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WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN

Kempton Park West is a suburb that does not stand in the way of progress.

“I moved here when I worked in Bedfordview as it was more convenient than travelling from where I was – so it was the commute to begin with. But four and a half years later and I’m really settled in the culture of the place,” says Thapelo Mmoloke, a senior digital designer and resident of Kempton Park West.

The area

Thapelo has found that the core of the city is mainly made up of apartment blocks, but as you move outside of this busy hub, more and more freestanding houses can be found.

The suburb forms part of the Ekurhuleni Municipality and is close to Tembisa as well as the two massive industrial suburbs Spartan and Isando.

It’s also famous for being an “airport city” which means developments pop up fast to provide accommodation and facilities for travellers.

The hard-working nature of the suburb shouldn’t put families off though – while it’s a busy space, that also means jobs are available and constantly being created, homes are new and modern and affordable for many, and the outlying areas provide lots of entertainment and nature escapes for the weekends.

Schools

For people with school-going kids, Kempton Park can offer Westside Primary School, Norkem Park Primary, Solid Foundations Primary, and Birch Acres Primary. Highschoolers can attend Hoërskool Kempton Park, Hoërskool Rhodesfield, Sonrise Christian School and Spartan High School, among a number of other options.

The airport itself offers a bunch of exciting retailers (as well as a few nice places to eat and drink) and Kempton Gate Mall should satisfy any broader errands you may need to run. Arwyp Medical Centre has you covered for any aches or pains and you will be able to have Spot or Fido treated at Kempton Veterinary Hospital.

Out and about

In the city’s centre there’s what Thapelo calls a real pub-hopping culture on a Friday and Saturday night. From cafes to bars and then to pool halls and clubs, Pretoria Street is the place to be if you’re child-free and wanting to let your hair down after a tough week.

Another big drawcard for Kempton Park is its gastronomy.

EMPEROR’S PALACE

Many restaurants serve different takes on African food, some with a European flair and some made in the traditional style we know, love and miss from home. If you’re looking for some tripe or the area’s best samp, give Ha Maloi Opulent Cuisine a visit – or if it’s a combo of bar and eatery you’re after, then pop into Innocent Pub and Grill for a juicy steak and some fantastic DJs.

When the kids are a little too hyper or you’d like an afternoon of fresh air, head out to Swartspruit Recreational Area, where you can walk the trail that’s just shy of 5kms, have a picnic by the dam, and spot all the different kinds of bird species so prolific in the area. You’re also able to perfect your swing at the 18-hole golf course and enjoy a postgame lunch in the pub.

Emperor’s Palace is, of course, a tempting way to spend a rainy payday weekend. Catch a movie or even a live show at the Barnyard Theatre, have lunch at any of the restaurants, or try your luck at the casino.

Kempton Park provides so much for so many – the professional starting out, the young family and even the retired who want a lock-up-and-go and access to the outlying nature, the thrill of the Palace, the convenience of the airport, and the warmth of a real, African mini-city.

Kempton Park West really gives you a different take on the Jozi experience THAPELO MMOLOKE, RESIDENT

EXPERIENCE

  • Kempton Park Golf Course: entertain friends to a round
  • Dries Niemandt Park: local park that hosts events
  • Emperor’s Palace: a great way to spend a rainy day

CONVENIENCE

EAT

OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT