Article written by Jan-Hendrik de Villiers
Originally published by news24 (Wed, Dec 13, 2023)
The City of Cape Town unveiled a new pedestrian crossing to showcase the African penguins in Simon's Town.
Picturesque Simon's Town honoured its most famous residents - the penguins - by changing a zebra crossing to a "penguin crossing".
The City of Cape Town unveiled the pedestrian crossing, which now depicts the African penguins.
"The Simon's Town, Boulders Beach area is globally famous for the colony of African penguins, a much-loved feature of the south peninsula, loved by locals and visitors alike.
"We have, over the past two years, invested in, or approved partner-installed place-making pedestrian crossings and other 'pavement' public art, in order to create an urban streetscape energy or indicate heritage, tourism and cultural precincts," said the city's Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Rob Quintas.
He said the pedestrian crossing depicted the penguins in standing, diving and swimming positions.
Quintas said the proposal was initiated by the local ratepayer's association, who also covered the cost, and the initiative was championed by his directorate.
The pedestrian crossing was painted by artist Jacques Coetzer and is located close to Boulders Beach on St George's Street, near Rectory Lane.
In addition, the "place-making initiative" will reinforce the importance of the Boulders penguin colony and create a "further synonymity" between Simon's Town and the rare and endangered penguins, according to Quintas.
Similar projects were undertaken in the past, such as when the City of Cape Town undertook the rainbow pedestrian crossing and "pink meander" in De Waterkant in 2022.
It was in an effort to "reinvigorate the historic LGBTQIA+ precinct" and to acknowledge a traditionally marginalised group, as well as creating a sense of inclusion, in line with all global cities, according to Quintas.