Play unpacks Cape Town castle’s ugly past

(This article was published on 21 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Confronting the Cape’s history of conflict, a local writer-director has produced a play she believes will help South Africans reconcile.

Kim Cloete, using the Castle of Good Hope as a setting, has researched and gathered various voices to tell a story that starts before the arrival of Dutch settlers.

Cloete’s play has a lengthy title: Ausi Ama – Net toe jy dink dis klaar – Just when you thought it was over.

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HISTORICAL TALE: A new play about the history of the Castle of Good Hope will have its premiere today. One of the play’s cast members Bradley van Sitters has worked to revive the language and history of the Khoi and San people with workshops at the Castle. Picture Supplied

It premieres at the Castle today and the play’s Dreamerschild Production team plans to stage it elsewhere in future.

Cloete said the play starts with the story of the Khoi and San people, the country’s indigenous population, almost wiped out by colonisation.

Working on the play ensured she became “a bit of a wreck”, she admitted.

“I found myself deeply traumatised by having to uncover and dig up parts of history that I wasn’t even aware of. That was a very gruesome time.”

During rehearsals, “when the cast had to do certain scenes, you walk away and you are troubled”.

“I did a lot of digging in archives. I spoke to people who know the history and it’s a very dark history,” said Cloete.

“This play is not a general history piece, but specially focuses on the events that happened at the castle. It contains a lot of omitted history.”

The castle’s board and the Defence and Military Veterans Department commissioned her, she said, to address the mainstream narrative that has excluded peripheral voices from archives.

“The Khoi and San have been disenfranchised. Very little was also recorded of women in the past. It was very patriarchal and it was men and their wars,” said Cloete.

“I have used history but also took creative licence with monologues of the characters. This is my personal embodiment of that time.

“It is time we accepted what really happened, without pointing fingers.”

 

Evicted residents want to move back to the city

Yazeed Kamaldien

Cape Town’s evicted residents from areas such as Gympie Street in Woodstock want the provincial government to use Tafelberg and other available state-owned land for affordable housing.

Lobby group Reclaim the City (RTC) held a public meeting in Green Point yesterday where evicted residents were able to share ideas on how to respond to a 21-day public participation process on how to use the defunct Tafelberg Remedial School in Sea Point.

The Western Cape High Court late last month prevented the provincial department of transport and public works from selling Tafelberg for R135-million to a private school.

It found the department did not do enough to consult the public on how to use the government-owned land.

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PUBLIC TALKS: Reclaim The City lobby group gathered various voices who want the Cape’s political leadership to ensure affordable innercity housing. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

RTC’s campaign for affordable housing, particularly focused on four prime properties, has raised questions about the Western Cape government and City of Cape Town’s commitment to create affordable housing near the city centre.

Premier Helen Zille, who was dragged to court in the RTC matter, said after the court ruling her government was committed though to create housing for the poor.

Gympie Street’s working class residents who were moved to Blikkiesdorp in 2009 said the local government kept pushing up rentals until they could no longer afford to live near the city.

State-owned properties are then allegedly sold to private developers, leading to large swathes of gentrification as visible in Woodstock.

At yesterday’s meeting, Sarah Jones said she was 10 years old when her family first moved to Gympie Street. She is now 59 and a few years ago was evicted from the state-owned flats where rentals were increased.

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BACK TO THE CITY: Leonora Jones, left, and Sarah Jones are former long-term residents of Gympie Street in Woodstock. The claim the City of Cape Town’s rentals kept rising until they could not afford it and were evicted to Blikkiesdorp. They say they want affordable housing back near the city where they belong. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

“I had all my children in Gympie Street. I don’t like it in Blikkiesdorp. Children are raped and murdered there,” said Jones.

“The rent kept going up in Gympie Street and people there were unemployed and couldn’t pay rent. We were evicted and moved to Blikkiesdorp.

“There’s a lot of open land. The government can us it for houses and move us back to the city. Blikkiesdorp is very far for us.”

Another evicted Gympie Street resident, Leonora Jones, said she was first evicted under apartheid laws from District Six where she was born.

Years later she moved to Gympie Street from where she and her two children were evicted in 2009.

“My two children were born there and went school there. I had a job a stone’s throw from our house,” she said.

