Urbani izziv Volume 24, No. 2, December 2013
University of Johannesburg, Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa
A community in trouble? : The impact of gentrification on the Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
The Bo-Kaap is an older inner-city, working-class neighbourhood in Cape Town, South Africa. By the 1930s, the area had degenerated into an overcrowded and run-down neighbourhood, consisting largely of dilapidated houses, but by 1941 about 150 housing units had been expropriated by the local authority for redevelopment in a comprehensive renewal scheme for the area. However, the process was halted with the formation of the so-called “Group for the Preservation of the Malay Quarter”, which fought against the demolition of the houses. At present, the area with its colourful housing units and 11 mosques is part of Cape Town’s cultural heritage and a very important tourist attraction. As in the case of De Waterkant, a gentrified neighbourhood adjacent to it, the area has seen a large number of housing units renovated and upgraded. Property prices have increased dramatically, although they are still relatively low, while the number of properties sold is also on the rise – so much so that the community leaders and especially the Muslim residents are in a constant battle to preserve the neighbourhood’s cultural identity.
gentrification, identity, Cape Town, property prices, conservation, community