Pictured, from left: Steven Bentley (Harbour Master), Andile Xayimpi, Kader Williams (ferryman, Derek Hanekom (Minister of Tourism). (Obscured: David Green (V&A Waterfront CEO)). Credit: Andrew Brown

Staff Writer

THE old Penny Ferry rowing boat service from colonial days is to be resumed for the public at the V&A Waterfront.

It will carry Capetonians and visitors across the channel at the entrance to the Alfred Basin from November 1.

The channel, originally excavated in the 1800s to allow ships to cross into the Alfred Basin presented a problem for residents and visitors trying to get to and from the Pierhead and Clock Tower Square.

The most economical solution at the time was to introduce a small ferry-boat and so the “Penny Ferry” was born.

However, the ferry which operated for more than a century was decommissioned in December 1997 with the opening of the pedestrian Swing Bridge.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and V&A Waterfront chief executive David Green yesterday re-introduced the service. Green said he was happy to “connect people to the sea” and to preserve Cape Town’s history.

“The Penny Ferry offered a practical way of crossing the cut and we are certain it will prove to be as popular in this century as it was in the last,” said Green.

No longer a penny, it will cost just R5 per person per trip and will carry between 10 and 12 people across at a time.