Athlone is situated to the east of the Cape Town city centre, south of the N2 highway, on the Cape Flats. It lies about 9 km west of the Cape Town Inernational Airport. Athlone is mainly residential, but also has busy industrial and commercial zones, especially along the Klipfontein Road. It is served by the Athlone railway station. Some of the areas within Athlone include Manenberg, Gatesville, Rylands, Belgravia Estate, Bridgetown, Crawford, Kewtown, Silverton and Hazendal.
Two of Athlone’s main landmarks are Athlone Stadium, home to Ajax Cape Town and Santos Cape Town football teams, and the decommissioned Athlone Power Station whose cooling towers were demolished in 2010. It is also home to the Trojan Horse Memorial, commemorating the incident where three anti-apartheid protesters were killed and fifteen other wounded in a police ambush. Another landmark in Athlone is the Robert Waterwitch / Colleen Williams Memorial, established in memory of two ANC activists who died in the struggle against apartheid.
You will find over 100 schools in the greater Athlone area, including Rylands High, Belgravia High and Athlone School for the Blind, which has produced several Paralympic medal winning athletes such Hilton Langenhoven and Jonathan Ntutu. The construction of the Athlone Railway Station, which forms part of the popular Cape Flats Line, has contributed to the economic development in the Athlone Area. Well-established bus and taxi routes carry the shopping district all the way along the Klipfontein Road into Gatesville, where wonderful exotic spices are sold, and also along Belgravia road into Lansdowne.
Athlone was previously known as West London, but was later renamed after the Earl of Athlone who was Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1924 to 1930. The Earl of Athlone was also a member of the British Royal Family and was married to Princess Alice, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Since then, Athlone has grown into a melting pot of different cultures. There are many small home industries that serve the local communities, and a bustling commercial centre along Klipfontein Road with plenty of shops and services. The biggest shop in the area is Vangate Mall, offering retail brands and food franchises. Dedicated to providing performing arts and theatre training in Ballet, modern contemporary dance, hip hop and belly dancing, drama and music, the Eon Group School of Performing Arts has its own theatre, The Joseph Stone Auditorium.