The current recession is affecting consumer spending, and it shows. During a recent Sunday visit to the Waterfront in Cape Town, it was obvious that visitor numbers are not what they used to be. The parking garage was less than half full. The restaurants, a major attraction at the centre, were doing well. However, the more expensive one’s seem to have experienced reduced volumes. Today, on a visit to Canal Walk in Century City, the situation was very much the same. There was plenty of parking, and the restaurants in one of the sections of the Centre were almost deserted. Admittedly, the weather wasn’t great today, and it was 16.00. It is obvious that people are very careful, how they spend their money. Special offers in retail shops and restaurants are everywhere to be seen, and those with spare cash in their pockets can get some real bargains. The winter tourism from Europe and the Far East must also be way down, and the swine flu doesn’t help either. Let’s hope things will start to turn around sooner than later. WL
Swine flu is spreading in South Africa. Stellenbosch University student Roan Muller was the first victim of the H1N1 virus that died last week. Initially the flu was only contracted by South Africans travelling to affected areas, but now it is also spreading in the community. Currently, there are about 600 confirmed cases in the country.