“When we had to move my children lost two years of their schooling. There are no schools in Blikkiesdorp and we didn’t have transport to their school in Woodstock.”

She added: “I think there are open fields and the government can build houses there for us. We stayed near town and could walk to the city. We want to move back.”

Tafelberg is one of four sites the provincial government offers as “four prime opportunities for investors”.

The other three are the Helen Bowden Nurses Home near the Cape Town Stadium, Top Yard near Parliament, and the Alfred Street Complex in Green Point.

Weekend Argus found two other abandoned state-owned properties in Sea Point that locals have said could also be used for affordable housing.

The one property is Rocklands Villas, behind the national broadcaster SABC, and the other is Wynyard Mansions behind the Tafelberg property on Sea Point’s main road.

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FENCED UP: Rocklands Villas are state-owned flats that remain unused in Sea Point, where lobby groups say affordable housing is lacking. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Queries to the relevant government authorities about the future of these properties were unanswered at the time of going to print.

Mandisa Shandu, an attorney with the Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre that took RTC’s matter to court, said yesterday the campaign would now assist the public to make submissions on what Tafelberg should be used for.

“We have residents from all over the city at the meeting to express an interest in access to affordable housing. Tafelberg is a practical and symbolic site for affordable housing in he city,” she said.

“There are people with a common grievance of having been forced out of their (state-owned) rental properties. More has to be done to protect people being evicted.”

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DENIED ACCESS: Wynyard Mansions is another dilapidated state-owned property right behind the contested Tafelberg school property in Sea Point. Locals say local officials need to unlock land for affordable housing. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Residents from De Waal Drive properties owned by the provincial government last week marched to human settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s office in central Cape Town as they too face possible eviction.

In what has become a common thread – and threat – they have been told their rent is to be increased. If unable to cough up, they would be evicted.

People from Naruna Estate, Rugby and Sanddrift accompanied De Waal Drive residents as they are all in the same boat.

Madikizela’s office reportedly said the department was meeting with residents.

Global business looks to Cape Town as African gateway

(This article was published on 14 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

International businesses are increasingly setting up shop in Cape Town, using the city as a base to expand into Africa while creating jobs for locals.

Company bosses who have made the city their temporal home praise its infrastructure and resources.

And apart from jobs, locals also benefit from new technology, global business know-how and there is a knock-on effect for local suppliers.

Garreth Bloor, the city’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, says international companies basing themselves in Cape Town have over the last four financial years contributed an estimated R2.4bn in foreign direct investment into the city.

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LESS BUREUCRACY: City of Cape Town councilor Garreth Bloor says city officials have gone a long way to cut out red tape to stimulate international investment locally. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Over the same period, they have collectively ensured an estimated 6 448 jobs in an economy struggling to create jobs for a sizable unemployed population.

These companies are also based in various parts of the Western Cape and include electronics manufacturers, management consultancies and renewable energy operations.

At the Hisense South Africa head office in Canal Walk, the company’s general manager Youbo Li says they opened their factory in Atlantis in 2013.

Previously, Hisense electronic goods were exported to South Africa via its China headquarters. The company decided to manufacture TVs and refrigerators in Cape Town in its quest to conquer the African market.

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MADE IN CHINA: Youbo Li, general manager for Hisense South Africa, says their goods usually made at home are now manufactured at a local factory in Atlantis just outside Cape Town. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

“We want to go global and we can’t escape South Africa. We want to export to the rest of Africa and Cape Town is our base in Africa,” says Li.

“Every year (since 2013) we are manufacturing 300,000 TVs and 300,000 refrigerators. This will increase as we have already exported to various African countries.”

Li says Hisense can be more competitive with pricing in the electronics goods market as they are avoiding import taxes. By making the goods local, they cut out delivery costs from China and create employment.

“We have created nearly 1 000 jobs for locals. This includes from the normal factory worker to logistics, warehousing, sales reps, call centres and after sales service. And we have staff at our head office,” he says.

Li says the company has also created “probably 3 000 indirect jobs”.

“This is because we have a lot of suppliers as well. We need rubber, glass and packaging from local suppliers,” he says.

Li believes the company has already impacted positively on Atlantis too.

