Mitchell’s Plain Online
Welcome to mitchellsplainonline.com, the official website for Mitchell’s Plain.
Mitchell’s Plain is a vibrant, multi-cultured township and home to some of South Africa’s most talented artists, musicians and performers.
Here you will meet some of the extraordinary people and experience the sights and sounds of one of South Africa’s biggest township.
In VanniePlain (from Mitchell’s Plain) you will draw inspiration from Mitchell’s Plain’s favourite sons and daughters, who despite the odds, made it out there and who is still making a difference.
One such person is Athol “Mr. Mitchell’s Plain” Williams who attended Westridge High. Global scholar and multi-award winning poet with his feet firmly on the ground, Athol is a true inspiration in every sense of the word and is paying it forward in a very big way. The world-renowned Wordsmith continues to give back through his organisation Read to Rise by promoting youth literacy in schools in South Africa’s under-resourced communities.
Another Planian who is making waves internationally is Kurt Schoonraad, one of South Africa’s favourite and most-loved comedians.
Not forgetting Mel Jones and Wayne McKay. Two of the many talented comedians hailing from Mitchell’s Plain and who continue to have South Africans in stitches with their shows.
Mitchell’s Plain has also been blest with many gifted musicians and artists. Quinton “Jitsvinger” Goliath, Janine “Blaq Pearl” Van Rooy-Overmeyer, Dee Low, Emo Adams, James Bhemgee and Deon “Ready D” Daniels to name but a few. The list goes on-and-on.
On the sporting front, there is Eddie Andrews, JP Duminy, Moeneeb Josephs, Nasief Morris, Shane Overmeyer, Kenny Solomon and Nizaam Carr amongst others.
Who can forget the Whiteboy Brothers, whose father Leslie, trained his sons to become champion fighters?
And what about Mike’s Barber? that is still in the Town Centre after 38 years of service to the community of Mitchell’s Plain.
We also share the stories of those ordinary people who make Mitchell’s Plain great every day.
Remember Saturday mornings at Inn-on-the-Plain and Westridge City with the New Horizon Band. Those were the good old days when you could still walk through the Town Centre after catching a movie at Metro 1&2.
So if you have a story to tell about life in Mitchell’s Plain, please share it with us.
We would like to hear from you.
The Mitchell’s Plain Online Team
Mitchell’s Plain was created by the apartheid government in the early 1970’s as a Coloured township for middle-income families. The township was laid out in terms of the neighbourhood unit concept with large open spaces, localised public facilities and wide arterial routes. Various forms of housing were provided including, freestanding, semi-detached and duplex housing. However, by the late 80’s and 90’s, some areas of Mitchells Plain deteriorated into urban ghettos. Gangsterism and drug abuse have increased and a number of informal settlements have sprung up in several areas.
Mitchell’s Plain is a largely Coloured township about 32 km (20 mi) from the city of Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s largest townships. It is located on the Cape Flats, on the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Khayelitsha. Conceived as a “model township” by the apartheid government, it was built during the 1970s to provide housing for Coloured victims of forced removal due to the implementation of the Group Areas Act. Though Mitchell’s Plain is no longer officially a “Coloured township,” the overwhelming majority of its residents are still Coloured. The township was reportedly named after Mitchell Baker but this is unconfirmed and is one of a number of possible explanations.
Source: Wikipedia / Independent Newspapers / the Journalist
Mitchell’s Plain today
Today Mitchell’s Plain is one of South Africa’s largest townships with a population of about 290,000 people.
In terms of economic activity, investment is primarily in retail development with Mitchell’s Plain being considered as having the strongest level of investment on the Cape Flats. It has a central business district (CBD), locally called the “Town Centre” and two large shopping centres; Promenade Shopping Centre on AZ Berman Drive and Westgate Mall on the corner of Morgenster and Vanguard Drive. The Promenade Shopping Centre is the largest with more than 120 stores comprising major clothing, furniture, banks and restaurant chains. Informal economic activity is a significant part of the local economy. Such activity reflects a dominance of retail functions with informal trading responding to market and thus concentrated around the main public transport interchanges and along heavily utilised pedestrian routes. Another shopping complex, Watergate Centre is currently under construction on the corner of Stock Road and AZ Berman Drive.
