Langa, Cape Town

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Langa Township
Langa Township
Langa is located in South Africa
 Langa shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 33°56′S 18°31′E / 33.933°S 18.517°E / -33.933; 18.517Coordinates: 33°56′S 18°31′E / 33.933°S 18.517°E / -33.933; 18.517
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Established 1927
 • Councillor Theodora Mthiya (Ward 51) (ANC)
Xolile Gophe (Ward 52) (Independent)
Brian Watkyns (Ward 53) (DA)
 • Total 3.09 km2 (1.19 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 52,401
 • Density 17,000/km2 (44,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 99.1%
 • Coloured 0.4%
 • Indian/Asian 0.1%
 • White 0.1%
 • Other 0.4%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Xhosa 92.0%
 • English 2.5%
 • Other 5.5%
Postal code (street) 7455
PO box 7456

Langa is a suburb found in Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in 1927 interms of the 1923 Urban Areas Act. Similar to Nyanga, Langa is one of the many areas in South Africa that were designated for Black Africans before the apartheid era. It is the oldest of such suburbs in Cape Town and was the location of much resistance to apartheid. Langa is also where several people were killed on 21 March 1960 same day as the Sharpeville massacre, during the anti-pass campaign. In 21 March 2010, now 50 years later, a monument was unveiled by the government in remembrance of the people who lost their lives.

Although Langa literally means 'sun' in Xhosa, the name of the township is derived from the name of Langalibalele - a chief and renowned rainmaker who in 1873 was imprisoned on Robben Island for rebelling against the Natal government. Various prominent people fought for his release and he was subsequently confined to a farm called "Uitvlugt", which is on the site of present day Pinelands. Langa, which adjoins Pinelands, commemorates this folk hero as it was developed in 1898 on the land known as "Langalibalele's Location". Hence Langa is often called "Kwa-Langa" meaning 'place of Langa'.

Langa is bordered by Jan Smuts Drive to the west, the N2 to the south, the N7 to the east and is served by Langa Railway Station.

In 2005 Gugas'Thebe, a cultural/ multi-purpose centre was officially opened in Langa after being in operation for a number of years (unofficially). The first Township B&B by the name of Ma Neo (mother of Neo) was opened in 1999.

Joe Slovo which was established in 1990 is the largest informal settlement in Langa and one of the largest in the country. It is currently being threatened with forced removal to make way for the N2 Gateway Housing Project. Some parts of the Joe Slovo informal settlement has since been removed, and transformed into the N2 Gateway Housing Project (2006), as seen when travelling along the Settler's Way N2 Highway out of Cape Town.

Langa has over the years produced some prominent figures in sport, entertainment and other social fields. These famous people in recent times include the late musician Brenda Fassie, international acclaimed marimba group Amampondo, former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Thabo Mngomeni, boxer Nika Khumalo, South African wicket-keeper Thami Tsolekile and many others. Even decades ago some well known public figures emerged from Langa.

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  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Langa". Census 2011.