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City of Cape Town

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City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town
Stad Kaapstad
IsiXeko saseKapa
Metropolitan municipality
Official seal of City of Cape Town
The City of Cape Town is located in the south-western corner of the Western Cape province.
Location in the Western Cape
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Seat Cape Town
Wards 111
 • Type Municipal council
 • Mayor Patricia de Lille (DA)
 • Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson
 • Total 2,445 km2 (944 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 3,740,026
 • Density 1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 38.6%
 • Coloured 42.4%
 • Indian/Asian 1.4%
 • White 15.7%
First languages (2011)[3]
 • Afrikaans 35.7%
 • Xhosa 29.8%
 • English 28.4%
 • Other 6.1%
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Municipal code CPT

The City of Cape Town (Afrikaans: Stad Kaapstad; Xhosa: IsiXeko saseKapa) is the metropolitan municipality which governs the city of Cape Town, South Africa and its suburbs and exurbs. As the 2011 census, it had a population of 3,740,026.

The remote Prince Edward Islands are deemed to be part of the City of Cape Town, specifically of ward 55.


Cape Town first received local self-government in 1839, with the promulgation of a municipal ordinance by the government of the Cape Colony.[4] When it was created, the Cape Town municipality governed only the central part of the city known as the City Bowl, and as the city expanded, new suburbs became new municipalities, until by 1902 there were 10 separate municipalities in the Cape Peninsula.[5] During the 20th century, many of the suburban municipalities became unsustainable and merged into the Cape Town municipality or combined with other suburbs; but at the end of apartheid in 1994 the metropolitan area was still divided up into several separate municipalities.

As part of the post-1994 reforms, municipal government experienced a complete overhaul. In 1996 the Cape Town metropolitan area was divided into six municipalities – Cape Town/Central, Tygerberg, South Peninsula, Blaauwberg, Oostenberg and Helderberg – along with a Metropolitan Administration to oversee the whole metropolitan area. At the time of the 2000 municipal elections these various structures were merged to form the City of Cape Town as a single metropolitan municipality governing the whole metropolitan area. It is for this reason that the City of Cape Town is sometimes referred to as the "Unicity".

The current municipality covers Cape Point in the south-west, Somerset West in the south-east, and Atlantis in the north, and includes Robben Island.


Cape Town is governed by a 221-member city council, which chooses the executive mayor, who in turn chooses an 11-member Mayoral Committee. The city is divided into 111 wards; each ward directly elects one member of the council. The other 110 councillors are elected by a system of party-list proportional representation. The city manager is the non-political head of the city's administration.

After the creation of the "unicity" from the six previous municipalities, the city was divided into 16 subcouncils, later increased to the present 24. Subcouncils consist of geographically clustered wards with proportional councillors assigned to them and led by a subcouncil chairman who is elected by a majority vote of each subcouncil.

Executive incumbents

With the Democratic Alliance (DA) having won an absolute majority of council seats in the election of 18 May 2011, its mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille was formally elected mayor on 1 June.[6] Before the election, the executive mayor was Dan Plato of the DA. He was preceded by Helen Zille, now Premier of the Western Cape.[7] The current executive Deputy Mayor is Ian Neilson.

The current city manager is Achmat Ebrahim, who was appointed in April 2006.

The local municipality was one of the four to have passed the 2009-10 audit by the Auditor-General of South Africa, who deemed it to have a clean administration.[8]

Council seat breakdown

Seats in the city council after the 2011 election
The following table shows the distribution of seats in the council after the election of 18 May 2011:
 Seats in the Cape Town City Council after the election of 18 May 2011[9]
Party Ward PR top-up Total Percentage
Democratic Alliance 78 57 135 61.1%
African National Congress 33 40 73 33.0%
African Christian Democratic Party 0 3 3 1.4%
Congress of the People 0 3 3 1.4%
Africa Muslim Party 0 1 1 0.5%
Al Jama-ah 0 1 1 0.5%
Cape Muslim Congress 0 1 1 0.5%
National Party 0 1 1 0.5%
Pan Africanist Congress 0 1 1 0.5%
United Democratic Movement 0 1 1 0.5%
Freedom Front Plus 0 1 1 0.5%
Total 111 110 221 100.0%

In a by-election held on 19 September 2012, a ward previously held by an ANC councillor was won by the DA candidate, so that the DA now holds 136 seats and the ANC 72.[10]

Electoral history

Helen Zille, former mayor of the City of Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality in its present form took shape after the 2000 municipal elections. The old Cape Town council had been governed by the New National Party (NNP), but they were losing support to the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Party (DP). To strengthened the opposition vote, the DP and NNP agreed to contest the election together under the name Democratic Alliance (DA). The DA won Cape Town in the election with an outright majority, and Peter Marais of the NNP became mayor of the unicity.

DA leader Tony Leon's attempt to remove Marais from his position in 2001 caused the disintegration of the alliance, and NNP came to join forces with the ANC. Marais was replaced as mayor by Gerald Morkel, but Morkel was himself soon ousted in october 2002 after a large number of DA councilors had defected to the NNP after the local floor crossing period. Nomaindia Mfeketo of the ANC became mayor supported by an ANC-NNP coalition. In 2004, after a dismal showing in the general elections that year, the NNP prepared for dissolution and merger with the ANC, and most of its councilors joined the governing party. This gave the ANC an outright majority on the council.

