CAPE TOWN (
Afrikaans : _Kaapstad_ ; Xhosa : _Ikapa_) is a coastal
South Africa . It is the second-most populous urban area in
South Africa after
Johannesburg . It is also the capital and primate
city of the
Western Cape province.
As the seat of the Parliament of
South Africa , it is also the
legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the
City of Cape
Town metropolitan municipality . The city is famous for its harbour ,
for its natural setting in the
Cape Floristic Region
Cape Floristic Region , and for such
well-known landmarks as
Table Mountain and
Cape Point . As of 2014 ,
it is the 10th most populous city in Africa and home to 64% of the
Western Cape's population. It is one of the most multicultural cities
in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for
immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. The city was named the
World Design Capital for 2014 by the International
Societies of Industrial Design . In 2014,
Cape Town was named the
best place in the world to visit by both the American _New York Times
_ and the British _Daily Telegraph _.
Located on the shore of
Table Bay ,
Cape Town was first developed by
Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company as a victualling (supply) station for
Dutch ships sailing to
East Africa ,
India , and the
Far East . Jan
van Riebeeck 's arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first
permanent European settlement in South Africa.
Cape Town quickly
outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the
Castle of Good Hope , becoming the economic and cultural hub of the
Cape Colony . Until the
Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of
Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.
* 1 History
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Climate
* 2.2 Flora and fauna
* 3 Suburbs
* 3.2 Atlantic Seaboard
* 3.3 West Coast
* 3.4 Northern Suburbs
* 3.5 Southern Suburbs
* 3.6 South Peninsula
* 3.7 Eastern Suburbs
* 4 Government
* 5 Demographics
* 6 Economy
* 7 Tourism
* 7.1 Tourism marketing
* 8 Communications and media
* 9 Sports
* 9.1 Sports events
* 10 Education
* 10.1 Tertiary education
* 11 Transport
* 11.1 Air
* 11.2 Sea
* 11.3 Rail
* 11.4 Road
* 11.5 Buses
* 11.6 Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT)
* 11.7 Taxis
* 12 Twin towns – sister cities
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 15 Notes
* 16 External links
History of Cape Town and
Timeline of Cape Town
History of Cape Town Arrival of
Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck in
Table Bay by
Charles Bell View of
Table Bay with ships of the Dutch East India
Company , c. 1683 A model of
Cape Town as it would have appeared
The earliest known remnants in the region were found at Peers Cave in
Fish Hoek and date to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago. Little is
known of the history of the region's first residents, since there is
no written history from the area before it was first mentioned by
Bartolomeu Dias in 1486 who was the first European
to reach the area and named it "Cape of Storms" (Cabo das Tormentas).
It was later renamed by John II of
Portugal as "Cape of Good Hope"
(Cabo da Boa Esperança) because of the great optimism engendered by
the opening of a sea route to
India and the East. Vasco da Gama
recorded a sighting of the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope in 1497. In the late 16th
century, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch and English but mainly
Portuguese ships regularly stopped over in
Table Bay en route to the
Indies. They traded tobacco, copper and iron with the
exchange for fresh meat.
Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India
Company (Dutch : _Verenigde Oost-indische Compagnie_, VOC) were sent
to the Cape to establish a way-station for ships travelling to the
Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies , and the
Fort de Goede Hoop (later replaced by the
Castle of Good Hope ). The settlement grew slowly during this period,
as it was hard to find adequate labour. This labour shortage prompted
the authorities to import slaves from
Madagascar . Many
of these became ancestors of the first Cape
Under Van Riebeeck and his successors as VOC commanders and later
governors at the Cape, an impressive range of useful plants were
introduced to the Cape – in the process changing the natural
environment forever. Some of these, including grapes, cereals, ground
nuts, potatoes, apples and citrus, had an important and lasting
influence on the societies and economies of the region.
The Dutch Republic being transformed in Revolutionary France\'s
Batavian Republic , Great Britain moved to take control of its
colonies. Britain captured
Cape Town in 1795, but the Cape was
returned to the Dutch by treaty in 1803. British forces occupied the
Cape again in 1806 following the
Battle of Blaauwberg . In the
Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 ,
Cape Town was permanently ceded to
Britain. It became the capital of the newly formed
Cape Colony , whose
territory expanded very substantially through the 1800s. With
expansion came calls for greater independence from Britain, with the
Cape attaining its own parliament (1854) and a locally accountable
Prime Minister (1872). Suffrage was established according to the
non-racial, but sexist
Cape Qualified Franchise
Cape Qualified Franchise .
The discovery of diamonds in
Griqualand West in 1867, and the
Witwatersrand Gold Rush in 1886, prompted a flood of immigrants to
South Africa. Conflicts between the
Boer republics in the interior
and the British colonial government resulted in the Second
Boer War of
1899–1902, which Britain won. In 1910, Britain established the Union
South Africa , which unified the
Cape Colony with the two defeated
Boer Republics and the British colony of Natal .