“We used to have a big empty parking area at our factory in Atlantis. After two years, the car parking is filled with cars,” says Li.

“All the employees have bought cars, even if it’s basic cars. Now we need a bigger parking area.”

On the knowledge economy front, Cape Town’s universities play a role in attracting foreign companies looking for educated employees.

Rachel McLaughlin, local director of S-RM, a London-headquartered business intelligence firm, says it was for this reason they decided on Cape Town as a base in Africa.

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BRAIN BUSINESS: Rachel McLaughlin, local director of risk consulting firm S-RM, says an advantage of having offices in Cape Town is access to top university graduates. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

“South Africa and Africa have always been important to our business. We advise oil and gas firms and help multinationals based in Libya or Nigeria. It made sense to have an African hub,” says McLaughlin.

“We already have a lot of Africa operations and have permanent staff in Ethiopia and Ghana. But Cape Town is our centre of gravity for Africa.”

McLaughlin says, for their company, Cape Town’s “main attraction is its role as a knowledge nexus”.

“In terms of building up an office, we are looking for young, bright, educated recent graduates. With Cape Town’s universities, it’s a great place for us to be based,” she says.

Most of S-RM’s 22 employees have been locally recruited and only are three from the United Kingdom. They “help clients understand and mitigate risks to their business”.

“One big department for us is our business intelligence department. It helps clients with background research and development on potential business opportunities,” says McLaughlin.

“The other side is risk consulting, with our team putting together risk solutions. If a big multinational is sending a senior executive to the DRC we might help them plan the journey and accompany them o make sure it all happens safely.”

McLaughlin says when they set up their office in Cape Town in February 2014 there were “some bureaucratic slow processes” but generally it was a “smooth experience”.

“South Africa is one of the highest ranking African countries for ease of business. Generally speaking, it’s been good,” says McLaughlin.

S-RM is also “enabling” international businesses to consider Cape Town as a base for their African expansion plans, adds McLaughlin.

“We are helping our clients invest in Africa and it is boosting the economy here in South Africa,” she says.

“Multinationals are realising Cape Town is growing and there’s a tech industry hub based here. It’s an exciting environment and magnetic.”

 

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

To ensure international businesses have a painless transition from elsewhere in the world to opening their offices in Cape Town, local government is ensuring it cuts down on red tape.

Councillor Garreth Bloor, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, says foreign businesses first speak to their counterparts before considering another location.

Chinese companies, for example, are spurred on by successes such as Hisense, says Bloor.

This has led over 100 Chinese businesses expressing an interest in scoping prospects in Cape Town where the could set up manufacturing factories and other enterprises.

To ease the tension of doing business with Cape Town, the city’s Mayor Patricia de Lille late last year set up a one-stop shop in her office.

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STUNNING SELL: This view of central Cape Town from the Wesgro offices apparently plays a role in convincing international business to settle in the city. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Bloor explains this was to cut out dealing with a multitude of different government departments. It also offers businesses all the information they might need.

“We don’t want people who come here to invest to be referred back and forth. We want one place where they can have all their questions answered,” says Bloor.

“It’s best practice if you look at other global cities. We live in a world where cities are competing against each other.

“We have to put our best foot forward and get investors that translate into jobs on the ground.”

Wesgro is another entity that assists international businesses start their operations in Cape Town and beyond the city’s borders in other parts of the Western Cape province. It is funded by city and provincial governments.

Its chief executive Tim Harris says they annually seek out foreign investors in other parts of the world on trade missions.

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FOREIGN CONTACT: Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris and his team is tasked by the local government to promote Cape Town and the Western Cape to businesses across the world. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

To this end, Wesgro has brought home companies like Kimberly-Clark, Burger King and others who now operate in Cape Town.

“We are attracting multi-nationals across sectors. We have companies making engine blocks for trucks right through to Amazon running a call centre out of Cape Town,” says Harris.

“Many global companies are interested in accessing opportunities in Africa. It’s easy to convince global talent to move to Cape Town. You won’t find this quality of life anywhere else in Africa.”

Wesgro’s head of investment promotion, Salman Kajie, says multinationals are choosing Cape Town “because of the core competencies on offer”.

