In the mid-1950s, the City of Cape Town was part of a wider area demarcated as a Coloured Labour Preference Area. The free movement of African people into the city was strictly controlled and the residential areas were segregated along racial lines. In terms of Apartheid’s grand design, an area designated Mitchell’s Plain was demarcated for occupation by Coloured people in 1973 while another designated Khayelitsha was allocated for African people. The two areas were incorporated in one magisterial district, Mitchell’s Plain, in the mid-1980s. A sample survey of the area was conducted in late November and early December 2000 with a focus on labour market issues. Its aim was to capture occupants of households aged 18 or older. The survey data has been interrogated to describe the connections between migration, poverty and health in a city where recent rapid urbanisation is changing the demographic profile significantly. As a consequence, the need to provide adequate infrastructure, decent housing and employment poses a daunting challenge ten years after the new democracy has been ushered in.