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The little world that is Cape Town


The subject of this post seems to infer that I hold a negative view of CT.  Admittedly it has been a frustrating experience spending the last three months looking for a job, which is still eluding me.  But this would be the case no matter where I am in the world at the moment, as I’m trying to do that very difficult thing in a career – change direction.  My current feeling is that Cape Town is incredibly small, in exactly the same way that London isn’t.  And holding on tightly to this understanding is helping me to keep a bit of perspective.

I’m trying to get into a field that the entire world is talking about too.  Almost like a 59 year old deciding she wanted to be part of the dotcom era in the late 90’s.  Although I suppose that if this boom goes bust we’re all in a lot of trouble.  My decision to run off to England for two years like every other South Africa instead of staying home and following up on an engineering degree is causing me just this little bit of grief now.

Sustainable energy development, and the promotion of energy efficiency are new and growing arenas in Cape Town.  There’s so much potential here, and the money being pumped into wind farms up the West Coast are indicators of people acknowledging this.
Some companies that I’ve come across in my wandering through this small world:
They’re tracking and mapping wind patterns in South Africa, and they’ve done the same in Australia, Canada and the US.  They’re doing feasibility and environmental impact studies, and they seem nice to boot.
The Green Building Council of South Africa –
A fairly new council, but its impact should be pretty far reaching, if their estimation is true; that 40-50% of the world’s energy consumption is through building construction and operation.  The GBCSA is trying to formulate and implement a rating system for the design and operation of buildings with an aim of minimising the environmental impact of development.  This is with regards to energy, but also to do with water consumption, pollutants and a whole lot more.  Interesting.  They’re also teaming up with larger organisations who act as their technical consultants – like one of their founding members WSP…  So there’s knowledge sharing, and what feels to me like a commitment and a passion to see a change in South Africa.


WSP’s project manager Manfred Braune explains: “The Green Star SA rating tool is an independent rating tool that is a powerful means of transforming the property industry towards more sustainable development – this has been proven in many countries across the world where Green Building Councils have been implementing rating tools.”

How exciting.  It’s growing.  This network of clever people hoping to be part of something good is forming, and I really just want to be part of it!
If you have anything to share about this, or any advice – I’m all ears.

Here’s to not making our blue planet brown.