Cape Town became the
legislative capital of the Union, and later of the Republic of South
In the 1948 national elections, the National Party won on a platform
of _apartheid _ (racial segregation) under the slogan of "swart gevaar
". This led to the erosion and eventual abolition of the Cape's
multiracial franchise, as well as to the
Group Areas Act , which
classified all areas according to race. Formerly multi-racial suburbs
Cape Town were either purged of unlawful residents or demolished.
The most infamous example of this in
Cape Town was
District Six .
After it was declared a whites-only region in 1965, all housing there
was demolished and over 60,000 residents were forcibly removed. Many
of these residents were relocated to the
Cape Flats and Lavender Hill.
Under apartheid, the Cape was considered a "
Coloured labour preference
area", to the exclusion of "Bantus ", i.e. Africans.
School students from Langa,
Gugulethu and Nyanga in
Cape Town reacted
to the news of protests against Bantu Education in Soweto in June 1976
and organised gatherings and marches which were met with resistance
from the police. A number of school buildings were burnt down.
Cape Town was home to many leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. On
Robben Island , a former penitentiary island 10 kilometres (6 miles)
from the city, many famous political prisoners were held for years. In
one of the most famous moments marking the end of apartheid, Nelson
Mandela made his first public speech since his imprisonment, from the
Cape Town City Hall hours after being released on 11
February 1990. His speech heralded the beginning of a new era for the
country, and the first democratic election , was held four years
later, on 27 April 1994. Nobel Square in the Victoria "> With a Gini
coefficient of 0.67,
Cape Town has the highest rate of equality in
Cape Town's "
City Bowl " viewed from
Table Mountain in May
Cape Town is located at latitude 33.55° S (approx. the same as
Sydney and Buenos Aires and equivalent to Casablanca and Los Angeles
in the northern hemisphere) and longitude 18.25° E. Table Mountain,
with its near vertical cliffs and flat-topped summit over 1,000 m
(3,300 ft) high, and with Devil\'s Peak and Lion\'s Head on either
side, together form a dramatic mountainous backdrop enclosing the
central area of Cape Town, the so-called
City Bowl . A thin strip of
cloud, known colloquially as the "tablecloth", sometimes forms on top
of the mountain. To the immediate south, the
Cape Peninsula is a
scenic mountainous spine jutting 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwards into
the Atlantic Ocean and terminating at Cape Point. There are over 70
peaks above 300 m (980 ft) within Cape Town's official city limits.
Many of the city's suburbs lie on the large plain called the Cape
Flats, which extends over 50 kilometres (30 mi) to the east and joins
the peninsula to the mainland. The
Cape Flats is situated on what is
known as a rising marine plain, consisting mostly of sandy geology and
confirming that at one point
Table Mountain was itself an island. The
Cape Town region generally, with its
Mediterranean climate, extensive
coastline, rugged mountain ranges, coastal plains, inland valleys and
semi-desert fringes, has much in common with Southern California.
Robben Island in the
Western Cape a World Heritage
Site in 1999.
Robben Island is located in Table Bay, some 6km west of
Bloubergstrand in Cape Town, and stands some 30m above sea level.
Robben Island has been used as prison where people were isolated,
banished and exiled to for nearly 400 years. It was also used as a
leper colony, a post office, a grazing ground, a mental hospital, and
Currently visitors can only access the island via the Robben Island
Museum boat service, which run three times daily until the beginning
of the peak season (01 September). The ferries depart from the Nelson
Mandela Gateway at the V color:#FFFFFF;">39.3
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World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization ,
NOAA , South African
weather service, eNCA
FLORA AND FAUNA
Biodiversity of Cape Town
Biodiversity of Cape Town Peninsula Sandstone
Fynbos growing in
Table Mountain National Park .
Located in a CI
Biodiversity hotspot as well as the unique Cape
Floristic Region , the city of
Cape Town has one of the highest levels
of biodiversity of any equivalent area in the world. These protected
areas are a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site , and an estimated 2,200 species of
plants are confined to
Table Mountain – more than exist in the whole
United Kingdom which has 1200 plant species and 67 endemic
plant species. Many of these species, including a great many types
of proteas , are endemic to the mountain and can be found nowhere
It is home to a total of 19 different vegetation types , of which
several are completely endemic to the city and occur nowhere else in
the world. It is also the only habitat of hundreds of endemic
species, and hundreds of others which are severely restricted or
threatened. This enormous species diversity is mainly because the city
is uniquely located at the convergence point of several different soil
types and micro-climates.
Table Mountain has an unusually rich biodiversity. Its vegetation
consists predominantly of several different types of the unique and
Fynbos . The main vegetation type is endangered Peninsula
Fynbos , but critically endangered Peninsula Granite Fynbos
Peninsula Shale Renosterveld and
Afromontane forest occur in smaller
portions on the mountain.
