This photo shows what Cape Town looks like today versus 1970

The City of Cape Town has the oldest municipal structure in the country, going back to its first Council meeting held on 8 April 1652 – on a sailing ship anchored in Table Bay.

The Mother City is South Africa’s oldest city, with an area of 2,461 km2. It is the legislative capital of South Africa, the administrative and economic centre of the Western Cape Province.

Hobbyist photographer Etienne du Plessis has built an expansive online gallery of sights from the city – as they were in the early 1940s up to 1970.

According to Du Plessis, the photographs – hundreds of which can be found on his Flickr gallery – capture the city in a different time, and include possibly some of the oldest known colour images of the city.

One aerial photo shows just how much the City of Cape Town has grown since the 1970s.

CapeTown1970Pic by Etienne du Plessis

In the 2011 census, StatsSA put Cape Town’s population at 3,740,026, which Brookings Institute estimated in 2015 at 4,178,700.

In 1970, the city’s population was recorded at 1,114,000, and five years later it was put at  1,339,000.

The most prominent addition to the landscape is the Cape Town Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.



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This photo shows what Cape Town looks like today versus 1970