V&A Waterfront emerges as pedestrian safe haven

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Updated: February 2, 2010

I hate beginning articles with a rhetorical question but I feel maybe this is unavoidable. Have you ever noticed that the only place, in the whole of South Africa where motorists stop for pedestrians crossing at a pedestrian/zebra crossing is in the V&A Waterfront? Now that’s just plain weird.

I’ve road tripped most of South Africa (a few times) and I’m basing this entirely on sound personal experience, but I don’ t think I’m wrong. It’s just that overseas, the UK in particular, a motorist will get the ABS involved to stop for a pedestrian waiting to cross. I think that down here we just don’t respect pedestrians enough.

So what is it then? Again, I hate to be this guy, but I think it’s got to do with our past. Back in the shit/good old days, depending on which side of the colour fence you happened to be, motorists were rich, ie white, and pedestrians were poor, ie not white. The whole system was engineered to denigrate certain citizens, most of whom happened to be in front of your bonnet, rather than in the car next to you, picking his/her nose.

I’m willing to bet that this whole lack of respect for pedestrians doesn’t apply to the waterfront, because that’s probably the one place in the whole of South Africa where you just know that if you do knock over a pedestrian, he’s definitely going to be wearing socks and sandals. Tourists, in other words, by the plane/open-Land Rover/ship-load, swarm the place.

Or perhaps it’s just us locals showing off. It’s a sort of; “Hey, look at us, Johnny Foreigner, we practice civilised road manners down here too.”

Either way, I think it’s all a bit sad.

Ciro De Siena

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