Unfortunately, rapid population growth and urban sprawl has covered
much of these ecosystems with development. Consequently,
Cape Town now
has over 300 threatened plant species and 13 which are now extinct .
Cape Peninsula , which lies entirely within the city of Cape Town,
has the highest concentration of threatened species of any continental
area of equivalent size in the world. Tiny remnants of critically
endangered or near extinct plants often survive on road sides,
pavements and sports fields. The remaining ecosystems are partially
protected through a system of over 30 nature reserves – including
Table Mountain National Park .
List of Cape Town suburbs
Cape Town's urban geography is influenced by the contours of Table
Mountain, its surrounding peaks, the
Durbanville Hills, and the
expansive lowland region known as the Cape Flats. These geographic
features in part divide the city into several commonly known groupings
of suburbs (equivalent to districts outside South Africa), many of
which developed historically together and share common attributes of
language and culture.
City Bowl An aerial panoramic of Cape Town's City
Bowl taken from above Signal Hill looking north.
City Bowl is a natural amphitheatre -shaped area bordered by
Table Bay and defined by the mountains of Signal Hill , Lion\'s Head ,
Table Mountain and Devil\'s Peak .
The area includes the central business district of Cape Town, the
harbour, the Company\'s Garden , and the residential suburbs of De
Waterkant , Devil\'s Peak ,
District Six ,
Zonnebloem , Gardens ,
Bo-Kaap , Higgovale ,
Oranjezicht , Schotsche Kloof ,
University Estate ,
Walmer Estate and Woodstock .
Camps Bay viewed from Lion\'s Head Panoramic view of
Hout Bay from Chapman\'s Peak , with
Chapman's Peak Drive visible at
the base of the mountain
The Atlantic Seaboard lies west of
Cape Town and Table Mountain, and
is characterised by its beaches, cliffs, promenade and hillside
communities. The area includes, from north to south, the
neighbourhoods of Green Point ,
Mouille Point ,
Three Anchor Bay , Sea
Point , Fresnaye , Bantry Bay , Clifton ,
Camps Bay , Llandudno , and
Hout Bay . The Atlantic Seaboard has some of the most expensive real
South Africa particularly on Nettleton and Clifton Roads in
Clifton, Ocean View Drive and St Leon Avenue in Bantry Bay, Theresa
Bakoven and Fishermans Bend in Llandudno.
Camps Bay is home
to the highest concentration of multimillionaires in
Cape Town and has
the highest number of high-priced mansions in
South Africa with more
than 155 residential units exceeding R20 million (or $US1.8 million).
The West Coast suburbs lie along the beach to the north of the Cape
Town city centre, and include
Milnerton , Tableview ,
West Beach, Big Bay, Sunset Beach, Sunningdale and Parklands, as well
as the exurbs of Atlantis and Melkbosstrand. The
Koeberg Nuclear Power
Station is located within this area and maximum housing density
regulations are enforced in much of the area surrounding the nuclear
The Northern Suburbs are Afrikaans-speaking, and include Bellville ,
Bothasig , Brooklyn, Burgundy Estate,
Edgemead , Elsie\'s River , Factreton, Goodwood , Kensington, Maitland
, Monte Vista , Panorama , Parow , Richwood,
Table View , and
Welgemoed. Much of the northern suburbs is colloquially known as
Tygerberg and is home to
Tygerberg Hospital , the largest hospital in
Western Cape and second largest in
Southern Suburbs, Cape Town
The Southern Suburbs hug along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain,
southeast of the city centre. This area has mixed languages but is
predominantly English-speaking, and includes, from north to south,
Rondebosch , Pinelands , Thornton , Newlands , Mowbray , Observatory ,
Bishopscourt , Claremont , Lansdowne , Wynberg , Plumstead , Hout Bay
, Ottery , and
Bergvliet . West of Wynberg lies Constantia which, in
addition to being a wealthy neighbourhood, is a notable wine-growing
region within the
City of Cape Town. Constantia not only offers a
luscious suburban living lifestyle, but also attracts tourists for its
well-known wine farms and
Cape Dutch architecture .
