Kenilworth, Cape Town

Coordinates: 33°59′45″S 18°28′30″E / 33.99583°S 18.47500°E / -33.99583; 18.47500
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Top left: A view down the section of Main Road that runs through Kenilworth. Top right: Saint James Church. Centre left & right: Images from the J&B Met. Bottom: Kenilworth Station
Top left: A view down the section of Main Road that runs through Kenilworth. Top right: Saint James Church. Centre left & right: Images from the J&B Met. Bottom: Kenilworth Station
Street map of Kenilworth
Street map of Kenilworth
Kenilworth is located in Western Cape
Kenilworth is located in South Africa
Kenilworth is located in Africa
Coordinates: 33°59′45″S 18°28′30″E / 33.99583°S 18.47500°E / -33.99583; 18.47500
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
MunicipalityCity of Cape Town
Main PlaceCape Town
 • CouncillorMatthew Kempthorne (Ward 58) (DA)
Ian Iversen (Ward 59) (DA)
 • Total3.46 km2 (1.34 sq mi)
 • Total10,872
 • Density3,100/km2 (8,100/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African21.4%
 • Coloured16.3%
 • Indian/Asian4.9%
 • White54.0%
 • Other3.4%
First languages (2011)
 • English78.8%
 • Afrikaans7.8%
 • Xhosa4.3%
 • Other9.1%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box

Kenilworth is a suburb in Cape Town, South Africa.


Kenilworth is bordered by Wynberg to the south and Claremont to the north. Kenilworth railway station is on the main line from Cape Town to Simon's Town. Main Road (which runs from Central Cape Town through to Simon's Town) runs through Kenilworth, and the suburb can also be accessed from the M5 freeway.


As of the census[3] of 2001, there were 4,850 households and 10,304 people residing in the suburb. The racial makeup of the suburb was 12.50% Black African, 16.14% Coloured, 3.73% Indian/Asian, 67.63% White and 0% from other races.

In the suburb the population was spread out, with 18% under the age of 18, 35.95% from 18 to 34, 24.13% from 35 to 54, 8.65% from 55 to 64, and 12.95% 65 or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 77.44 males.

81.22% of the population speak English, 7.20% speak Afrikaans, 6.49% speak Xhosa, 2.53% speak another African language and 2.55% some other language as a first language.[3]


Prior to the establishment of the suburb due to urban expansion from Cape Town in the 1800s the area was part of the Stellenberg farm. The farm was originally established by former Cape governor Simon van der Stel and given to his son Frans van der Stel.

During his term as Governor of the Cape Colony from 1814 to 1824 Lord Charles Somerset lived on a farm in the upper part of Kenilworth.[4] Following the establishment of the racecourse in 1882 and the construction of train station Kenilworth became more sought after and a number of mansions were built in the area to the west of the racecourse. During the second Anglo-Boer War the racecourse was temporarily used to house Boer prisoners of war.

The historically better developed neighbourhoods of Claremont to the north and Wynberg to the south and their respective commercial hubs along Main Road have always played an important role in Kenilworth's history and economy.

Saint James Church massacre[edit]

On 25 July 1993 four members of Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) attacked Saint James Church in Kenilworth; 11 members of the congregation were killed and 58 wounded. The attack took place at a turbulent time in South African history, during the country's transition from apartheid to its first truly democratic elections in 1994.

Kenilworth racecourse[edit]

An attraction which draws visitors to Kenilworth is the Kenilworth Racecourse. The oldest race course in the country established in 1882,[5] it is home to the Sun Met (previously the J&B Met until 2016) held in late January each year, which draws more than 50,000 spectators. The race has been won by horses who have gone on to international success, including Horse Chestnut and Wolf Power.[6][7] The Queens Plate, a similar event but smaller and more exclusive than the Sun Met, is held every year around two to three weeks before the Met. Numerous other Grade 1 horse races are held at Kenilworth throughout the year.

The 52 hectare Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area established in 1985 at the centre of the race track is an important conservation area and seasonal wetland. Hosting many indigenous species of Cape sand fynbos fauna and flora.[8]


The Kenilworth Racecourse is a large part of the economy of the suburb, not only drawing in large crowds during the Sun Met and smaller crowds during the more common races but it is also the site of a commercial park that hosts numerous businesses including the headquarters of Pick 'n Pay Stores Limited. Access Park, a large factory outlet shopping complex, is also located in the suburb. The shopping area along Main Road is known as a commercial centre for the purchase and repair of bicycles. Health care also has a large presence in the area with a number of private medical practices and drug rehabilitation centers.[9]

Since the 1990s the neighbourhood has become known as a centre for street prostitution in Cape Town particularly along Main Road, Kenilworth Road[10] and Harfield Road.[11]

As of 2022 the area has a wide range of restaurants and drinking establishments located along Main Road and 2nd Avenue many of which merge into nearby Harfield Village.[12]


Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sub Place Kenilworth". Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Cape Postal Codes of South Africa". Post. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Kenilworth". Census 2001. City of Cape Town. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Home of Lord Charles Somerset Kenilworth Upper | The Heritage Portal". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ "History | KRCA". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. ^ "The J&B Met". Archived from the original on 8 September 2011.
  7. ^ "It Is No Longer The J&B Met". Sporting Post. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. ^ kim (28 February 2018). "Kenilworth". South African History Online. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  9. ^ Pampalone, Tanya. "Cape Town's rehabs for the rich and infamous". The M&G Online. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  10. ^ News, Eyewitness. "Harfield residents call for action against increase of prostitution". Retrieved 29 November 2018. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  11. ^ "Sex trade boom in Kenilworth - Southern Suburbs Tatler". Southern Suburbs Tatler. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  12. ^ "The ultimate guide to spending a day in Kenilworth/Harfield". Retrieved 21 May 2022.

External links[edit]