The carting industry as we know it today has a proud heritage rooted in District Six where horses and carts were used to “smous” (hawk) fish, fruit, vegetables, bottles and bones. Horses were kept in community stables, traveled short distances with light loads and business was lucrative for the cart horse owner.
With the forced removals to the Cape Flats, the lives of cart horse owners, their family and their horses took a turn for the worst. Far from their markets, hawking was no longer a viable option and communities began using horses and carts to collect scrap metal to generate an income.
This new carting industry led to the renting out of horses and carts and an increase in cart horse operators who had limited knowledge on how to properly care for and maintain a working horse. Consequently, badly shod, thin, overloaded, overworked and abused working cart horses became a common site on Cape Town’s roads.
Cart Horse Protection Association was established in 1995 to support owners and to address the welfare issues prevalent in the industry at this time. It is our belief that if owners and drivers have access to affordable services, are educated on proper horse care and have an understanding of animal welfare legislation, we can reduce the risk of horses’ welfare being compromised.
Currently we support cart horse owners, drivers and guards from 21 different areas on the Cape Flats, who use cart horses as a means of transport, collecting scrap metal and/or garden refuse and rubble to generate an income for themselves and their families.