A view of Table Mountain from the deck of the MSC Opera


People of Cape Town


Cape Town is a melting pot of different people, exemplified by the fact that the majority of its people are from mixed race-groups (known as "Coloureds"). Most Coloureds are Afrikaans-speaking (thought most can speak English as well). Until the 1950s, when the National Party government removed their voting rights, the Coloured people were an integrated part of South Africa's society.

Althought the Coloureds are mostly Christian, a large portion of them are Muslims (their forefathers came from Indonesia). Many of the Cape Muslims settled into an area known as "Bo-Kaap" (upper Cape), which lies on the eastern slope of Signal Hill.

Other than the Coloureds, the Cape's people range from the indigenous KhoiKhoi to the Dutch, English and isiXhosa who arrived later.


The majority of Cape Town's black people are migrants from the Eastern Cape (formerly the Transkei), looking for a better life and a way of feeding their family back hom. Driving from Cape Town airport to the foot of Table Mountain, one sees miles of shanty towns where many of the black migrants stay (e.g. Langa, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu) on the Cape Flats. Yet, there has been progress since 1990 - many of the shacks in Cape Town now have electricity.

Shanty town on the Cape Flats
Shanty Town on the cape flats
Gay Cape Town

Cape Town is the gay capital of South Africa, with a large active gay community and many gay and gay friendly nightclubs, restaurants and activities. With a plethora of gay-friendly restaurants, coffee shops, clubs, bars and accommodation; gay entertainment and nightlife in Cape Town is most concentrated in Green Point. Every December, the themed Mother City Queer Project (affectionately known as MCQP) attracts thousands of people from all over the world.

Leon van Heerden - a Capetonian's blog