Simon\'s Town Wave breaking on the rocky beach of
The South Peninsula is generally regarded as the area south of
False Bay and Noordhoek on the Atlantic Ocean, all the
way to Cape Point. Until recently quite rural, the population of the
area is growing quickly as new coastal developments proliferate and
larger plots are subdivided to provide more compact housing. It
Capri Village , Clovelly,
Fish Hoek , Glencairn ,
Kalk Bay ,
Muizenberg , Noordhoek , Ocean View ,
Scarborough , Simon\'s Town , St James , Sunnydale, Sun Valley, and
Steenberg . South Africa's largest naval base is located at Simon's
Town harbour as well as
Boulders Beach , the site of a large colony of
The Eastern Suburbs lie southeast of the Afrikaans-speaking
neighbourhoods in the Northern Suburbs, beyond the airport, and
notably are the site of several new subsidized housing projects and
are also Afrikaans-speaking. Communities include Fairdale, Brackenfell
Kuils River ,
Blue Downs ,
Belhar , Delft , Mfuleni
Cape Flats (Die Kaapse Vlakte in Afrikaans) is an expansive,
low-lying, flat Afrikaans-speaking area situated to the southeast of
the central business district of Cape Town. From the 1950s the area
became home to people the apartheid government designated as non-White
and has been described by some as 'Apartheid's dumping ground'.
Race-based legislation such as the
Group Areas Act and pass laws
either forced non-white people out of more central urban areas
designated for white people and into government-built townships in the
Flats or made living in the area illegal, forcing many people
designated as Black and
Coloured into informal settlements elsewhere
in the Flats.
Since then the Flats have been home to much of the population of
Greater Cape Town. This area includes the neighbourhoods of
Mitchell\'s Plain , Athlone , Elsie\'s River , Hanover Park , Bishop
Manenberg , Strandfontein ,
Gugulethu , Nyanga , Langa , and
Helderberg consists of
Somerset West , Strand ,
Gordons Bay and a
few other towns. The district takes its name from the imposing
Helderberg Mountain , which is
Afrikaans for "clear mountain", and
culminates at a height of 1,137 metres (3,730 feet ) as The Dome.
Cape Town City Hall as seen
from the Grand Parade in front of the building.
Table Mountain is
visible in the background.
Cape Town's local government is the
City of Cape Town, which is a
metropolitan municipality .
Cape Town is governed by a 221-member city
council . The city is divided into 111 electoral wards; each ward
directly elects one member of the council, whilst the other 110
councillors are elected by a system of party-list proportional
representation . The Executive Mayor and Executive Deputy Mayor are
chosen by the city council.
In the local government elections of 18 May 2011 , the Democratic
Alliance (DA) won an outright majority, taking 135 of the 221 council
African National Congress
African National Congress , the national ruling party,
received 73 seats. As a result of this victory
Patricia de Lille ,
the DA mayoral candidate, was inaugurated as Executive Mayor on 1
Population density in
Geographical distribution of home languages in Cape Town
Afrikaans English Xhosa No population or no language
Note: Census figures (1996–2011) cover figures after 1994 reflect
Cape Town metropolitan municipality reflecting post-1994
reforms. SOURCES: 1658-1904, 1950-1990,
1996, 2001, and 2011 Census; 2007, 2014 Census estimates.
According to the
South African National Census of 2011 , the
population of the
Cape Town metropolitan municipality – an
area that includes suburbs and exurbs not always considered as part of
Cape Town – is 3,740,026 people. This represents an annual growth
rate of 2.6% compared to the results of the previous census in 2001
which found a population of 2,892,243 people. :54 The sex ratio is
96, meaning that there are slightly more women than men. :55 45.4% of
the population described themselves as "
Coloured ", 42.7% as "White ",
8.6% as "Black African ", and 1.4% as "Indian or Asian ". :56–59 In
1944, 47% of the city's population was White, 46% was Coloured, less
than 6% was Black African and 1% was Asian. Of those residents who
were asked about their first language , 35.7% spoke
Afrikaans , 29.8%
spoke Xhosa and 28.4% spoke English . 24.8% of the population is under
the age of 15, while 5.5% is 65 or older. :64
Of those residents aged 20 or older, 1.8% have no schooling, 8.1%
have some schooling but did not finish primary school, 4.6% finished
primary school but have no secondary schooling, 38.9% have some
secondary schooling but did not finish
Grade 12 , 29.9% finished Grade
12 but have no higher education, and 16.7% have higher education.
Overall, 46.6% have at least a
Grade 12 education. :74 Of those aged
between 5 and 25, 67.8% are attending an educational institution. :78
Amongst those aged between 15 and 65 the unemployment rate is 23.7%.
:79 The average annual household income is R 161,762. :88
There are 1,068,573 households in the municipality, giving an average
household size of 3.3 people. :80 Of those households, 78.4% are in
formal structures (houses or flats ), while 20.5% are in informal
structures (shacks ). :81 94.0% of households use electricity for
lighting. :84 87.3% of households have piped water to the dwelling,
while 12.0% have piped water through a communal tap. :85 94.9% of
households have regular refuse collection service. :86 91.4% of
households have a flush toilet or chemical toilet , while 4.5% still
use a bucket toilet. :87 82.1% of households have a refrigerator ,
87.3% have a television and 70.1% have a radio. Only 34.0% have a
landline telephone, but 91.3% have a cellphone. 37.9% have a computer,
and 49.3% have access to the Internet (either through a computer or a
Main article: Economy of the
Western Cape Main entrance to the
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town is the economic hub of the
Western Cape Province, South
Africa's second main economic centre and Africa's third main economic
hub city. It serves as the regional manufacturing centre in the
Western Cape. In 2011 the city's GDP was US$ 56.8 billion with a GDP
per capita of US$15,721. In the five years preceding 2014 Cape Town
GDP grew at an average of 3.7% a year. As a proportion of GDP the
agriculture and manufacturing sectors have declined whilst finance,
business services, transport and logistics have grown reflecting the
growth in specialised services sectors of the local economy. Fishing,
clothing and textiles, wood product manufacturing, electronics,
furniture, hospitality, finance and business services are industries
in which Cape Town's economy has the largest comparative advantage .
