch your vehicle whilst it is parked. I personally feel at night time they add extra security & a feeling of safety - Of course don't give a tip if you feel threatened, although this is usually not the case the guards are pleasent enough although there is competition & squabbling between who looked after the car. I do however feel justified in not giving a tip in a normal supermarket car park where parking is free unless they have helped find a parking spot in a crowded area or loaded your bags in etc.

    Do be careful not to flaunt your cash or wallet when giving tips in the open, coins are usually sufficient.

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    Supermarkets in Cape Town practices

    by jo104 Written Jan 21, 2007

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    I think a charge was introduced as a result of Cape Town trying to reduce roadside rubbish at first but of course it is also very enviromentally friendly.

    There is a nominal charge per thin plastic bag added to your grocery bill. Or alternatively you can purchase a green bag which is a strong fabric bag for life currently Pick n Pay charge R5 per bag with a percentage going to enviromental projects.

    The main supermarkets in Cape Town are Pick n Pay & Checkers (Shoprite) which equate to Sainsburys / Tesco (UK). Woolworths in SA is effectively a Marks & Spencer store.

    In Centuary City where you pay for parking the supermarkets will stamp your parking card giving you an hour free when you purchase just one thing.

    Shopping at the supermarket for picnic items & wine can save you an enormous amount on lunches out. We often take a picnic when we visit Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. They sell ready made salads & pies as well. You may also find wine is cheaper to buy at a supermarket then even on the wine farms & certainly cheaper then at the airport.

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  • nichole_521's Profile Photo

    Parking and Paying

    by nichole_521 Written Jul 26, 2006

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    When parking on the street there were people (wearing vests) who expected money to watch over your car. They would help you park, even though you do not need it, then they would stand by your car waiting to be paid.

    We at times paid them and at times we did not. You could tell when you did not pay them; they would be a little upset. This was hard to get used to, to always have some one wanting money to park on the street. At times we did not have any cash. We never knew how much we were supposed to pay, so we just guessed.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Xhosa crafts

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 20, 2006

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    Traditional beadwork
    1 more image

    Two main crafts that Xhosas are know for are their intricate beadwork and their clay pipes. The young women produce the beautiful beadwork for their families. Sometimes they are even able to wear it themselves (goes back to the tradition that young women are not adorned with beautiful things until she is married).

    Here is a picture of something that is not tradionally Xhosa, but shows how intuitive the local ladies are! They didnt have flowers for the church service, so took plastic bits and pieces and made some kind of decoration out of it! I love their ingenuity and touch! :)

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Xhosa dress

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 20, 2006

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    Mary, Mum, Rejoice and Becky
    1 more image

    Xhosas are renown for their very unique and tasteful personal adornment and style in dress. They have a fondness for the colour, red ochre, and dye their blankets in this, which they then wear over their dress. Hence them often being referred to as The Red Blanket People.

    Unwed ladies leave their breasts exposed and tie a wrap in their hair as a sign of their status. Engaged women plait their hair, letting it fall over their eyes as a sign of deep respect and acknowledgment of her future in laws. The older you are, the more elaborate and beautiful your headdress can be. Some women put brass bangles and beads around their necks, arms and legs too.

    Men dress down generally, only wearing a goat skin for protection. They wear more elaborate outfits during ceremonies.

    Mary and Rejoice worked at my mums nursery school and creche. She had it for just over 20 years. Here, her staff wore creche assistant uniforms. In the evenings they would wear usual western-style clothing. When they went home (to their rural home where their family are) on a weekend, they would dress in more traditional apparel for special occasions, but generally still wear western-style clothing.

    Mum moved to the UK for a couple of years and has since moved back to South Africa. She is still in contact with Mary, Rejoice and the other staff as they became such a part of our family. They are very dear to us.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Xhosa initiation and circumcision

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 20, 2006

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    Out in the field

    Initiation still takes place amongst the Xhosa people. Girls sometimes get circumcised too (which is largely frowned upon!), but boys are mainly circumcised. There has been an outcry for this practice to stop as there have been accidents and things have gone wrong, scalpels aren?t sterilized so infection sets in etc. But it does still go on, but mostly in the rural areas.

    The boys are taken away from their village and go and live in the bush together for a few days. They partake in traditional bush dances, one being the 'Amakwetha', paint their bodies with a white clay substance and wear headdresses.

    www.siyabona.com has some lovely detail about exactly what happens at one of these gatherings. Definitely worth a read!

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    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Xhosa fertility dance

    by Jenniflower Written Apr 20, 2006

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    Becks with some of the locals

    Fertility dances are traditional, and if a couple has not conceived, this dance will be performed. A weird (and unfair!) thing is that, in this culture, if a couple remains barren, the blame ALWAYS falls on the woman, never the man... and should she seek 'attention' elsewhere, there will be huge disgrace on her, but should he do this? Nothing happens, it is almost expected and he's seen to be more of a man.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Music

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Comments

Cape Town Local Customs

cleocat's Profile Photo

People are friendly and will easily smile at you. Street vendors can be a nuisance, but they are harmless and if you are firm enough they will leave you alone.

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