Nyanga, Cape Town

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Nyanga is located in South Africa
 Nyanga shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 33°59′S 18°35′E / 33.983°S 18.583°E / -33.983; 18.583Coordinates: 33°59′S 18°35′E / 33.983°S 18.583°E / -33.983; 18.583
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Established 1955
 • Total 3.09 km2 (1.19 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 57,996
 • Density 19,000/km2 (49,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 98.8%
 • Coloured 0.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.1%
 • White 0.2%
 • Other 0.7%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Xhosa 90.2%
 • English 3.0%
 • Sotho 1.6%
 • Other 5.1%
Postal code (street) 7755
PO box 7750

Nyanga is a township in Cape Town, South Africa. Its name in Xhosa means ‘moon’ and it is one of the oldest black townships in Cape Town. It was established as a result of the migrant labor system. In the early fifties black migrants were forced to settle in Nyanga as Langa became too small. Nyanga is one of the poorest and most dangerous parts of Cape Town. In 2001 its unemployment was estimated at around 56% [2] and HIV/AIDS is a hughjge community issue. The township is known as the "murder capital" of South Africa.[3]

Nyanga is situated 26 kilometres from Cape Town along N2 highway, close to the Cape Town International Airport and next to the townships of Gugulethu and Crossroads.


Top: Zolani Recreational Centre. Middle: Nyanga taxi rank. Bottom left: Nyanga Community Health Centre Bottom right: government built RDP houses that are common in the area.

Residents of Nyanga were active in joining a national call to protest against the apartheid laws passed in 1960. Later they were active in the 1976 student uprisings against the use of Afrikaans as first language in schools. Nyanga became notorious for its black on black faction fighting that was allegedly perpetrated by police in the early eighties. The local authorities (izibonda) grouped themselves according to their background and used that as their criteria when allocating land.

These cultural differences were allegedly used by the police to stir up violence, and elements of the community were infiltrated by the apartheid regime. This led to emergence of the notoriously violent group called "the witdoeke" (the white scarfs). As a result of these fights Tambo square was formed.[clarification needed][4]

Nyanga is made up by nine townships (Lusaka, KTC, Old Location, Maumau, Zwelitsha, Maholweni "Hostels", Black City, White City, Barcelona, Kanana and Europe).

Nyanga is one of the world's most dangerous areas, and had the highest number of murders (262) in South Africa during 2012. [5]