Between 2001 and 2010 the city's
Gini coefficient , a measure of
inequality, improved by dropping from 0.59 in 2007 to 0.57 in 2010
only to increase to 0.67 by 2011/12.
Cape Town has recently enjoyed a booming real estate and construction
market, because of the 2010 World Cup as well as many people buying
summer homes in the city or relocating there permanently. Cape Town
hosted nine World Cup matches: Six first-round matches, one
second-round match, one quarter final and one semifinal. The central
business district is under an extensive urban renewal programme, with
numerous new buildings and renovations taking place under the guidance
Cape Town Partnership .
Cape Town has four major commercial nodes, with
Cape Town Central
Business District containing the majority of job opportunities and
office space. Century
City , the Bellville /TygerValley strip and
Claremont commercial nodes are well established and contain many
offices and corporate headquarters as well. Most companies
headquartered in the city are insurance companies, retail groups,
publishers, design houses, fashion designers, shipping companies,
petrochemical companies, architects and advertising agencies. The
most notable companies headquartered in the city are food and fashion
retailer Woolworths , supermarket chain
Pick n Pay Stores and
Shoprite , New Clicks Holdings Limited, fashion retailer Foschini
Group , isp MWEB, Mediclinic International, etv, multi-national mass
Naspers , and financial services giant
Sanlam . Other
notable companies include
Belron (vehicle glass repair and replacement
group operating worldwide),
CapeRay (develops, manufactures and
supplies medical imaging equipment for the diagnosis of breast
Ceres Fruit Juices (produces fruit juice and other fruit
Coronation Fund Managers (third-party fund management
company), ICS (was one of the largest meat processing and distribution
companies in the world),
Vida e Caffè (chain of coffee retailers),
Capitec Bank (commercial bank in the Republic of South Africa). The
city is a manufacturing base for several multi-national companies
Johnson & Johnson ,
GlaxoSmithKline , Levi Strauss the
tourism industry accounts for 9.8% of the GDP of the province and
employs 9.6% of the province's workforce. In 2010, over 1.5 million
international tourists visited the area.
With the highest number of successful Information Technology
companies in Africa,
Cape Town is an important centre for the industry
on the continent. Growing at an annual rate of 8.5% and an estimated
worth of R77 billion in 2010 nationwide the IT industry in Cape Town
is becoming increasingly important to the city's economy.
The city was recently named as the most entrepreneurial city in South
Africa, with the percentage of Capetonians pursuing business
opportunities almost three times higher than the national average.
Those aged between 18 and 64 were 190% more likely to pursue new
business, whilst in Johannesburg, the same demographic group was only
60% more likely than the national average to pursue a new business.
Panorama of the
Cape Town city centre
Cape Town is not only a popular international tourist destination in
South Africa, but Africa as a whole. This is due to its good climate,
natural setting, and well-developed infrastructure. The city has
several well-known natural features that attract tourists, most
notably Table Mountain, which forms a large part of the Table
Mountain National Park and is the back end of the
City Bowl . Reaching
the top of the mountain can be achieved either by hiking up, or by
Table Mountain Cableway .
Cape Point is recognised as the
dramatic headland at the end of the
Cape Peninsula . Many tourists
also drive along Chapman\'s Peak Drive , a narrow road that links
Hout Bay , for the views of the Atlantic Ocean and
nearby mountains. It is possible to either drive or hike up Signal
Hill for closer views of the
City Bowl and Table Mountain.
Clifton Beach is one of Cape Town's most famous beaches and is a
significant tourist destination in its own right.
