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Cape Town, Western Cape

In 1579 the British navigator Sir Francis Drake, sailing around the tip of Africa, described the peninsula he saw as, “... the fairest cape and the most stately thing we saw in the whole circumference of the globe”. Ever since, Capetonians – residents of Cape Town – speak of their city affectionately as “the fairest Cape in all the world”.

 

 

This fair Cape was first mentioned in writing in 1486 when the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz sailed past. But it was not until 1652 that the indigenous people of what is today South Africa had contact with Europeans. That year Dutchman Jan van Riebeeck, an employee of the Dutch East India Company, landed at the Cape and founded a settlement where the company’s sailing vessels could take on fresh provisions. Jan van Riebeeck’s settlement led to the colonisation of the region, first by the Dutch and then by the British.

 Today, over 3.5 million people live in Cape Town and its suburbs. 42% of them speak Afrikaans and 77% are Protestant Christian. The next largest religious group is Muslim (9.7 percent). 

 

The Western Cape Province
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Western Cape Province - Credit: geoftheref