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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Milnerton

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With its beach, glorious views of Table Mountain, waterways, island restaurants, shopping centres and comfortable proximity to the Cape Town CBD, Milnerton has a lot going for it

Research is fun; Milnerton could have been established in 1897, or on the site of the old farm Janbiesjeskraal, in 1902. Either way, sources agree it was named after Sir Alfred Milner, governor of the Cape from 1897 to 1901.

About 11km north of Cape Town’s CBD, Milnerton incorporates Cambridge Estate, Century City, Dunoon, Joe Slovo Park, Lagoon Beach, Milnerton Ridge, Royal Ascot, Sanddrift, Tygerhof and Woodbridge Island.

Its position on the coast provides for some wonderful views across Table Bay in one direction and up the West Coast in the other.

Two nature reserves fall within the area’s boundaries: the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve is a bird lovers’ paradise, and is part of the greater 880ha Table Bay Nature Reserve. The Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve, formerly known as Royal Ascot Conservation Area, consists of the land inside the tracks of the former Milnerton Racecourse, which has remained untouched by development and fortunately free of invasive alien plants due to the removal of tall alien trees that would obstruct views of the running horses back in the day.

Both reserves are managed by the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department.

Milnerton is a diverse area with something for homeowners and investors alike, says Xandre Groenewald of Just Property.

“Offerings range from relatively high and low LSMs, sectional title and freehold, properties by the ocean, and all the way to the Durbanville winelands.”

We find many homeowners and so-called ‘flippers’ buying in Milnerton and doing major renovations to properties, which in turn will add to the area over the long term. – Xandre Groenewald Just Property Picture: Supplied

Milnerton, as with most of Cape Town, has seen steady growth and high demand for the past couple of years. “With so many families moving here from all over South Africa, Cape Town – and thus Milnerton – has seen good returns on both the rental and sales side.”

The benefits of Milnerton include the upgrade of the Centre Point mall opening late September, upgrades to Woodbridge Island, nearby Century City becoming a superb lifestyle suburb and commercial hub, large residential developments in the works, fibre entering the area, and MyCiTi bus routes.

“Due to its proximity to the CBD and the large plot sizes, we find many homeowners and so-called ‘flippers’ buying in Milnerton and doing major renovations to properties which in turn will add to the area over the long term.

Combination of houses in Graaff Avenue and flats in the background. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

“Over the past couple of months we have seen demand slow to an extent, with sellers expecting the same growth, and potential buyers and tenants not willing to follow the steep price increases. In the same breath, summer is coming and as we all know that re-energises the market in Cape Town, so we should see an increase in demand once again.

“Sellers and landlords need to be realistic about the prices they expect, and the same thing goes for estate agents,” warns Groenewald.

“Being a little more realistic and educating their clients will mean the cogs will start to turn at the pace that Milnerton is more used to.”

He says Milnerton is, and will continue to be, a great investment: “It’s evolving and adapting, and showing no real signs of slowing down – even with the slight damper in growth in the market recently.”

Places of interest and things to do

Living in the Milnerton area for many years I have been privileged to witness the growth and development of this suburb. The development of the Lagoon beach area, the upgrade of the Centre Point shopping centre, and refurbishment of Woodbridge Island into a usable public space, are all signs of a sought-after place to live. With all the changes, Milnerton still keeps its charm and links to nature; with its gorgeous coastline and waterways this is still one of the most beautiful suburbs to live in. – Resident Mandi Jarman with son Dean Picture: Supplied

1 Eat

Opened in January 2000, Maestro’s On The Beach on Woodbridge Island offers magnificent views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and all the way up the West Coast to Blouberg. The menu is a blend of South African and Italian cuisine. Telephone 021 551 4992.

2 Market

One person’s junk is another’s treasure; there’s plenty of both at the Milnerton Flea Market (021 551 7879) on Saturdays and Sundays. Technically, it’s not actually in Milnerton itself, but pretty close – on Marine Drive in Paarden Eiland. You can find bargains – if you know what you’re looking for.

The Milnerton Flea Market. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

3 Theatre

The award-winning Milnerton Players stage major productions in their own theatre behind the library in Pienaar Road. The acclaimed Wynberg Boys High School a capella vocal ensemble under the direction of music teacher Brian Botha will perform here on Friday, August 31, at 8pm. Telephone 082 267 1061.

4 Golf

A traditional organisation with a traditional dress code, Milnerton Golf Club offers an 18-hole, par 72, 6.1km links course, as well as a pro-shop, a golf academy and a clubhouse overlooking the beach. The summer south-easter brings with it, its own special challenges on this course. Telephone 021 552 1047.

5 Shop

Close to a MyCiTi stop, The Paddocks has fashion, health and beauty, gadgets, books, food and drink and more for the convenience of all shoppers. Dale’s Black Angus Grill has a carvery on the last Sunday of every month for R165 a person and R60 for children under 12. Telephone 021 551 7776.

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