cart driver

Only in South Africa would you spot a donkey cart driver reversing from a parking spot with the assistance of a car guard, this is brilliant!


Cape Town, South Africa – A video has been doing the rounds on various social media platforms and messaging services like WhatsApp. The video is of a cart driver reversing his donkeys with the help of a car guard. Many are finding it hilarious and saying “only in South Africa!”

Many of the cart animals you see in South Africa are strictly monitored and governed. We spoke to the Cart Horse Protection Association to get some insight into the video, as they too had posted it to their Facebook page.

While they don’t know where it was taken, they found the video light-hearted and shared it with their followers as part of their “Friday Fun” posts.

According to the association, before their founding, the cart horse industry was in disarray. The horses were overworked and severely neglected.

“In 1995 the Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) was established, providing vital services and education to the cart horse owners on the side of the road and later from two rusty shipping containers, in an attempt to address the appalling conditions in which these working horses lived and worked.

Today, the Cart Horse Protection Association Clinic and Training Centre, located in Epping 2, boasts a farrier agency, harness shop, treatment stalls and paddocks, education and training room, administrative offices and a feed storage barn and provides services to over 500 working cart horses and their owners.”

The history of carting is a rich one.

“The carting industry today has a proud heritage rooted in District Six where horses and carts were used to “smouse” (hawk) fish, fruit, vegetables, bottles and bones. Horses were kept in community stables found on every street corner, they travelled short distances with light loads and business was lucrative for the cart horse owner.

With the forced removals of these communities to the Cape Flats, the lives of the cart horse owner, his family and his horses took a turn for the worst. Now living far from their markets, hawking was no longer a viable option and communities began using horses and carts for the collection of scrap metal as a means of generating an income.”

The horses and donkeys are now regularly monitored, and the association checks on any reports of abuse they receive.  They have a clinic for the horses and owners to visit. Today the animals thrive in their environments.

“The “carties” as they are affectionately known, collect scrap and garden refuse in order to earn money. When we first started, a lot of the horses were in extremely bad condition (thin, lame and covered in harness wounds) and were often found to be overloaded.

During the past 24 years, we have concentrated on building relationships with the horse owners who often live in the poorest of poor communities (many in fact live in squatter camps and are surrounded by gangsterism and violence) and educating them with regards to taking better care of their horses.”

“We offer subsidised feed and farrier services (we put shoes on the horses feet for them) and our trained Animal Welfare Practitioners are able to respond to minor veterinary emergencies. They are also trained Animal Welfare Inspectors and carry out home visits to ensure the horses live in stables that are warm, dry and sufficiently ventilated.”

“We have a Patrol and Call-out Officer, who has done Law Enforcement training with the City of Cape Town and is able to write out fines in line with the regulations set out to working equines by the City.”

“Should owners and drivers continue to offend with regards to the welfare of their horses, we are able to confiscate horses and remove them to our Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre which is situated in Gordon’s Bay. Once rehabilitated, they are placed in an adoption programme and rehomed.”

The clinics offer subsidised services at nine weekly clinics. Five in the morning at the Clinic and Training Centre and four in the afternoon in outlying areas on the Cape Flats, where cart horse owners can access;

  • Feed
  • A professional farrier service
  • Harness repairs
  • Basic veterinary care and treatments
  • Free de-worming and tetanus vaccinations.
  • Education and hands-on practical training of cart horse owners and drivers, on proper care and health maintenance of their horse, is also an integral part of the static clinics.

“Cart Horse Protection Association is committed to the welfare of the working cart horse and will continue to be involved with the carting community at grassroots level, maintain a strong and dedicated leadership, encourage participation of our beneficiaries in protecting the welfare of the working horse and their source of income, provide education and training and ensure sound financial management of donor funds.

Over the past thirteen years, the Cart Horse Protection Association has proved to be a credible NGO working in the field of animal welfare with excellent social investment returns for funders and donors.”

If you would like to get involved with the Cart Horse Protection, you can find out more via their Facebook page here. You will find the information to report abuse or make donations below.

“We are heavily dependent on public donations and the general public are also our eyes and ears on the road to let us know if horses are being ill-treated. People can call our emergency number 24/7 : 0826 599 599. Our banking details for donations are:

Cart Horse Protection Association
Bank: Nedbank; Cheque/Current Account
Account Number: 104 639 5998
Branch Code: 104 609
Please send proof of payment to

Take a look at the video of the cart driver reversing his donkeys below.

Sources: Facebook / Good Things Guy Interview
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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