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Western Cape

Western Cape Province in sw South Africa, bounded by the Indian Ocean to the s and Atlantic Ocean to the w. The capital is Cape Town; other major towns include Simonstown and Stellenbosch. Formerly part of Cape Province, Western Cape was formed in 1994. Its chief physical features are Table Mountain (1087m) and the rugged Swartberg Range (up to 2325m). Robben Island was the site of a prison used to house political prisoners during the apartheid era. The main economic activity is agriculture, with fruit and tobacco growing, dairy farming and sheep rearing. There is an important fishing industry, and an offshore gas field is exploited in Mossel Bay. Industries: chemicals, machinery, metal goods, textiles. Area: 129,390sq km (50,500sq mi). Pop. (2000 est.) 4,178,600.

http://www.westerncape.gov.za

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Simon's Town

Simon's Town or Simonstown (sī´mənztoun), town, now part of City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality, Western Cape prov., SW South Africa, on False Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a seaside resort and a station of the South African navy; industry centers around ship construction and repair. There is also a fishing industry, and fish oil is processed.

Simon's Town was founded by the Dutch in 1741 as a naval depot and named for Simon van der Stel, governor of Cape Colony from 1679 to 1697. In 1814 the town became the headquarters of the British South Atlantic squadron. In 1957 the base was turned over to South Africa. For a time Simon's Town took on renewed strategic importance when the Suez Canal was closed after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The oldest English church (consecrated 1814; rebuilt 1834) in South Africa is in Simon's Town.

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