2018: 4,232,276 (City of Cape Town 2017 Socio-economic Profile, 2018, p. iii)
2050: Cape Town Mega-City Region will be projected to have “more than 6 million” according to ‘A 2050-National Spatial Development Vision’ (Draft National Spatial Development Framework, 2018, p. 58).
Overview of the City
Cape Town is an iconic South African city renowned for its beauty, yet it is a city characterized by pockets of great prosperity and disparity legacy of its 400-year colonial and apartheid rule. Noted for having one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world, apartheid spatial planning persists so that people still largely reside in areas along racial lines, perpetuating social and economic inequity. Cape Town is the legislative capital of the country with a large business and financial service sector, and the country’s second largest port. “Between 1996 and 2016, Cape Town’s population grew by 60% from 2.5 million to 4.0 million” (Turok and Scheba, 2018, p. 10). Much of the growth has been absorbed in informal settlements. It is anticipated that population growth will continue to be concentrated among people with low income levels (Department of Spatial Planning and Urban Design, 2016, p. 7).