This lasted until the 2006 local government election, in which the DA was the largest single party, ahead of the ANC, but with no party holding a majority. The new Independent Democrats (ID) led by Patricia de Lille was in third place.[11] Despite ID initially voting with the ANC, Helen Zille of the DA was elected executive mayor on 15 March 2006 by a very narrow margin and formed a DA-led coalition, also known as the Multi-Party Government with the support of six smaller parties who collectively became known as the Multi-Party Forum parties. Andrew Arnolds of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) was elected executive deputy mayor and Jacob "Dirk" Smit of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) was elected the speaker.

In January 2007 the DA-led coalition introduced the ID following the expulsion of the small Africa Muslim Party from the coalition when it supported a failed bid to oust Zille and the DA and form a coalition with the ANC. As a result of the ID's support, the DA-led coalition significantly increased its majority which resulted in a much more stable coalition. The DA would also bolster its position through by-election victories and floor crossing defections. After securing the backing of the ID the DA did not really need any other party, and several of the smaller coalition partners were dropped from the city government by 2009, including the ACDP and FF+. Helen Zille left the mayorship the same year to take up the position of premier of the Western Cape, and Dan Plato became mayor.

In 2010, the DA and ID formalized an agreement in which the ID would merge into the DA by 2014. This was prompted in part by the ID's disappointing result in the 2009 general election. As per the agreement, ID ceased to exist at the local level after the 2011 municipal elections with ID members running as DA candidates. DA won a large outright majority in the election, and ID leader Patricia de Lille, who had defeated Plato in an earlier internal election, became the new mayor.


The municipality has a total area of 2455 km².[12]

Main places

The 2001 census divided the municipality into the following main places:[13]
Place Code Population Most spoken language
Atlantis 17101 53,820 Afrikaans
Bellville 17102 89,732 Afrikaans
Blue Downs 17103 150,431 Afrikaans
Brackenfell 17104 78,005 Afrikaans
Briza 17105 1,959 English
Cape Town 17106 827,218 Afrikaans
Crossroads 17108 31,527 Xhosa
Du Noon 17109 9,045 Xhosa
Durbanville 17110 40,135 Afrikaans
Eerste River 17111 29,682 Afrikaans
Elsie's River 17112 86,685 Afrikaans
Excelsior 17113 189 Afrikaans
Fisantekraal 17114 4,646 Afrikaans
Fish Hoek 17115 15,851 English
Goodwood 17116 48,128 English
Gordons Bay 17117 2,751 Afrikaans
Guguletu 17118 80,277 Xhosa
Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve 17119 18 Xhosa
Hout Bay 17120 13,253 English
Imizamo Yethu 17121 8,063 Xhosa
Joe Slovo Park 17122 4,567 Xhosa
Khayelitsha 17123 329,002 Xhosa
Kraaifontein 17124 57,911 Afrikaans
Kuilsriver 17125 44,780 Afrikaans
Langa 17126 49,667 Xhosa
Lekkerwater 17127 1,410 Xhosa
Lwandle 17128 9,311 Xhosa
Mamre 17129 7,276 Afrikaans
Masiphumelele 17130 8,249 Xhosa
Melkbosstrand 17131 6,522 Afrikaans
Mfuleni 17132 22,883 Xhosa
Milnerton 17133 81,366 English
Mitchell's Plain 17134 398,650 Afrikaans
Nomzamo 17135 22,083 Xhosa
Noordhoek 17136 3,127 English
Nyanga 17137 58,723 Xhosa
Parow 17138 77,439 Afrikaans
Pella 17139 1,044 Afrikaans
Robben Island 17140 176 Afrikaans
Scarborough 17141 723 English
Simon's Town 17142 7,210 English
Sir Lowry's Pass Village 17143 5,766 Afrikaans
Somerset West 17144 60,606 Afrikaans
Strand 17145 46,446 Afrikaans
Witsand 17146 2,405 Xhosa
Remainder of the municipality 17107 14,498 Afrikaans

Adjacent municipalities

The City of Cape Town is also bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west.

See also


  1. ^ "Contact list: Executive Mayors". Government Communication & Information System. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Table: Census 2011 by district council, gender, age in 5 year groups and population group". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Table: Census 2011 by district council, gender, language and population group". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Worden, Nigel; van Heyningen, Elizabeth; Bickford-Smith, Vivian (1998). Cape Town: The Making of a City. Uitgeverij Verloren. pp. 171–177.  
  5. ^ Worden, Nigel; van Heyningen, Elizabeth; Bickford-Smith, Vivian (1998). Cape Town: The Making of a City. Uitgeverij Verloren. pp. 221–223.  
  6. ^ Adams, Nathan (1 June 2011). "De Lille receives Cape Town mayoral chain". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Phillip, Bulelani and Essop, Philda. "It's Mayor Zille for Cape Town".  
  8. ^ Auditor-General urges South Africa’s mayors to lead the drive towards clean administration by 2014
  9. ^ "Seat Calculation Detail: City of Cape Town". Independent Electoral Commission. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "DA takes another ward off ANC in Cape Town - Helen Zille". Politicsweb. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Seat Calculation Summary: City of Cape Town" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. 2006. Archived from the original on 18 March 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2006. 
  12. ^ "City of Cape Town". Municipal Demarcation Board. Retrieved 19 October 2009. 
  13. ^ Lookup Tables - Statistics South Africa

External links

  • City of Cape Town official website
  • City of Cape Town on the Western Cape Government website
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