The Waterfront Story

The inside story of Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

The Waterfront Story

The online version of the book is available for R169. The print version costs R369 and is being distributed now.  If you buy the online version, you get a R169 discount on the print version (meaning it only costs R200).  (So you can have a look at the book before you buy it or, if you are overseas and delivery costs are prohibitive, you can still read the book.  You can also see many sample pages below.) 

The print order is limited so buy now to make sure you get your copy. 

History of the Waterfront

The history of Cape Town harbour
The two photographs on the left are from 1898.  The photo on the right is 1936.  In 38 years, wood and sail made way for larger steel, burning fossil fuels.  The book shows how the city was cut off from the sea, and how the V&A re-established that connection. 

Waterfront at the foot of Table Mountain

The inside story
The book was David Jack’s idea (V&A’s first CEO). His contributions were invaluable.  Current CEO David Green and his team, as well as tenants and consultants, provided up-to-date insight.

Living at the Waterfront Marina

Living at the Waterfront 
Buy or rent in a neighbourhood renowned for its safety and cleanliness. Shopping and dining on your doorstep. It’s a unique Waterfront neighbourhood.


Conservation — in it’s broadest sense — is at the heart of everything the V&A does.  Adapative re-use of the historic built heritage, the views and vistas, and the character of its working harbour.  It’s all about sustainability.

Desalination plant

The V&A is the ‘greenest’ property of the African continent. From award-winning buildings to its own black-water treatment plant (to avoid polluting the ocean), water desalination plant (above) and recycling depot (to minimise transport of waste), the V&A plans to be carbon neutral by 2035.


Was it all plain sailing?
Not at all. The original owner was an evolving parastatal and introduced cadre deployment. New, foreign owners were at odds with each other. Did Kerzner sell a One&Only penthouse for R100 million?  No, it was R119 million.

Allan Gray

An unbeatable CBD experience
It’s home to  corporate financial powerhouses — Nedbank, Allan Gray, PWC, Deloittes and EY.  Award-winning, sustainable office buildings and an environment that can’t be beaten.

Victoria Wharf

Shopping at its best
Where else can you park right at the front door of a Woolworths or PicknPay?  With over 450 retail outlets right there!  And… it’s cleaner and safer than anywhere else in South Africa.

Treadmill at Breakwater Jail

A rich but not always glorious history
There’s the human Treadmill, used to break the spirit of inmates — which epitomizes man’s inhumanity to man — at the Old Breakwater Jail!  Today that’s UCT’S Graduate School of Business.


The anatomy of a successful project
How did the Waterfront’s successful projects come about?  How does a good idea become a successful idea?  You will find the answers in The Waterfront Story.

V&A Waterfront with a backdrop of Table Moutain

And along the way
The Waterfront became the most valuable property in South Africa — twice! It was sold in 2006 for R7 billion and in 2011 for R9.7 billion. It is owned by 1,2 million South Africans through the PIC.

Business Review 1990

It’s much more than just a book
The book is full of QR codes which link to online reports, publications, lessons learnt, planning documents and even the original agreement between the Municipality and the V&A Waterfront.


Who is the book for?
It is foremost a book for Capetonians.  If you’re a property or tourism professional anywhere in the world, it is essential reading. It is the perfect corporate or personal gift for clients and visitors.

Sample pages