Langa, Cape Flats

Set just 15 to 20 kilometres from the centre of Cape Town and accessible where the N2 joins Bunga Avenue, Langa, the birth and resting place of Brenda Fassie - outrageous superstar and queen of pop - is one of the oldest townships in Cape Town.

An area made up of infamous singles quarters, hostels of migrant workers of the apartheid era, a squatter camp, a vast taxi rank, a community centre, and settlers - the Beverly Hills of Langa - Langa is high on the list of ‘to do’s’ when visiting Cape Town and over twenty five percent of tourists take a township tour in an endeavour to ascertain the extent to which the squalor and deprivation of the previously disadvantaged have improved.

Langa, the sun, was created in 1901 in the wake of the Bubonic Plague where over 500 Africans, identified as a ‘health hazard’, were resettled in Langa, which became the first black township in the Cape. It was to make history in 1960 when over 50 000 people burnt their pass books in defiance of the pass laws, and again in 1976 when students protested against using Afrikaans as a compulsory first Language in all schools.

Today the township of Langa may still be divided along the colour line, but it is a vibrant and lively experience. Coloured and Indian people live in Phillipi, Brown’s Farm and Rylands respectively, and whilst there are modern schools, clinics, electricity, running water, sport facilities, the Tsoga Environmental Resource and liveable homes - an improvement on the former hostels - crime is still a very real threat.

You can eat at Eziko (cooking place) Catering just across from the Tsoga Environmental centre in Washington Street, which offers both African and Western food and the Lilape Restaurant on Harlem Street; and there are arts and crafts centres offering bags made from recycled materials, pottery and beadwork.

Travellers' Reviews

1 Review from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

Langa is a great community full of inspirational entrepreneurs! Everything they do helps their community and they fully support one another. Everyone we met in the township was very friendly and enjoyed telling their personal stories. I did a tour with Ubizo Tours and finished the tour at Mzansi Restaurant. Had a great experience with both! The restaurant made accommodations for our group members that were vegetarian and it was very affordable! During our meal, there was a live band playing and at the end our group learned how to play the instruments and danced with them. Overall it was a great experience and will be going back soon!

Trisha Drennan (Dallas, TX)

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