According to a former resident, Mitchells Plain is a sizable, vast township for people of colour that was constructed to house people of the middle class when it was first developed roughly 30 years ago. Parts of it swiftly degenerated into little more than “urban ghettoes”—the term so frequently used to describe these prefabricated slums built by former apartheid regimes to segregate white inhabitants from people of other races.
Mitchells Plain is located at the terminus of a brand-new railway line just west of Langa, some 20 kilometres from Cape Town. Mitchells Plain, known for its youth’s tik addiction and gangsterism, is one of fifteen locations given high priority for action against crime and drug misuse. Although violent gangs are a way of life, Mitchell’s Plain is nothing like the informal settlements that line the N2, where many families moved when District Six was levelled.
The previous administration enjoyed promoting Mitchells Plain to tourists from abroad because the tidy rows of homes run for kilometres between large thoroughfares and, while being drab, are considered “middle-class” by black standards. According to a recent FNB Bank poll, there are now eight potential purchasers for every home listed for sale in Mitchell’s Plain. Despite the Cape Flats’ appearance of gloom, space is valuable!
Today, Mitchells Plain is home to about a million people from various socioeconomic classes. The western half, made up of Westridge, Rocklands, and Portlands, is wealthier than the eastern half, made up of Tafelsig, Beacon Valley, and Eastridge.