Table Mountain is a dominating presence in both Cape Town (the city) and 'Cape Town' (the novel). This photo is taken from the side of the Atlantic Ocean, but it gives something of the impression Renee received on the day she arrived, fresh from the farm. Later in the story, her boyfriend Andy tells her the legend around the 'smoke' of the cloud that hovers over the mountain like a tablecloth on many days of the year.
June 16th is one of the most crucial and decisive dates in the history of Apartheid. Apart from the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, June 16th is now forever identified also with the shooting of youth in Soweto, the township near Johannesburg. This occurred in 1976 and the issue was around the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools.
Although it wasn’t my intention in ‘Cape Town’ to do a strictly historical piece, I thought it important to add this note.
Also, in September 1989 there was a mass march in Cape Town from the Anglican Cathedral*, down Adderley Street to the Parade. 30,000 people, young and old, black and white and mixed-race, took part in this demonstration.
*Centre in the photo. This is where Renee and Andy attend a wedding. The gathering proves of crucial significance to her.