PRETORIA 12 November 2018 – To honor the first Filipinos who arrived and settled in South Africa in the 1800s, the Philippine Embassy in Pretoria joined in inaugurating the “Manila Steps”, a flight of stairs in Kalk Bay on 28 October 2018 by the City of Cape Town.
The “Manila Steps” recognizes the historical contribution of the Filipino community in Kalk Bay, who were known for their exceptional fishing skills that gave rise to the place’s thriving fishing industry.
The naming of the “Manila Steps” began with efforts by the Kalk Bay Historical Association to propose to the City of Cape Town that a flight of unnamed steps at the corner of Quarterdeck and Kimberly Roads in Kalk Bay be so named in acknowledgment of the area’s proud heritage. A public participation process in 2017 led to overwhelming support for the “Manila Steps”.
The naming of the steps also coincided with the installation of an information board that details the history of the Filipino community in Kalk Bay. Cape Town Deputy Executive Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson encouraged everyone to visit the place, which highlights the city as an example of social and cultural diversity.
Ambassador to South Africa Joseph Gerard B. Angeles joined the Filipino community with the residents of Kalk Bay and Cape Town officials during the historic event for the “Manila Steps”, and underscored the auspiciousness of the occasion on account of this year’s commemoration of 25 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and South Africa.
Recalling the Philippines’ support for South Africa in the struggle against apartheid and the visit of then President Nelson Mandela to the Philippines in 1997, the Ambassador mentioned to those in attendance that the friendship between the two countries is long and deep and continues to flourish to this day with frequent people-to-people exchanges in forums for political discussion, trade and economic cooperation and cultural enrichment.
For more information, visit www.pretoriape.dfa.gov.ph.