Mitchell’s Plain is reasonably well served by public transport services comprising commuter rail, bus and mini-bus taxi services. There are 3 Cape Metrorail commuter rail stations within the area at Kapteinsklip, Mitchell’s Plain and Lentegeur. The rail line extends northwards towards Philippi, Cape Town’s CBD and the industrial areas at Epping. The commuter rail service is commonly characterised by overcrowding during morning and afternoon peak periods as well as being unsafe during off-peak periods.
The Mitchell’s Plain Public Transport Interchange at the Mitchell’s Plain Station include a major bus terminus and taxi rank which provides public transport services (Metro Rail, Golden Arrow and My Citi) to every major employment area within the City of Cape Town during the morning and afternoon peak periods. There is regular scheduled bus and unscheduled mini-bus taxi services to Cape Town CBD, Claremont, Bellville, Wynberg, and other areas. At more than 30 000 passenger trips per weekday and more than 90,000 passengers daily, it is one of the busiest (if not the busiest) transport interchanges in the city. Recent years have seen significant investment by the local authority in improving and upgrading public transport infrastructure and facilities at the Mitchell’s Plain Interchange.
Mitchells Plain CBD
The Mitchells Plain CBD is commonly referred to as the Town Centre by residents. It’s a bustling and vibrant shopping district that includes a 58 000 m2 retail plaza, a shopping centre over and around in the train station, a public library, two major transport interchanges and informal markets. Informal traders in the Town Centre sells anything from fruit, vegetables, stationary, spices to cosmetics.
The CBD also comprises of a large foreign community (Somalia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan and India) who owns shops and stalls in and around the Town Centre as well as in areas such as Eastridge, Lentegeur, Rocklands and Tafelsig.
Mitchells Plain, believed to be South Africa’s 3rd largest township, is split into a number of sub-areas. The western half of the township is home to a wealthier population, while the eastern half comprises poorer communities. The sub-areas include Rocklands, Westridge, Portlands, Tafelsig, Eastridge, Beacon Valley, Lentegeur, Woodlands, Weltevreden Valley, Colorado Park, Mandalay, Watergate and Strandfontein.
Mitchell’s Plain is home to 85 schools with more being constructed. Some of these schools include Meadowridge Primary School, Aloe Primary, Lentegeur High, Beacon Hill, Oval North, Cedar, Glendale, Rocklands, Spine Road, Mondale, Portland, Princeton, Woodlands, Tafelsig, Imperial Primary, Huegenot Primary and Westridge High.
In the latter years of apartheid Mitchell’s Plain became the seat of the launch of the United Democratic Front, a mass democratic movement of community organisations and trade unions fighting against apartheid.
It was launched in August 1983 with such leaders of the people as Dr Allan Boesak, Albertina Sisulu, Helen Joseph, Joe Marks, Trevor Manuel, Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota and many others present.
The most active social movements and activist organisations in Mitchell’s Plain after apartheid have been the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Mitchell’s Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association. the Mitchell’s Plain Backyarders Association, which had strong links to the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, organised a massive land occupation – The Mitchell’s Plain Land Occupation in 2011.
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Spine View Primary gets new cricket pitch. PPC and the JP21 Foundation yesterday officially handed over a concrete practice and match cricket pitch to the children and teachers at Spine View Primary School in Rocklands, Mitchell’s plain. The JP21 Foundation was...
Students from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts visited the Oval North School of Excellence in Beacon Valley, Mitchell's Plain. After a successful engagement with Mitchell's Plain Online and Blaq Pearl Foundation, the students from Northeastern...
Students from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts visited Mitchell's Plain last week. Mitchell's Plain Online and Blaq Pearl Foundation hosted the students at Alliance Francaise in Portlands, Mitchell's Plain. The students who were accompanied by...
Mitchell's Plain recently became part of the Billion Acts Global Movement. The 'One Billion Acts of Peace' Campaign is an international global citizens' movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. It started with a simple idea,...
Imperial Primary School in Beacon Valley, Mitchell's Plain, held their annual Fun Run on Saturday, 24 March 2018. It was the 20th edition of the event in which young and old...
