A divided city: Cape Town

J. Western

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A sketch of Cape Town's history since its 1652 foundation is offered. A mixed Afro-euro-asian people, the Coloureds, evolved during the era of Dutch and then British colonialism. By the time of apartheid's imposition from 1948 onwards they had become Cape Town's majority population group. Now, half a century later, the defeat of apartheid has brought a great influx of Black African poor from distant parts of South Africa, persons whom White rule's infamous Pass Laws had formerly prohibited from Cape Town. The results: the metropolis has in the last twenty years doubled in population and has not only seen an immense growth in selfbuilt shantytowns and in basic low-income housing, but also a change in complexion. An African majority is now in view, with attendant social tensions and social possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-716
Number of pages6
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Apartheid
  • Cape Town
  • Colonialism
  • Demographic change
  • Liberation
  • Segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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