The exploitation of one of South Africa’s most  important heritage assets.

In a “Nut Shell”

Hout Bay’s Horror Scope

Table Mountain’s  imposing outline is an international icon, the backdrop to the heart of South Africa’s “Mother City”, but in its shadow on the other side of the mountain is an equally impressive but lesser known valley called Hout Bay.

Following the visit to Hout Bay of John Chapman, ship’s mate of the English trader “Consent” in 1607,  Captain Middleton made an entry in the ship’s log reporting that it was a safe landing place, with extensive timber and a river providing  abundant clear fresh water. That brief visit did not record any contact made with local inhabitants but within 100 years a lot had changed and in the few subsequent centuries since man has sown the seeds of ecological disaster which will most likely destroy the potential of one of South Africa’s most valuable assets.

This is perhaps the most important of our “Hot Button” topics and illustrates the fragile interdependency ecosystems that have existed for millions of years which by man’s late interventions will probably cause their collapse.

International best seller author and Pulitzer Prize winner Prof Jared Diamond in his book “Collapse”, lists a set of fundamental reasons why many human settlements throughout history have flourished and collapsed, many of which today show all the symptoms of ultimate decline. Hout Bay is one such place which is a great potential asset to Cape Town and South Africa but already its alarm bells are ringing.  There is still time to prevent major disaster but we are reaching the eleventh hour and  expediency has already replaced any form of rational and incisive planning.


Hout Bay has to be saved, and only the will of the community can save it. They have to ‘come to the party…

….and that is Challenge

Hout Bay “Horror Scope”

A nation that turns its back on its history, the lessons and experiences of the past, good or bad,  undermines the foundations of its future.