Many tourists also visit Cape Town\'s beaches , which are popular
with local residents. Due to the city's unique geography, it is
possible to visit several different beaches in the same day, each with
a different setting and atmosphere. Though the Cape's water ranges
from cold to mild, the difference between the two sides of the city is
dramatic. While the Atlantic Seaboard averages annual water
temperatures barely above that of coastal California around 13 °C (55
False Bay coast is much warmer, averaging between 16 and 17
°C (61 and 63 °F) annually. This is similar to water temperatures in
much of the Northern
Mediterranean (for example
Nice ). In summer,
False Bay water averages slightly over 20 °C (68 °F), with 22 °C
(72 °F) a common high. Beaches located on the Atlantic Coast tend to
have very cold water due to the
Benguela current which originates from
Southern Ocean , whilst the water at
False Bay beaches may be
warmer by up to 10 °C (18 °F) at the same moment due to the
influence of the warm Agulhas current , and the surface warming
effects of the South Easter wind. It is a common misconception that
False Bay is part of the Indian Ocean, with
Cape Point being both the
meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and the southernmost
tip of Africa. The oceans in fact meet at the actual southernmost tip,
Cape Agulhas , which lies approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles) to
the south east. The misconception is fuelled by the relative warmth of
False Bay water to the Atlantic Seaboard water, and the many
confusing instances of "Two Oceans" in names synonymous with Cape
Town, such as the
Two Oceans Marathon , the
Two Oceans Aquarium , and
places such as Two Oceans wine farm.
Both coasts are equally popular, although the beaches in affluent
Clifton and elsewhere on the Atlantic Coast are better developed with
restaurants and cafés, with a strip of restaurants and bars
accessible to the beach at
Camps Bay . The Atlantic seaboard, known as
Cape Town's Rivera, is regarded as one of the most scenic routes in
South Africa. The majestic slopes of the Twelve Apostles to the
unspoilt boulders and white sand beaches of Llandudno, which the route
Hout Bay - a diverse bustling suburb with a harbour and a
seal island. This fishing village is flanked by the luscious
Constantia valley and the picturesque Chapmans Peak drive. Boulders
Simon's Town is known for its colony of African penguins .
Surfing is popular and the city hosts the Red Bull Big Wave Africa
surfing competition every year.
The city has several notable cultural attractions. The Victoria &
Alfred Waterfront , built on top of part of the docks of the Port of
Cape Town, is the city's most visited tourist attraction. It is also
one of the city's most popular shopping venues, with several hundred
shops and the
Two Oceans Aquarium . The V&A also hosts the Nelson
Mandela Gateway, through which ferries depart for
Robben Island . It
is possible to take a ferry from the V it serves as the gateway to
other destinations within the province. The
Cape Winelands and in
particular the towns of
Paarl and Franschhoek are
popular day trips from the city for sightseeing and wine tasting .
Whale watching is popular amongst tourists: southern right whales and
humpback whales are seen off the coast during the breeding season
(August to November) and Bryde\'s whales and killer whale can be seen
any time of the year. The nearby town of
Hermanus is known for its
Whale Festival, but whales can also be seen in False Bay.
Heaviside\'s dolphins are endemic to the area and can be seen from the
coast north of Cape Town; dusky dolphins live along the same coast and
can occasionally be seen from the ferry to Robben Island.
The only complete windmill in
South Africa is Mostert\'s Mill ,
Mowbray . It was built in 1796 and restored in 1935 and again in 1995.
The most popular areas for visitors to stay include Camps Bay, Sea
Point , the V">
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
Clifton 's 4th Beach
Panoramic view across the Victoria Basin at the Victoria ">
Bo-Kaap is one of the most visited areas
in Cape Town.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Groote Kerk, Cape Town
COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
Several newspapers, magazines and printing facilities have their
offices in the city.
Independent News and Media publishes the major
English language papers in the city, the _
Cape Argus _ and the _Cape
Naspers , the largest media conglomerate in South Africa,
Die Burger _, the major
Afrikaans language paper.
Cape Town has many local community newspapers. Some of the largest
community newspapers in English are the _Athlone News _ from Athlone ,
Atlantic Sun _, the _Constantiaberg Bulletin _ from
Constantiaberg , the _
City Vision _ from Bellville , the _False Bay
Echo _ from False Bay, the _
Helderberg Sun _ from
Helderberg , the
_Plainsman _ from Michells Plain, the _
Sentinel News _ from Hout Bay,
the _Southern Mail _ from the Southern Peninsula, the _Southern
Suburbs Tatler _ from the Southern Suburbs , _Table
Talk _ from Table
View and _
Tygertalk _ from Tygervalley/Durbanville.
community newspapers include the _
Landbou-Burger _ and the
Tygerburger _. _
Vukani _, based in the Cape Flats, is published in
Cape Town is a centre for major broadcast media with several radio
stations that only broadcast within the city. 94.5 Kfm (94.5 MHz FM)
Good Hope FM (94–97 MHz FM ) mostly play pop music . Heart FM
(104.9 MHz FM), the former P4 Radio, plays jazz and R"> Kitesurfing
Cape Town Stadium
Association football /Rugby
Ajax CT ,
Newlands Cricket Ground
Cape Cobras , Western Province
Newlands Rugby Stadium
Stormers , Western Province
Santos Football Club
Western Province Cycling
Hartleyvale Hockey Centre
Western Province Hockey
Good Hope Centre
Various indoor sports
Royal Cape Yacht Club
Royal Cape Yacht Club
Grand West Arena
Green Point Athletics Stadium
Athletics , Association football
Newlands Swimming Pool
Swimming/water polo /diving
Autshumato/Berg River Dam
Khayelitsha Rugby four of these are "Metropole" districts –
Metropole Central, North, South, and East – which cover various
areas of the city. There are also many private schools, both
religious and secular, in Cape Town.
