Turok I., Visagie J., Scheba A. (2021) Social Inequality and Spatial Segregation in Cape Town. In: van Ham M., Tammaru T., Ubarevičienė R., Janssen H. (eds) Urban Socio-Economic Segregation and Income Inequality. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64569-4_4


Cape Town is widely considered to be South Africa’s most segregated city. The chapter outlines the history of social stratification and spatial segregation, including the coercion of colonial and apartheid governments to divide the population by race. Since 1994, the democratic government has lacked the same resolve and capacity to reverse this legacy and integrate the city.

The chapter also analyses the changing socio-economic and residential patterns between 2001 and 2011 in more detail. It shows that the extent of segregation diminished between 2001 and 2011, contrary to expectations. It appears that affluent neighbourhoods became slightly more mixed and people in high-status occupations spread into surrounding areas. Some low-income neighbourhoods also became slightly more mixed by accommodating middle class residents.

Further research is required to verify and explain these findings.