Coordinates: 33°52′00″S 18°41′00″E / 33.86667°S 18.68333°E / -33.86667; 18.68333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brackenfell Central Business District with its main road, Old Paarl Road
Brackenfell Central Business District with its main road, Old Paarl Road
Brackenfell is located in Western Cape
Brackenfell is located in South Africa
Brackenfell is located in Africa
Coordinates: 33°52′00″S 18°41′00″E / 33.86667°S 18.68333°E / -33.86667; 18.68333
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
MunicipalityCity of Cape Town
 • Total25.27 km2 (9.76 sq mi)
 • Total44,842
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African9.8%
 • Coloured9.0%
 • Indian/Asian0.8%
 • White79.0%
 • Other1.4%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans71.1%
 • English20.8%
 • Xhosa3.4%
 • Other4.7%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
7560, 7561, 7562
PO box
Area code021

Brackenfell is a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa and a northern suburb of Cape Town, situated about 30 km (17 mi) north-east of the city.

Regarded as the gateway to the Cape Winelands, Brackenfell is situated approximately 22 km (14 mi) north-west of Stellenbosch and 35 km (22 mi) south-west of Paarl and lies at the start of the Bottelary Hills Wine Route which follows the scenic and winding Bottelary Road towards Stellenbosch.[2][3]


The earliest activity on what today is known as Brackenfell was when the "de Clapmuts" was a refreshment post. Brackenfell specifically form part of Klapmutsberg, better known as de Bottelarij. In 1712 the area known as "Kruispad" was transferred to Selie, J. Kruispad was owned by Brink, A. and in 1901 he sold it to a Scottish Immigrant Walton, G.H. The flora on this farm reminded him of the same in Scotland. He called it Brackenfell (Bracken means fern; Fell means hill). The richness of granite in the area let to the farm being sold to a Brick company in 1903 and a granite quarry was established. Activity here stopped in 1948. In 1904 a railway station was established.[4][5][6]

Brackenfell used to be a rural area centred on a major road crossing during the earlier days of Cape Town, but today it is a well-known suburb located behind the 'boerewors gordyn' which translates to sausage curtain, meaning; people living in this area, braai (barbecue) boerewors very often. "Gordyn" curtain is just by figure of speech. It's all said tongue-in-the-cheek.

In 1976, a large investment was made by retail giant, PicknPay when it opened a Hypermarket opened in Brackenfell which still stands till today. At the time, the Hypermarket was regarded as an ultra-modern decentralised shopping centre which had a crucial role in the development of then small town of Brackenfell, lying just outside Cape Town.[7]

In 1996, Brackenfell lost its municipal status and was dissolved into the Oostenberg Municipality along with Kraaifontein, Kuilsrivier and Blue Downs/Eersterivier as part of the transition in local government. As of 2000, Brackenfell was integrated into the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, or the Greater Cape Town area and is effectively a suburb of the City of Cape Town.

Due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape, the Western Cape Health Department constructed a field hospital in the Brackengate industrial area. It opened on 20 July 2020 with 10 patients. The field hospital has capacity 300 beds for COVID-19 patients from hospitals struggling with capacity.[8][9][10]

The field hospital became the central COVID-19 dedicated hospital for the Western Cape in September as the Cape Town International Convention Centre's field hospital which was the central COVID-19 dedicated hospital was decommissioned in September due to declining COVID-19 cases in the City of Cape Town.[11][12]


Brackenfell is situated on the eastern boundary of the City of Cape Town adjacent to the Stellenbosch Local Municipality and is neighboured by Bellville to the west, Kraaifontein to the east, Durbanville to the north and Kuilsrivier to the south. It is flanked by the Bottelary Hills to the south-east, with Kanonkop (“Cannon Hill”) being the highest point in Brackenfell at 177 m (580 ft).[13]


Brackenfell is mainly divided into three main suburban clusters, namely Brackenfell Central, Brackenfell North and Brackenfell South.[14]

Brackenfell Central[edit]

