Then and Now – The South End Fig Tree

The old Fig Tree in South End (across the road on the harbour side from the South End Museum) predates all living memory and is said to be well over 100 years old.  Back in the days pre the removal of everybody and everything from South End due to the implementation of the Group Areas Act, the tree was a popular spot.  Kids climbed up in it’s branches, families had picnics in the shade and the older residents used it as a place to meet friends for a chat.  The then photo dates either from the late 1960’s or very early 70’s. 
These days the tree stands on it’s own on the grassy patch next to where the road up from the city center meets Walmer Boulevard, Settlers Freeway and Beach Road.  The last of the remaining houses behind it nothing more than ruins (prime property which, if I’m correct, belongs to Transnet so go figure).  The tree may not be a meeting place anymore, but it does take center stage on the South End Museum’s logo and is seen, although probably not really noticed, by hundreds of passing motorists every day.