2015 Southern African HEUG Conference
University of Cape Town, 14-15 July, 2015

General Information 

Cape Town, "The Mother City" South Africa

In the heart of the Western Cape lies one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the city of Cape Town, also known as Kaapstad (Afrikaans) or iKapa (Xhosa). Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa, with the National Parliament located next to the Company Gardens. With a motto of "Bona Spes" (Latin: Good Hope), the oldest town in South Africa has a few nicknames born from its joie de vivre, rich culture and history.

Among these nicknames is the “Tavern of the Seas”, as Cape Town was the relax-and-refresh hub where weary sailors would gather after being at sea for months. The “Cape Grab” was used to describe innkeepers who charged very high rates for sailors looking for board and lodging. Finally, the more common and more endearing name used to refer to Cape Town, is the “MotherCity”. Widely known and used among locals and visitors, there are a number of suggested reasons why Cape Town is referred to as the Mother City. In the 1930’s an unknown party wrote to the local Cape Town newspaper claiming that Cape Town was the only city in South Africa that could justly call itself a metropolis. The public took to this description and because the word metropolis is derived from the Greek derivation of meter or metros meaning mother and polis, meaning city, the nickname of "Mother City" was born. Another more witty explanation that has been presented as to why Cape Town is called the “Mother City” is “due to the highly expressive vocabulary of the local dialect (in which the words "your mother" features regularly and also that it takes 9 months to do anything in this sleepy hollow.”


You are spoiled for choice in what is undoubtedly one of South Africa's main tourist attractions, with Table Mountain as the world’s eight wonder. Visit the 1600-century castle, Castle of Good Hope, go to the flea market at Greenmarket Square or in Muizenberg, one of many historical museums and enjoy yourself at the popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. If you are looking to experience Cape Town’s night life and jazz music or simply want to boggy all night, why not explore Long Street in the heart of Cape Town. If that is not your scene, take a trip to one of the area's leading wine districts, such as Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschoek with organised wine tastings The beautiful coastal road, the Garden Route starts in Cape Town, and for stunning views across the ocean, take a drive out to Cape Point or Camps Bay. If you stand at the top of the Point on a good day you can see the line where the two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet.


Cape Town International airport is located just outside the city, 20-30 minutes away, depending on time of day. Taxis are safe and reliable, with meters for short hops and fixed rates can be agreed for longer distances. Car rental is highly recommended in this city to get around the city and to enjoy the city’s tourist attractions.

City Facts

Cape Town Population: 3,103,000 (Source: UN Population Estimate Revision 2003)

South Africa Population: 45,323,000 (Source: UN Population Estimate Revision 2003)

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR). 1 Rand has got 100 Cents.

Time Zone: (Greenwich Mean Time) +2, Eastern Standard Time plus seven hours, Pacific Standard Time plus ten hours

  • 7 hours ahead of New York/USA
  • 2 hours ahead of London/UK
  • 1 hour ahead from Germany/France/EU
  • 7 hours behind Perth/Australia

Longtitude and Latitude: Cape Town is located at latitude 33.55° S and longitude 18.25° E.

Main Languages: in Cape Town: Afrikaans 41%, Xhosa 29%, English 28%. South Africa has 11 official languages.

Government: Mayor of the City of Cape Town: Patricia de Lille (Democratic Alliance: DA) Premier of the Western Cape: Helen Zille (Democratic Alliance: DA)

Cape Town Information: Weather

Cape Town’s weather has often being described as having four seasons in one day with its Mediterranean climate. Come prepared for rain and strong winds in the winter months from June-August.



For 2015 South Africa HEUG Conference Support: Email us at support@heug.org
The 2015 South Africa HEUG Conference is Hosted & Managed by the Higher Education User Group.