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COMPETENT CAPE: Wesgro’s head of investment promotion, Salman Kajie, says multinationals are choosing Cape Town “because of the core competencies on offer”. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

“When we interviewed multinationals who have a base in Cape Town, the reason for their choise was proximity to new domestic markets,” says Kajie.

“Industry also tells us they are here to capitalise off our growing middle class and export to the rest of Africa.”

Kajie says the majority of foreign direct investment in the city over the last decade has included businesses from Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States. Asian countries are meanwhile fast catching on.

Dubai family’s Cape Town property sets new benchmark

(This article was published on 14 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

A wealthy Dubai family planning to turn the Ambassador Hotel in Bantry Bay into exclusive apartments – costing up to R115-million each – are cashing in before renovations have even begun.

Local estate agent Pam Golding Properties is exclusively marketing the development, called Aurum, which comprises 23 apartments with coveted ocean views.

Basil Moraitis, area manager for Pam Golding’s Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl office, said yesterday they have already sold ten of the apartments on Victoria Road.

He said the Darvesh family, owners of the property, would keep the top floor which would be turned into a four-bedroom 530m² penthouse.

Moraitis said they have marketed the apartments to their database of wealthy local and international buyers.

He said it would only be marketed to the general public next week and there was already interest from their “top end buyers”.

“We have three people flying in this weekend. One is from Johannesburg,” said Moraitis.

He said two of the “presidential residences” costing between R67m and R115m a unit have been sold. A further eight luxury apartments priced between R17,5m and R70m have also been sold.

“A further seven apartments have been reserved,” said Moraitis.

“Internal construction will start in mid-June and occupation will happen next September.”

Moraitis said Aurum would doubtless push up property prices even higher in Bantry Bay and its surrounds.

“It’s already establishing benchmarks in the area. It shows confidence that buyers have in the Atlantic Seaboard,” he said.

“There’s no more land here for development. There’s this small strip of land between the sea and mountain with little supply (properties) and high demand.

“It’s the jewel in the crown of South African property.”

Moraitis added: “We have a list of people waiting for properties for sale in this area. We don’t need to advertise. We go to our database of people who are interested and show them what we have on offer.”

The Dubai family runs Da’Realty which “undertakes residential, commercial and industrial developments”.

Da’Realty is a subsidiary of the 107-year-old “privately-owned, billion dollar global” Darvesh empire named after the family that owns it.

The company explained yesterday in a statement via local publicists they bought the Ambassador for the views.

“Ahsan Hassan Darvesh, president of the global conglomerate, bought the hotel after a lengthy stay during which he realised the potential of the spectacular cliff-face site with the Atlantic Ocean undulating below and Lion’s Head gazing down upon it,” they said.

They said also that Aurum’s presidential apartments would be “expansive, exemplary and bathed in natural light”.

“Each residence will occupy its own floor with private lift access right on the ocean’s edge. In addition to Armani Dada designer kitchens, each residence will boast imported appliances, dressing room fittings, sanitary ware and sound systems from famous international designers,” continues Da’Realty.

“The reception areas will be adorned with fine glass and crystal chandeliers. Other features will include a luxurious spa, restaurant, 24-hour valet and concierge services, and beautifully landscaped grounds around a feature pool.”

Apartments would have two, three and four bedrooms as well as two parking bays.

The 15 luxury units would have similar finishes.

Da’Realty chief operating officer Lily Eskandari will be based in Cape Town to oversee the development.

Darvesh meanwhile said in a statement that “only a true work of art could pay homage to this incredible setting”.

“Da’Realty is focused on finding locations that exude innate investment qualities, and in taking luxury development to a new level, promising not only luxurious living, but also high returns,” he said.

Darvesh said his company would follow up the Bantry Bay development with another in Clifton, “with a goal of one niche boutique project annually in South Africa”.

 

 

Actress launches #AuntyIris campaign

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

A Cape Town actress who believes Pick ‘n Pay should have offered Iris Beukes more than R500 as compensation for how they humiliated her has started an online collection campaign for the distraught grandmother.

Chantal Stanfield, who now lives in Johannesburg, has already collected R4,000 since the campaign started on Friday. Her target is R10,000.

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Chantal Stanfield

Pick ‘n Pay last month gave a R500 grocery voucher to Iris as an apology for the manner in which she was treated by its staff at a store in Mitchells Plain.