According the 2011 census data compiled by Statistics South Africa, Mitchell’s Plain comprises the following in terms of demographics:
Mitchell’s Plain Schools Marching Drill Competition
Rockstar Coffee Deeghuys Fisherman’s Lane McDonald’s Nando’s
Panarotti’s KFC Steers Ocean Basket Hungry Lion Pizza Hut
Read to Rise
Read to Rise is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting youth literacy in schools in South Africa’s under-resourced communities. As the name indicates, we firmly believe that children need to read in order to rise in their personal development and contribution to society.
Children who love reading, excel at school and go on to become constructive members of society. It all starts with reading.
We aim to address the troubling reality that young children in our communities are not reading as much as they require for their educational development. Children in the foundational phase should be reading around 40 books per year; in our under-resourced communities children are reading only 1 to 2 books per year.
Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust
In April 2010 the Mitchell’s Plain Education Summit was held at Glendale High School with over 800 delegates, including school principals, SGBs, councilors, universities, colleges, community police forums, community-based organisations and NGOs, SETA’s, parents and learners. The Mitchell’s Plain Education Forum was established, and Minister Manuel committed to working with the community to establish the Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust so that deserving learners could gain access to further and higher education.
On Youth Day 16 June 2011 the Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust was launched at Spine Road High School. The first bursaries were awarded to 15 learners from Mitchell’s Plain Matric classes of 2012, who received R10,000 each towards tuition. This was paid directly to the educational institutions.
The foundation is about implementing programmes that provide effective support, learning spaces, edutainment and opportunities for young people in particular.
Through which they learn a sense of identity, culture, self-awareness and self-love. We give youth at risk alternatives to develop themselves and skills create tangible products that can help them become social entrepreneurs and sustain themselves, amongst others…
Mitchell’s Plain Skills Centre
Education leads to better employment opportunities and in turn, higher employment brings about higher standards of living, social development, and progress. Facilitating skills development and education directed initiatives is one of Mitchells Plain Skills Centre’s key areas of making a difference in the lives of our youth, who are being ravaged by gangsterism and substance abuse and unemployed in the area.
StreetSmart South Africa
StreetSmart South Africa is a community initiative that raises funds for initiatives and programmes that support the greater process of social normalisation of street children’s lives, in partnership with restaurants and now also accommodation establishments and cellar doors.
Partnering establishments display a StreetSmart card informing patrons that a voluntary R5.00 donation will be added to their bill. They will have the option to give more than R5.00 (or not give at all). This donation is registered separately in the restaurant, accommodation or wine tasting establishment’s till and StreetSmart collects the funds. Since its inception 12 years ago, and with a limited number of partners, StreetSmart has successfully raised more than R12 million.
Mitchell’s Plain “A place in the Sun (Book)
Mitchell’s Plain “The Movie”
Wolfgat Nature Reserve Westridge Gardens Blue Waters
Strandfontein Pavilion UDF Memorial Rotary Camp
Rondevlei Nature Reserve Monwabisi Resort Lookout Hill
Nelson Mandela Family and Youth Centre
- Athol Williams is an award-winning poet who has held senior executive positions globally and holds 5 university degrees from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London Business School, London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the founder of Taurus School Solutions which works with Mitchell’s Plain schools to improve performance and Read to Rise, an NGO that promotes literacy among Mitchell’s Plain’s primary school learners. He is 1 of 12 people inducted into the Mitchell’s Plain Heroes Walk by the City of Cape Town.
- Nizaam Carr attended West End Primary in Mitchell’s Plain. He is the first Muslim to be named in a Springboks squad and to play for his national team after his subsequent debut against Italy. He currently plays for the Stormers and Western Province.
- Lance Schultz is a South African business leader who grew up in Mitchell’s Plain. He specialises in logistics development, strategies, business case development and operational management. Furthermore, he has strong Project Management skills and experience. He is currently employed at the Centurion Aerospace Village as CEO in Pretoria.
