Ocean View is a small, densely populated Coloured township sprawling in the protective lee of Slangkop and Kleinkop peaks on the southern peninsula of Cape Town. OceanView was originally built during the ‘Forced Removals’ as a result of the ‘proclamation’ of 1967 which declared Simon’s Town a White group area.
Immediately after the forced move, many people experienced feelings of alienation and displacement. They needed to come to terms with a place that was strange and unfamiliar. They had to discover where friends and relatives were living. It was a case of new neighbors in new surroundings that still had to be absorbed, and some settled in easily. People encountered many practical problems. T he immediate difficulty was the lack of transport. At the beginning, in 1968, most people who did not have their own vehicles were forced to walk to Fish Hoek, a distance of 10 kilometers. The South African Navy sent trucks to Ocean View for their workers and took them back each day after work. Most people therefore become prisoners of this township as they did not possess their own transport.
Noordhoek – Sunnydale was also declared a White group area and Coloureds from there were settled in Ocean View. Problems also arose between the relocated youth from Simon’s Town and Noordhoek. The Noordhoek community was considered by some to be rural, Afrikaans-speaking, less educated and unsophisticated. By contrast, the Simon’s Town community generally considered themselves to be English-speaking, suburban and better educated. Clashes were inevitable, and the mixture of liquor and discos led to physical encounters and even murder. The problem only disappeared when intermarriage between the youth of these two groups eventually diluted their differences.
Ocean View is one of fifteen areas identified as high priority for action against crime and drug abuse – renowned for its gangsterism and tik addiction amongst its youth. Although drug addiction, high unemployment, alcoholism and high teenage pregnancies is a way of life, Ocean View still births highly skilled artisans and overwhelming sport and musical talents.
In the beginning there were no schools or churches. Schools in Simon’s Town arranged buses to take their pupils back to their homes in the afternoons. Most of our parents attended the Catholic School at that time. Church services were held in people’s homes, while others travelled back to Simon’s Town until churches were built in Ocean View. Today Ocean View houses close to 30 000 residents and a diversity of religious backgrounds and beliefs. There are currently churches for close to 200 Christian denominations, as well as a mosque. Various charismatic Christian groups also hold services in all the schools.
Ocean View is still essentially a township where people eat and sleep, and live very constrained lives.