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Title: Manenberg  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Constantia, Cape Town, SHAWCO, Cape Town, City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, Patriotic Alliance (South Africa)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Manenberg is located in South Africa
 Manenberg shown within South Africa
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Main Place Athlone
 • Total 3.35 km2 (1.29 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 52,877
 • Density 16,000/km2 (41,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 11.7%
 • Coloured 84.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.5%
 • White 0.1%
 • Other 3.4%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 71.8%
 • English 17.8%
 • Xhosa 6.8%
 • Other 3.6%
Postal code (street) 7767
PO box 7764
Area code 021

Manenberg is a township of Cape Town, South Africa, that was created by the apartheid government for low-income Coloured families in the Cape Flats. It has an estimated population of 70,000 residents. The area consists of rows of semi-detached houses and project-like flats and was established by the municipal council between 1966 and 1970.

In 1975 the area consisted of about seven corner shops and two liquor outlets. There were no adequate commercial facilities or community services. A railway line from the black township of Gugulethu divides Manenberg. Nyanga Railway Station was established to service the growing population of Gugulethu and Manenberg. The outer boundaries can be traced by following Duinefontein Road which runs, for the most part, parallel to the railway line, to where it meets Lansdowne Road to the south and Klipfontein Road to the north.

The streets of Manenberg were named after rivers. The flats or "courts" were given female names such as Nellie or Mathilda Court, with the exception of the old Alpha and Omega Court, both situated at the entry point to Manenberg. The major road inside Manenberg was called Manenberg Avenue and is still a vibrant avenue filled with cars, minibus taxis and buses.

The area has become overcrowded and living conditions problematic with a high incidence of crime, gangsterism and social disturbance emerging. Manenberg was featured in the National Geographic television series Taboo: Blood Bonds for its street gangs, particularly "The Americans", "Hard Living" and "Clever Kids."

Graffiti exhibits portraying gangster life are prominent in Manenberg. Tupac Shakur features strongly in exhibits of the Hard Livings gang due to his rap lyrics detailing life in poverty.

The feature documentary Manenberg[2] (2010) by directors/anthropologists Karen Waltorp & Christian Vium (Denmark)[3] gives an intimate portrait of Fazline and Warren, two young people from Manenberg, who are coming-of-age under difficult circumstances. The film raises familiar questions about poverty and power, through the voices and experiences of two young people born into an uncompromising world. One of the most piercing questions of the film is about the power of place in determining oneʼs future. The documentary is based on Karen Waltorp's fieldwork in Manenberg from 2005 to 2009. Manenberg has been awarded a number of prizes, among which are The Basil Wright Film Prize by The Royal Anthropological Institute in 2011, Best Film in the New Nordic Voices Competition of Nordisk Panorama 2011, as well as Best Film at Auburn International Film Festival 2011.

The famous and well respected jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has a composition named "Mannenberg" after the township.


  1. ^ a b c d "Sub Place Manenberg". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ .Manenberg
  3. ^ Karen Waltorp & Christian Vium website.

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