- Wayne McKay has a long history in the entertainment industry as a Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Radio, Television Voiceover artist and popular Master of Ceremonies. He is best known for his ‘Wheelies’ video clip on YouTube that has been circulating the globe. He freelances around the country, one of his best-known shows being one-man show ‘Roots’. He was voted first runner-up at the 2003 Soul Sprite Comedy Festival in Sandton. He also appeared in the very successful stand-up show ‘Three Dicks and a Chick’ at the Grahamstown Festival during the same year.
- Moeneeb Josephs is a soccer player: who also hails from Mitchell’s Plain. He began his career with Cape Town Spurs at the age of 17 in 1997 and played for its successor Ajax Cape Town for seven years. In 2006, he moved to Gauteng where he played for Bidvest Wits for two years before moving to Orlando Pirates for a record-breaking fee. He has played at international level for Bafana Bafana and was South Africa’s number one goalkeeper at the 2008 African Cup of nations.
- Janine “Blaq Pearl” van Rooy-Overmeyer is an independent music professional, poet and youth development worker.
- Kurt Schoonraad is one of South Africa’s most recognised stand-up comedians. His earthly humor and comedic personality reach from every corner of South Africa to the front page of the New York Times. The actor and comedian said that hailing from Mitchell’s Plain, one of South Africa’s largest townships was influential in developing his sense of humor.
- James Bhemgee is a former street sweeper and unemployed tenor. He won SA’s Got Talent 2 in 2010, a show hosted by SABC 2. He was first discovered on the streets of Cape Town by a woman who overheard him singing whilst he was working as a street sweeper. Impressed, she paid for Bhemgee to have vocal lessons and today he performs with the group the Cape Flats Tenors.
- Jean-Paul Duminy (JP) from Strandfontein plays international cricket for South Africa. The left-handed batsman is also a part-time right-arm off-spin bowler. He currently plays domestic cricket for his home team, the Cobras, and captains the IPL cricket team Delhi Daredevils. The talented all-rounder established the JP21 Project in 2014 with the aim to spread the cricket gospel in Cape Town’s underprivileged areas.
- Born and raised in Cape Town and a proud resident of Mitchell’s Plain, Mel Jones describes herself as “the favourite” of three siblings.
She is a single mother, comedian, Award-nominated producer and an energetic MC and entertainer.
- Kenneth T Solomon is a South African Chess Grandmaster and FIDE Trainer He took up chess at the age of 13, inspired by his elder brother’s qualification for the Chess Olympiad in Manila in 1992. Borrowing a chess book from him to study, Solomon was soon taken under his brother’s wing to study and within two years, he was the South African Under-16 champion.
- Deon “Ready D” Daniels who attended Lentegeur High School is South Africa’s Number One DJ and Grand Master Turntablist. Ready D enjoys a superstar status with a cult following all around SA and is considered one of the country’s most exciting DJ in terms of live performance. He has won the SADMC (South African Disco Mix Club) Championships four times and also won the DJ of the Decade award. He competed twice in the world DJ championships and finished in the top ten both times. Rated as one of the Top 30 Hip-Hop DJs in the world, he has also toured alongside groups such as Public Enemy, The Fugees, and Ice-T. Locally he has performed at Ice Fest, Oppikoppi, Synergy and the KKNK.
- Shane Overmeyer is a 9-time South African table tennis champion. He started playing at the tender age of 13 and participated in numerous World Championships, Commonwealth Games and All Africa Games. He is also the highest world ranking player South Africa has ever produced.
- Quinton “Jitsvinger” Goliath is an established conceptual writer, composer, guitarist, educator, musician, poet and performing artist. After the success of his debut album, Skeletsleutel, Jitsvinger has collaborated with classical musicians, jazz nominees, pioneers and legends, and has performed on stages and in festivals both locally in his home country of South Africa and internationally including Taiwan, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Chile. He has composed and written music for theatre productions and film. Jitsvinger is a social commentator on issues concerning heritage, culture, and especially the Afrikaans language.
- Edward “Eddie” Andrews, played for the Springboks between 2004 and 2007. The talented prop also played for the Western Province and the Stormers. He retired from professional rugby in 2007 due to spinal stenosis which was complicated by a recurring back injury. During this time he founded a non-profit organisation, Joshua Foundation with Stormers team mate Tonderai Chavhanga.
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