Woodstock is a small neighbourhood with a big story. It used to be prosperous, with globally competitive textile businesses and a working-class community that was proud and diverse. You’ll still come across mosques as often as you see churches here.
But the community was broken up during Apartheid, and Woodstock’s businesses were hit hard by a series of political shocks and disruptive new technologies. Decay set in, and today there are examples of it wherever you look. Then again, there are also signs of renewal, because Woodstock has become Cape Town’s startup hub, and Cape Town is arguably the startup capital of Africa.
But what is a startup, exactly? That depends. The definition of urban renewal is up for grabs too, and there are plenty of people who think the term gentrification captures what is happening here much better.
At CiTi, we don’t view “the startup” as an end in itself. We’re excited about the power these companies have to change the shape of individual lives, whole communities, cities, and even the world. Take a walk with us and see how, on a tour that is also a crash course on what makes a startup a startup.
You might end up looking at the world through the eyes of an entrepreneur.
Script: Iain Manley
Narrator: Michelle Matthews
Sound Design: Gary Morris
Bensound - All That
Lee Rosevere - Credit Roll
Lagos Disco Machine - I appreciate your inner beauty
Lee Rosevere - Introducing the Pre-roll
Lee Rosevere - As I was saying
Lagos Disco Machine - He's usually wrong
Lee Rosevere - Here's the thing
William Ross Chernoff's Nomads - Four Way
Kevin MacLeod - Hard Boiled
Finn Esterhuizen - Red Sensations
Pears - Saldanha Bay
Chris Zabriskie - Candlepower
Woodstock Exchange, Mason's Press, Castle Brewery
The tour starts on first floor balcony of Block A at the Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road.
To get to the balcony, take elevator at the Block A, which is closest to Albert Road. Go up to the first floor then go straight all the way across the building. Go through the doors onto the balcony and take a seat. Maybe take a coffee too. We'll be there for about 10 minutes.
The get to the Woodstock Exchange, you could use public transport. There's a MyCiti bus stop on the corner, called Davison 2, and it’s on route 261. It's also a short walk from Woodstock Train Station.
Places to stop along the way:
Superette, The Bicycle Cafe, Rosetta Roastery, The Mash Tun, The Brewers Co-op
Best time of day:
This neighbourhood is busiest during working hours, from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
Keep your eyes open. Woodstock used to be a no-go zone for tourists and cautious locals. There are areas where you should be very aware of your surroundings. It's best to do the tour with a friend, during daylight, and to be a little wary of strangers.
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