Sneha Girap (Editor)

Atlantis, Western Cape

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Country  South Africa
Language spoken  Afrikaans
Area  28.84 km2

Atlantis is a town in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa. Atlantis is 40 km (25 mi) north of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD). It has approximately 210,000 residents. Unemployment, lack of housing and crime are major challenges in the area. It was established during the 1970s by the Apartheid government as an industrial centre and as a community for Cape Towns Coloured population.


Map of Atlantis, Western Cape

The government of the day attempted, in anticipation of the influx of people, to provide an employment base by instituting a program to encourage industry, through subsidies and other inducements, to locate there; this effort was not particularly successful. Several factors, including the Six Day War between Israel and Arab nations, forced the government of the day to rethink its strategy in terms of subsidisation of industries located in the town.

The withdrawal of subsidies meant that many factories found themselves having to foot bills not formerly anticipated, including high transportation costs. This led to the migration of businesses closer to and into the Cape Town CBD (to be closer to means of transportation, including Paarden Island, Killarney and Epping, and the airport and harbour).

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Currently, only about 3% of the original companies still have business in Atlantis. However, some have claimed that Atlantis could be on its way to once again becoming a manufacturing hub due to the opening of a Hisense factory in the town in June 2013. Hisense has injected ZAR 350 million into the first phase of the Atlantis plant, creating 300 production positions and accompanied by a skills-transfer programme led by Hisense technicians and engineers from China.

City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille claimed in March 2013 that Atlantis could be en route to resurrection, and that Atlantis residents would be among the biggest beneficiaries of the proposed multibillion-rand Wescape development. The Wescape development set to be built near Melkbosstrand on the city’s north-western edge and will connect Atlantis to the city.


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