  • Arauna (residential)
  • Brackenfell Industria (industrial)
  • Eden Park (residential)
  • Ferndale (residential)
  • Hoogstede (residential)
  • Morgenster (residential)
  • Morgenster Heights (residential)
  • Okavango Park (industrial)
  • Springbokpark (residential)
  • St Michaels (residential)

Brackenfell North[edit]

  • Brackenfell North (agricultural holdings)
  • Cape Gate (retail)
  • Chamonix (residential)
  • De Tuin (residential)
  • Kleinbron Estate (residential)
  • Kleinbron Park (residential)
  • Marlborough Park (residential)
  • Vredekloof (residential)
  • Vredekloof Glen (residential)
  • Vredekloof Heights (residential)
  • Vredekloof Rand (residential)
  • Welgeleë (residential)

Brackenfell South[edit]

  • Birrgundy (residential)
  • Brackenfell South (residential)
  • De Oude Spruit (residential)
  • Kaapsig (residential)
  • Klaradyn Retirement Village (residential)
  • Protea Heights (residential)
  • Protea Village (residential)
  • Ruwari (residential)
  • Sonkring (residential)


  • Bastion Primary School
  • Brackenfell High School
  • Brackenfell Primary School
  • Brooklands Primary School
  • Bubbalu Day Care Centre (independent nursery school)
  • Curro Brackenfell (private primary school)
  • Curro Castle (private nursery / pre-primary school)
  • Destinatus Private School
  • Northpine Primary School
  • Northpine Technical High School
  • Southpine Primary School
  • Southpine Technical High School
  • Eastpine Primary School
  • Eastpine Technical High School
  • Westpine Primary School
  • Westpine Technical High School
  • Paarl School
  • Protea Heights Academy (high school)
  • Vredekloof Primary School


Rapid growth[edit]

Brackenfell has come a long way from being a small town between Cape Town and Paarl, with smallholdings and large open spaces. Having experienced growth since 1994, like the rest of urban South Africa, many businesses have relocated and set up here and gated communities have expanded the town’s borders to the north and south. Older residences along Brackenfell Boulevard have also been refurbished into service-related businesses such as dentists, lawyers and real estate agents.

Brackenfell has now developed into a sought-after area to live in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and is made up of mainly middle-class residential areas. Its proximity to Cape Town, Bellville and the Boland towns of Paarl and Stellenbosch make it an extremely popular area to live and commute from.

Major companies[edit]

A number of major retail and food corporations in South Africa have their headquarters in Brackenfell, most notably Shoprite-Checkers which is Africa’s largest supermarket retail chain. Food Lover's Market, OK Foods (a subsidiary of Shoprite-Checkers) and Montagu Snacks also have their head offices in the town.[15][16]


Brackenfell is a fast-growing industrial centre in the Greater Cape Town metropolitan area with most of its industrial areas mainly occupied by light industries such as logistics and warehousing. The established industrial areas of Brackenfell Industria and Okavango Park are located in the east of Brackenfell, while the newer industrial area of Brackengate (Morgan Industrial) is located in the west of Brackenfell.


One of the largest shopping malls in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, Cape Gate Regional Shopping Centre is located in the Cape Gate precinct of the town, which also comprises the Cape Gate Lifestyle Centre. The Cape Gate precinct has seen major expansion with two shopping centres, a private hospital (Mediclinic Cape Gate), drive-thru restaurants, car dealerships and two large warehouse clubs (Makro and Builders Warehouse).[17][18]

Old Paarl Road is the main street of the Brackenfell CBD, retaining its status as the traditional centre of commerce in the town, even despite the development of Cape Gate, and is lined with approximately a kilometre of local shops, drive-thru restaurants, petrol stations and shopping centres such as Brackenfell Shopping Centre, Brackenfell Centre and Fairbridge Mall. Also found in the Brackenfell area is Brackenfell Corner (just north of the CBD), Glengarry Village in Vredekloof and Boulevard Square in Protea Heights.[19][20][21]



Brackenfell Railway Station

Brackenfell is served by the Brackenfell Railway Station situated on the main commuter line between Cape Town and Wellington (Northern Line) and is operated by Metrorail with the Northern Line trains serving Cape Town, Goodwood, Parow, Bellville, Kraaifontein, Paarl and Wellington.