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town 's main campus
Cape Town has a well-developed higher system of public universities .
Cape Town is served by three public universities: the University of
Cape Town (UCT), the University of the
Western Cape (UWC) and the Cape
Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
Stellenbosch University ,
while not in the city itself, is 50 kilometres from the
City Bowl and
has additional campuses, such as the
Tygerberg Faculty of Medicine and
Health Sciences and the Bellville Business Park closer to the City.
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town and
Stellenbosch University are
leading universities in South Africa. This is due in large part to
substantial financial contributions made to these institutions by both
the public and private sector. UCT is an English-speaking institution.
It has over 21,000 students and has an MBA programme that is ranked
51st by the Financial Times in 2006. It is also the top-ranked
university in Africa, being the only African university to make the
world's Top 200 university list at number 146. Since the African
National Congress has come into governmental power, some restructuring
Western Cape universities has taken place and as such,
traditionally non-white universities have seen increased financing,
which has benefitted the University of the Western Cape.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology was formed on 1
January 2005, when two separate institutions –
Cape Technikon and
Peninsula Technikon – were merged. The new university offers
education primarily in English, although one may take courses in any
of South Africa's official languages. The institution generally awards
the National Diploma .
Cape Town has also become a popular study abroad destination for many
international college students. Many study abroad providers offer
semester, summer, short-term, and internship programs in partnership
Cape Town universities as a chance for international students to
gain intercultural understanding.
Cape Town International Airport serves both domestic and
international flights. It is the second-largest airport in South
Africa and serves as a major gateway for travellers to the Cape
Cape Town has direct flights to most cities in
South Africa as
well as a number of international destinations.
Cape Town International Airport recently opened a brand new central
terminal building that was developed to handle an expected increase in
air traffic as tourism numbers increased in the lead-up to the 2010
FIFA World Cup. Other renovations include several large new parking
garages, a revamped domestic departure terminal, a new Bus Rapid
Transit system station and a new double-decker road system. The
airport's cargo facilities are also being expanded and several large
empty lots are being developed into office space and hotels.
Cape Town International Airport was among the winners of the
World Travel Awards for being Africa's leading airport.
Port of Cape Town
Port of Cape Town is a major transport node in southern
Africa. In addition to moving freight it also serves as a major repair
site for ships and oil rigs.
Cape Town has a long tradition as a port city. The Port of Cape Town
, the city's main port, is in
Table Bay directly to the north of the
central business district. The port is a hub for ships in the southern
Atlantic: it is located along one of the busiest shipping corridors in
the world. It is also a busy container port, second in South Africa
Durban . In 2004, it handled 3,161 ships and 9.2 million
tonnes of cargo.
Simon\'s Town Harbour on the
False Bay coast of the
Cape Peninsula is
the main operational base of the
South African Navy
South African Navy .
Shosholoza Meyl _ is the passenger rail operations of Spoornet
and operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Cape Town:
a daily service to and from
Johannesburg via Kimberley and a weekly
service to and from
Durban via Kimberley ,
Pietermaritzburg . These trains terminate at
Cape Town railway station
and make a brief stop at Bellville .
Cape Town is also one terminus of
the luxury tourist-oriented Blue Train as well as the five-star Rovos
Metrorail operates a commuter rail service in
Cape Town and the
surrounding area. The Metrorail network consists of 96 stations
throughout the suburbs and outskirts of Cape Town.
Cape Town is the origin of three national roads . The N1 and N2 begin
in the foreshore area near the city centre.
The N1 runs ENE as a highway through
Edgemead , Parow , Bellville ,
Brackenfell . It connects
Cape Town to
Paarl and the major cities
in the interior -
Pretoria and Zimbabwe
. An older at-grade road, the R101 , runs parallel to the N1 from
The N2 runs ESE as a highway through
Khayelitsha , Macassar to
Somerset West . It becomes a
multiple-carriageway at-grade road from the intersection with the R44
onwards. The N2 continues east along the coast, linking
Cape Town to
the coastal cities of
Port Elizabeth , East London and
Durban . An
older at-grade road, the R101 , runs parallel to the N1 initially,
before veering south at Bellville, to join the N2 at
Somerset West via
the suburbs of
Kuils River and Eerste River .
The N7 originates from the N1 at Wingfield Interchange near Edgemead.
