City Futures Cape Town


South Africa’s townships are shaping the country’s future, asking the question: What changes if we see townships as the centre and not the periphery?

Duration: 4 hours (approx)
Mornings 09h00 – 13h00, Afternoons 14h00 – 18h00
(available privately on any day)


  • Experience a unified Cape Town city
  • Learn about township context and future potential
  • Visit two central business districts shaping the future
  • Meet visionary locals


  • Local tasters
  • Mineral water
  • All entrance fees
  • Hotel drop off is staying centrally


  • Discretionary tips
  • Hotel collections




You will hear a lot of things said about the Cape Flats and the Townships.

“The other side of town”
“The danger zone”
“Are you crazy, don’t go there!”

These are just some of the mild things said.

Consider the facts:

Of Cape Town’s population, the majority of us live in townships. Which means that the largest distribution of the city’s spend comes from the townships.

Of families living in houses, the majority are owned by the residents. Which means that there is very, very little home loan debt, if any. Compare that with suburban areas, where the majority of residents are NOT homeowners, and where the majority of people have major debt.

Consider that Khayelitsha is the fastest growing suburb in the country, with a large middle class.

And finally – at least for the purposes of this write-up – consider that the future of Cape Town lies in the townships. That as the city grows and expands, it is expanding into the townships. That the South African Treasury has earmarked some 300 billion rands to invest in developing economic nodes in townships across South Africa. National government, even if it doesn’t shout it out loud, believes that the economic future of the country is in its townships.

So what does the future hold?

On this four hour excursion we take the visitor into the new central business districts of the city, including Langa and Khayelitsha, two of the most crucial parts of the townships, and therefore of the city. We visit some sites and projects of transformation, and meeting some of the people that are making this change. We look at how the city and its townships were formed, and how the townships are being shaped into the future. It looks at models for economic and social integration. It looks at ways that townships might connect to each other and to the city as a whole. In between these lines, it touches on food and stories and life.

Guests have the opportunity to walk. To meet people. To sample township snacks. And to see examples of the future.

A typical itinerary could look like this:

  • 09h00 Guests meet at Coffeebeans Routes HQ and enjoy a welcome drink
  • 09h15 Tour departs
  • 09h35 A walking tour of the Langa Quarter, geographically the centre the Cape Town Metropole, and the oldest township in the city
  • 11h00 A tour on foot through the central business district of Khayelitsha, enjoying a coffee from the Department of Coffee, learning about how the new economy is being shaped by the collision of the informal formal economies. Sample some local snacks
  • 11h45 Meet entrepreneur Brenda Skelenge at her Cafe Isivivana in the centre of Khayelitsha
  • 12h30 Return to the city
  • 13h00 Drop off at starting point and / or accommodation