There’s no point in living in one of the most beautiful places on earth but spending your life in a cubicle in an open-plan office with people who eat steamed broccoli for lunch, while tourists sit on your beaches. This is the hill Capetonians are willing to die on. Mainly because of all the hills that are just a few post-work minutes’ drive away, and we’d far prefer to lie on those.
Whether it’s the ley lines or the crystals, the mouhn-tain or the big blue sea, this compact city (shoo, sorry, hey, guys, but we’re not a town, actually) attracts a disproportionate number of free-spirited creative workers with a healthy interest in a work-life balance. And who can blame us? There’s so much to do and see in Cape Town that it would be criminal to spend even one surplus minute killing time ticking boxes for a boss.
Cape Town boasts the country’s lowest unemployment rate according to 2017 statistics from Stats SA. In the Western Cape, the unemployment rate is (a still whopping) 19.7%, but that’s four percent below the national average. So if you live in Cape Town, you’re more likely to work than in any other part of the country, and more likely in a potentially creative or flexible industry too.
Cape Town’s biggest revenue generators are the financial and business services sector (tourism is a factor here), followed by manufacturing. Agricultural products and wine make up a large chunk of the Western Cape region’s exports. And according to Wikipedia, “high-tech industries, international call centres, fashion design, advertising and TV production are niche industries rapidly gaining in importance”.
Unlike materialistic Johannesburg, in Cape Town, your identity is not so closely linked to the car you drive or the house you own. The mountain and the sea constitute two building perimeters even the most aggressive property developers can’t argue with, which means space is at a premium and the average CT house measures in at the country’s smallest, at 106m².
If you want to flash your cash, it won’t be in a rambling GP-style McMansion. You’d rather brag with your eco-friendly, architect-designed off-grid capsule home. The rain and humidity of a coastal town mean your phallic symbol on wheels rusts fast (ain’t nobody got time for that), garage space is unaffordable (that space squeeze again) – and the Cape Town traffic is legendary. Much more hipster to mount your Vespa, take an Uber, or go retro in a train or taxi.
If you want to flash your cash, it won’t be in a rambling GP-style McMansion.
At work or at play, Capetonians know creative solutions are a necessity, not a luxury.