LETTER FROM CAPE TOWN, FEBRUARY 2006
by Yvonne Taylor
Note: Yvonne writes from her home in Cape Town, South Africa.
These fires have been so traumatic for all us Capetonians; they've now established that half the world's population of the silverleaf tree (extremely symbolic here) has been destroyed. We can only hope that any remaining trees will be able to re-invent their species! On the positive front, a lot of alien vegetation has been burnt away, which is a big plus; and our protea-species plants and fynbos need fire to seed themselves. The question is, have they had time to recover from the bad fires in 2000?
Fire and fire-fighting efforts on Table Mountain near Cape Town
There's a lot of fiery energy of a different kind going on here; the whole country is in uproar with demonstrations about lack of service from the ANC government, the corruption, waste of taxpapers' money, etc. The anger, killings, petrol bombs and all associated violence is sickening at the moment; and I find myself becoming totally numb to it all. But SA certainly does need some calming influence, from wherever it may come.