It runs north, initially as a highway, but becoming an at-grade road
from the intersection with the M5 (Potsdam Rd) onwards. It links Cape
Town with the
Northern Cape Province and
There are also a number of two- and three-digit regional routes
Cape Town with surrounding areas. The R27 originates from the
N1 near the Foreshore and runs north parallel to the N7, but nearer to
the coast. It passes through the suburbs of
Table View and
Bloubergstrand and links the
City to the West Coast, ending at the
Velddrif . The R44 enters the east of the metro from the
Stellenbosch . It connects
Stellenbosch to Somerset West,
then crosses the N2 to Strand and Gordon\'s Bay . It exits the metro
heading south hugging the coast, leading to the towns of Betty\'s Bay
Of the three-digit routes, the R300 , which is informally known as
Cape Flats Freeway_, is a highway linking the N1 at Brackenfell
to the N2 near
Mitchells Plain and the
Cape Town International Airport
. The R302 runs from the R102 in Bellville, heading north across the
Durbanville leaving the metro to Malmesbury . The R304
enters the northern limits of the metro from Stellenbosch, running NNW
before veering west to cross the N7 at Philadelphia to end at Atlantis
at a junction with thesR307 . This R307 starts north of
the R27 and, after meeting the R304, continues north to Darling,
Western Cape, Darling . The R310 originates from
Muizenberg and runs
along the coast, to the south of
Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha,
before veering north-east, crossing the N2 west of Macassar, and
exiting the metro heading to Stellenbosch.
Cape Town, like most South African cities, uses Metropolitan or "M"
routes for important intra-city routes, a layer below National (N)
roads and Regional (R) routes. Each city's M roads are independently
numbered. Most are at-grade roads. However, the M3 splits from the N2
and runs to the south along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain,
City Bowl with
Muizenberg . Except for a section
Rondebosch and Newlands that has at-grade intersections, this
route is a highway. The M5 splits from the N1 further east than the
M3, and links the
Cape Flats to the CBD. It is a highway as far as the
interchange with the M68 at Ottery, before continuing as an at-grade
Cape Town suffers from the worst traffic congestion in South Africa.
Golden Arrow Bus Services operates scheduled bus services throughout
Cape Town metropolitan area. Several companies run long-distance
bus services from
Cape Town to the other cities in South Africa.
INTEGRATED RAPID TRANSIT (IRT)
Cape Town has a significantly enhanced public transport system in
about 10% of the City, running north to south along the west coastline
of the City, comprising Phase 1 of the IRT system. This is known as
the _MyCiTi_ service.
MyCiTi Phase 1 includes services linking the Airport to the Cape Town
inner city, as well as the following areas: Blouberg /
Table View ,
Dunoon , Atlantis and
Milnerton , Paarden Eiland ,
City , Salt River and
Walmer Estate , and all suburbs of the
City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard all the way to Llandudno and Hout Bay
MyCiTi N2 Express service consists of two routes each linking the
Cape Town inner city and
Mitchells Plain on the Cape
The service use high floor articulated and standard size buses in
dedicated busways, low floor articulated and standard size buses on
the N2 Express service, and smaller 9-metre (30-foot)
Optare buses in
suburban and inner city areas. It offers universal access through
level boarding and numerous other measures, and requires cashless fare
payment using the
EMV compliant smart card system, called myconnect.
Headway of services (i.e. the time between buses on the same route)
range from 3 mins to 20 mins in peak times to 60 minutes during quiet
Cape Town has two kinds of taxis: metered taxis and minibus taxis .
Unlike many cities, metered taxis are not allowed to drive around the
city to solicit fares and instead must be called to a specific
Cape Town metered taxi cabs mostly operate in the city bowl, suburbs
Cape Town International Airport areas. Large companies that
operate fleets of cabs can be reached by phone and are cheaper than
the single operators that apply for hire from taxi ranks and Victoria
and Alfred Waterfront. There are about one thousand meter taxis in
Cape Town. Their rates vary from R8 per kilometre to about R15 per
kilometre. The larger taxi companies in
Cape Town are Excite Taxis,
Cabnet and Intercab and single operators are reachable by cellular
phone. The seven seated Toyota Avanza are the most popular with larger
Taxi companies. Meter cabs are mostly used by tourists and are safer
to use than minibus taxis.
Minibus taxis are the standard form of transport for the majority of
the population who cannot afford private vehicles. Although
essential, these taxis are often poorly maintained and are frequently
not road-worthy. These taxis make frequent unscheduled stops to pick
up passengers, which can cause accidents. With the high demand for
transport by the working class of South Africa, minibus taxis are
often filled over their legal passenger allowance. Minibuses are
generally owned and operated in fleets.
Table Mountain from the harbour
Metrorail train leaving
Kalk Bay station
N2 highway, entering the
Taxi rank above
Cape Town railway station
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in
Cape Town has nine twin towns and sister cities :
South Africa portal
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