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CLAREMONT / CLAREMONT UPPER
Claremont is a dense, mixed use suburb within the Southern Suburbs, approximately 12km south of Cape Town’s city centre. It is situated between Rondebosch, Newlands, Bishops Court, Kenilworth, and Lansdowne. It is an important commercial and residential area, which has been experiencing significant growth and development since the 1970s. There are currently around 4,400 freehold properties and 4,150 sectional title properties registered within the 5.21 km2 area of Claremont and Claremont Upper (above Main Road / M4).
Claremont has a long history record which dates back to 1657 when the first farms were established in the area by Dutch settlers. After the colony had been taken over by the British in 1814, the character of the area gradually changed from agricultural to residential. British settlers and officials bought the farms, renamed some of them, and turned them into country residences. The village grew during the 1840s and 1850s. Public transport consisted of horse-drawn omnibuses which plied along the Main Road from 1837 until the railway was opened in 1864. The opening of the railway from Cape Town to Wynberg in 1864 spurred subdivision and further development. The land along Lansdowne Road east of the railway line was subdivided and developed from 1882, creating a large residential area which is now known as "Harfield Village".
In 1913, Claremont and several other municipalities were incorporated into the city of Cape Town. Considerable residential growth took place in the 1920s and 1930s, when estates such as Palmyra, Keurboom, Ravensworth, Sanatorium Estate, The Vineyard, Wyndover, and Edinburgh Estate were subdivided and developed. An additional railway station, named "Harfield Road", was built in 1931. The government enforced its apartheid system on Claremont in the 1960s, forcing the Coloured residents to leave. As a result, large areas of the suburb stood derelict for several years. Claremont remained predominantly residential until the early 1970s, when commercial development began. A major shopping mall, named Cavendish Square, was opened in 1973, and other shopping centres followed.
The area has continued to receive large investment with several large apartment blocks, office parks, hotels and transport interchanges being built over the last half a century. The commercial developments along Claremont Main Road have sprouted what many see as a second CBD to the city centre.
Claremont (and specifically Claremont Upper) is home to dozens of schools and places of worship.