Brackenfell is served by two freeways. The N1 passes through the northern part of Brackenfell, connecting it with Cape Town to the south-west and Paarl to the north-east, while the R300 (by-passes to the west) which starts at the N1 Stellenberg Interchange connects Brackenfell with Mitchells Plain to the south as Kuils River Freeway. The older section of the N1, now renumbered as the R101 (passes through the town centre) connects Brackenfell with Bellville to the west and Kraaifontein to the east as Old Paarl Road, running somewhat parallel to the N1.

Brackenfell is also served by many metropolitan routes including: The M23 (Bottelary Road) to Bellville and Stellenbosch (by-passes to the south), the M25 (Frans Conradie Drive) to Bellville and Kraaifontein, the M73 (De Bron Road) to Durbanville and Kraaifontein, the M100 (Brackenfell Boulevard) to Durbanville and Kuilsrivier and the M137 (Okavango Road) to Durbanville and Kraaifontein.


The Bracken Nature Reserve, situated in the Ruwari suburban area, was once a quarry site and was later declared a nature reserve after some negotiations between the Cape Town City Council and the Stellenbosch Divisional Council.

Coat of arms[edit]

Brackenfell was a municipality from 1970 to 1996. In November 1971, the council registered a coat of arms at the Bureau of Heraldry.[22]

The arms, designed by Cornelis Pama, were Per chevron embowed Or and Vert, three shot balls counterchanged, i.e. a shield divided by a curved chevron-shaped line into gold and green, with two green balls at the top and a golden ball at the bottom. The crest was three ferns with the motto Tenax in fide.


  • Currently, Brackenfell (together with Kuilsrivier) uses the prefix "CFR-" in their registered motor vehicles (since approximately 2000 the prefix "CF-" which had formerly been allocated to Grahamstown has also been allocated to these suburbs).
  • Kanonkop (directly translated to cannon head) Brackenfell's highest point in Ruwari, was used as a signal point with its signal cannons in the 1700s. Cannons can be seen at Brackenfell High School and Bastion Primary School.
  • In Vredekloof Street in Vredekloof (a residential area of Brackenfell) the bird, the Cape Robin nest and is commonly known as Jan Frederik.
  • The popular cooking and grill sauce Jimmy's Sauces CC is produced in Brackenfell and is sold not only in South Africa but also all over the world.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Brackenfell". Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Destination Wine Farm Stellenbosch". Hazendal Wine Estate. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Brackenfell". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  5. ^ Raper, R.E. "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  6. ^ Rossouw, E. "Brackenfell Geskiedenis van dorp en sy plase (Translated: Brackenfell, History of town and it farms)". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Brackenfell Area Profile". Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  8. ^ Malgas, Bertram. "WATCH | Another Cape Town field hospital near completion as it prepares for Covid-19 patients". News24. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Western Cape hospitals buckling under pressure of rising staff shortages". Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  10. ^ Williams, Murray. "Emergency Covid-19 hospital accepts first 10 patients in Cape Town's e-commerce district". News24. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  11. ^ "CTICC Field Hospital to be decommissioned in September". Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Cape Town's CTICC Covid-19 hospital to be closed by mid-September". Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Brackenfell topographic map, elevation, terrain". Topographic maps. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  14. ^ "Census 2011: Main Place: Brackenfell". Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Contact". Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Contact Us". Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  17. ^ "Capegate Shopping Centre". Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  18. ^ "ABOUT". Cape Gate Lifestyle Precinct. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Glengarry Shopping Centre | Vredekloof | Convenient & Friendly Shopping". Glengarry Shopping Centre. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  20. ^ "Brackenfell Hyper | Shopping Centre - Convenience Made Easy". Brackenfell Centre. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Store Directory – Brackenfell Shopping Centre". Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  22. ^[permanent dead link]