Her grandson Tylan had broken a wrapped chocolate slab in the store and Beukes was threatened with arrest, leading her to tears.

A photo of a crying Beukes on the floor, with her grandson, went viral on social media and Pick ‘n Pay was forced to address the matter. In doing so, the store manager told Weekend Argus the photo was staged.

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Iris Beukes after being threatened with imprisonment at a Pick ‘n Pay store when her grandson, whose face is blurred, broke a chocolate at the store.

Stanfield read that Beukes was a factory worker who was raising her grandchildren alone. She reached out to Beukes, offering to help.

“When I spoke to Aunty Iris, she was just grateful that there were people thinking of them and wanting to help. So that’s really what’s driving it, the humanity,” said Stanfield yesterday.

“That’s also why I haven’t used the widely circulated image of her and her grandson on the floor, for the sake of dignity and humanity.”

Stanfield launched a fundraising campaign on the website Backabuddy. On the campaign page she writes that Beukes and her grandson “deserve more than the R500 shopping voucher and little toy that was given to them as compensation”.

“Imagine your mom and nephew or niece found themselves reduced to tears on a cold, dirty, grocery story floor. All because the inquisitive little five-year-old broke a slab of chocolate still in its wrapper,” writes Stanfield.

“The news of this family’s ill-treatment in this situation made me sick, angry and sad. It made me think of my mom and niece.

“We’ve seen the news stories, we’ve seen the images all over social media, we’ve commented and shared our disgust at this lapse in humanity. So let’s actually do something about it!”

Sandi Ndlovu, who donated R60, wrote a message too: “Aunty Iris what happened to you should NEVER have happened.

“Your, and countless mothers’ sacrifices in the past, and today still, gave us as sons and daughters the platform to be where we are today.”

Happy camper, who donated R205, added: “Enjoy, Aunty Iris. Happy (grand)mother’s day x.”

The campaign will run for a few weeks at the link https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/for-aunty-iris-beukes

Zille, Fransman, other politicians declare assets

(This article was published on 8 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

A diary, dustbin, flowers, ladies takkies, pen and pencil set, photo frame, toy helicopter and a Chinese statue “from a Chinese journalist” were among gifts that Premier Helen Zille received in the last financial year.

All of this is listed in Zille’s disclosure of interests to the Western Cape provincial legislature, which requires all its 42 members to declare their assets, financial interests and gifts they may have received in the last financial year.

The Western Cape province’s leader also declared her R2,5m house in Rosebank and a R750,000 house in Parklands “bought for domestic help”.

Zille’s investments in various companies include First Rand (R23,750), Reinet (R98,850), SAB Miller (R86,359) and New Gold (R86,109).

Zille also has R200,000 in a trust. Other gifts include a boat trip valued at R20,000 and “packets of cookies” worth R300.

Countrywide, provincial legislature members submit their declarations at the end of a financial year, in the interest of clean governance.

In the dodgy world of politics, where money meets power, scrutiny about where politicians invest their money and the gifts they receive could influence public spending.

Suspended provincial ANC leader Marius Fransman declared that he owns 50% of two properties in Kuils River, one worth R1,6m and another at R2m.

Fransman also said a trust in his name was currently “dormant”.

Another ANC legislature member Carol Beerwinkel declared she has “family members who are doing business with different spheres of government”.

Other legislature members, such as Sharon Davids, are business owners too. The ANC’s Pat Lekker meanwhile owns 25% shares in a construction company.

Members also have to declare any additional income they have earned. To this end, the ANC’s Cameron Dugmore said he was paid R3,000 for a “speech at a corporate event”.

Dugmore also received weekend accommodation worth R10,000 at a Plett Lagoon villa.

Provincial legislature speaker Sharna Fernandez did not declare much, apart from her R4m property in Heathfield.

A number of the DA’s legislature members appear to be mini property moguls.

Anroux Marais owns a R1,3m home in Langebaan and is a partial owner in four other homes valued between R800,000 and R1,5m in Langebaan, Sea Point, Somerset West and Wilderness.

Marais also has R50,000 shares in Sanlam and R28,000 shares in Old Mutual.

Ivan Meyer owns five properties in Belhar, Brackenfell, Ceres and Montagu. His pension funds are worth R3m in total and he has shares invested in MTN, Sasol, Sanlam and elsewhere.

