Friday and Saturday were action packed days in Cape Town where we had the opportunity to listen to talks about Sustainable Tourism, Silulo Technologies, along with a tour of the Bandwidth Barn facility. Saturday we attended a rugby game after a full morning of shopping at the local Green Market Square. No rest when in the Cape!
Allie Meadows started our morning off by talking to us about “Sustainable Tourism in South Africa.” She presented some very interesting points and facts about what she believed would push South Africa to having greater equality and their wealth more spread out. Every country has it’s problems and challenges; one of South Africa’s being that they still have some of the lowest of the low areas without access to basic sanitation such as food and water. Her solutions made so much sense- South Africa has so many natural resources and tourism contributes 9% to GDP. The obvious solution being ecotourism because it is based on nature, has low impact (physically and financially), it’s non-consumptive and it’s educational. You could tell Allie was very passionate about South Africa and finished with telling us that tourism can’t fix everything, but it can: redistribute money around the world, uplift rural communities and help protect most renewable resources.
After Allie spoke with us, our next speaker was Luvuyo Rani, creator of Silulo Technologies, located there in Cape Town, South Africa. His story was definitely the most inspirational and influential. Rani fought the odds that were stacked high against him and was determined to help educate his fellow citizens. Silulo Technologies provides things like computer training, internet cafe, and business writing help such as copies, fax, laminating, etc. The company provides the resources people in townships need to obtain solid jobs. Silulo is a one stop shop for all technological needs. Naturally, when you think of townships, unfortunately, one of the first things you may of is high crime. We asked Rani if this presented a problem for his company and his response was that they built a brand people are proud of, so there is not a real threat of crime in stealing the computers. The people in the townships are very proud of this opportunity and believe in what they are trying to do. This goes along with an overall theme of the trip which was the people of South Africa wanting a change for the better. Rani and his team are single handedly making a huge impact on the future of South Africa and it’s people. I hope that one day I can be as focused and committed to my vision as Rani is to his.
Saturday was our free day, so of course we went shopping! We walked to the local tourist trap… Green Market Square… It was a lot of fun interacting with the local sellers and haggling with them in attempts to get prices down where they belong ha! I got some awesome paintings, a cool tapestry of the “Big Five” thanks to my roomie Alexandra, who would not let the lady charge me more than R260. Hooray for a persistent roommate!!
To end our final day in Cape Town we went to a rugby game and watched the Stellenbosch Stormers take on the Australian team. I had such a great time at this game and scouted out some potential husband prospects on the team. It was so fun to watch and try to learn the strategy of a game none of us had any experience watch, much less any chance of playing. It was a fun end to our time in the Cape!