Tour Locations | A Community in Crisis: Gentrification in Woodstock and Salt River
Salt River Market
Walk over to the gate ahead, and stop there to have a look at the Salt River Market, offering fresh produce and hardware. If it's open, you might want to have a browse around. I talked to Rumina, a former Bromwell Street resident whose father started the market a long time ago. Rumina now has a food stall in the Biscuit Mill.
"My name is Rumina Adams. I come out of a family of six, three girls and three girls with my mum and dad who started this business many many many years ago, close to about almost 80 years. Since the market came into being, this market was on the opposite side of the road, in Foundry Road, and ever since the market has been moved, when the council took over this area from the railway, this is where my dad started his business and raised six children out of this business, sent us all to school, the whole whatever, you know… But as things progressed, it was a long struggle, I can say, that’s what I can remember. It was really a long struggle, my dad being a Capetonian, brought up in District Six, my mum was from India, and you know, it’s like two worlds coming together." (01:37)
She also remembers that in its hey-day, the Salt River Market was the place to get your groceries.
"Well this market was a people’s market, it was a high of activity, it was the market of Cape Town, there was another market that was in Sir Lowry Road, but when that market closed or was moved, this market was born. We had people coming around, many hawkers from Cape Town, Woodstock, Salt River, they all stayed in the area, they used to travel by horse and cart, buy their stocks at the farms and so on or at the Epping Market, come around and sell it to us." (04:24)
The market is located on City-owned land, and in a 2008 progress report, this site was earmarked for social housing.
Social housing is well-located, low-to-middle income rental housing. It is desperately needed in the area, but the stallholders naturally don't want to see their business come to an end. I emailed Benedicta van Minnen, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, and she said the City will make sure that all interests will be balanced when it investigates the development of the site.
When you're ready to move on, go back to Bromwell Street and continue walking along it, towards the back of the Biscuit Mill. Or if the market was closed, just continue along it now.