Alan Winde owns a R1m house in Knysna, a R2,5m house in Cape Town and 50% of an R800,000 commercial property in Knysna.

Winde’s gifts in the last year have included a R6000 Cartier ballpoint pen and a R7,124 cycling kit from Absa bank.

Tickets for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and musician Lionel Ritchie’s concert were handed as gifts to a number of legislature members.

Albert Fritz received Lionel Ritchie concert tickets worth R2999 and Cape Town Jazz Festival tickets worth R2430.

Nomafrench Mbombo, in charge of the province’s health department, received tickets worth R3,200 to the jazz festival.

Mbombo meanwhile owns a R500,000 house in the Eastern Cape and a R2,4m house in the Western Cape.

The EFF’s Bernard Joseph declared that he owns 50% of a R1,2m three-bedroom house in an area not listed in his submission.

Joseph said he also received six bottles of white wine but could not say how much it cost as he claims to “not know the value of wine”.

Beverley Schafer, who owns vacant land in Langebaan, said she had a local fashion designer sponsor her dress for the State of the Nation address at Parliament. She said she returned the dress.

Schafer also received free hotel stays and a trip to Germany.

Various members showed also they have a knack for investments.

The DA’s PJC Pretorius, who owns a R2m house in Welgelegen, has shares worth just over R10m in various companies including Bidvest, British American Tobacco, Naspers, Mondi, Sanlam, Old Mutual, Steinhof and Woolworths.

The ANC’s chief whip Pierre Uys owns half of two properties, a R1,9m home in Kuils River and a R3m home in Stilbaai. His investments in various companies total almost R2m.

 

Diet gurus plan joint TV show

(This article was published on 7 May 2016 in the Weekend Argus, a weekly newspaper published by Independent Media in Cape Town, Western Cape province.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Diet gurus Patrick Holford and Tim Noakes plan to star alongside each other in a reality TV show comparing the results of their eating plans.

The show will be filmed in Cape Town later this year and locals will have a chance to appear in the show.

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EATING EXPERT: UK-based health guru Patrick Holford plans to film a reality TV show in Cape Town featuring locals who want to kick certain food addictions. Picture Yazeed Kamaldien

Participants will have to stick to either UK-based Holford’s low sugar diet or the Banting eating plan without pasta, rice, bread and potatoes that Noakes promotes. They will have to overcome certain food addictions too.

The show has a working title, My Food Addiction, and UK-based TV chef Jamie Oliver could also make an appearance.

“If he’s in the show, he would talk about the effects of a low-sugar diet and community projects where people are learning to cook. A lot of people have never cooked their own food,” said Holford.

“We have to go back to the basics. We are making ourselves sick. We are digging our own graves with a knife and fork.”

Holford and Noakes meanwhile plan to host talks about their diets in the city next week.

Holford, a regular TV show host in the UK, will on Monday hold two health seminars at the V&A Waterfront to “show you a simple way to get 100% motivated to reclaim your energy, shift that weight, reduce stress”.

Holford said his diet does not prohibit anything but merely cuts down on certain types of sugar. He said anyone who follows his diet could still “eat a wide range of delicious foods and still lose weight”.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has also called on Holford to talk at a city-organised event on Sunday. He will share his research about the health benefits and effects of lowering one’s sugar intake.

“We are hooked on sugar. It leads to obesity and people are of that. We need to talk about sustainable eating,” said Holford.

And while Noakes has been criticised for resuscitating the 19th century diet of British coffin-maker William Banting, he remains steadfast on his path to cut out carbohyadrates.

On Tuesday, Noakes will “challenge beliefs of carbohydrates in our diet and in particular in the diet of children” during a talk at the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory.

Noakes says he has the cure for obesity, which is to “reduce the consumption of highly addictive, carbohydrate-rich foods”.

“The diet debate is critical for South Africa because it is my contention that a healthy population cannot be developed if our children are exposed to high carbohydrate diets from an increasingly young age,” says Noakes.

“The optimum development of the brain at all ages requires diets that are high in protein, and especially fat, and low in refined carbohydrates.”

Details of Holford’s talk are on www.holforddirect.co.za