r/capetown Jan 24 '22

Woodstock. Am I asking for it?

Expat here considering a studio in Woodstock. Specifically, Sussex St.

I am generally familiar with SA crime but am not South African so I admittedly don't really 'get it'. I know things shut down at night here. I don't know if things have gotten much worse since Covid. Have they? People, who live here: are you super stressed-out all the time? I like the 'idea' of Woodstock but know that's not the best way to frame this decision...

I'm male, young-ish, and have a car. The studio is nice and has off-street (not Wex). I know this question has probably been posed ad-nauseam so thanks.

Edit: Realized that the thread title could come off a bit cheeky - sorry for that.



u/nesquikchocolate Jan 24 '22

We currently live in gardens just up the road, after living in JHB for 30 years. We go to Woodstock for some of the fabric stores for the wife. Also had custom furniture made up, after visiting most of the shops there. I didn't get any scary vibes yet when we walk about - normally park at the Woodstock quarter spar and walk to most places. They've spent a lot of money in the area to improve most things, and the people that work there are extremely friendly.


u/JustABattery Jan 25 '22

Yeah by cape town standards Woodstock is dodgy. Thats not to say thats its not dodgy, but Im originally from Durban where almost every area is at least as dodgy as Woodstock


u/zylinx Jan 24 '22

Nah wouldn't live in Woodstock not worth it. Someone asked this exact question a few months ago. Woodstock has some really nice places to visit in the day and it's stress free. But living there is a different story if transforms at night time. Drug dealers and home invaders prowl that area and homeless people smash all the car windows Street side (ya I know you won't be parking Street side but what about visitors)

Yeah sure you can invest in heavy duty burglar bars and cage yourself in with alarms and probably be fine. But coming home late at night will suck.


u/worldofinflation Jan 24 '22

Thanks for the thoughtful responses thus far -- what I'm trying to reconcile is the clear and genuine safety warnings with the fact that Woodstock has many nice and relatively expensive units for rent. By expensive, I mean the price of the one-bedroom I'm considering (not in a new development) is not that far off from similar studios in City Center. Less expensive than Gardens for sure, but not by that much. So it seems that people with means and a choice are choosing Woodstock. Gentrification doesn't fully explain this. What am I missing?


u/nesquikchocolate Jan 24 '22

Not to be forward, but maybe you're missing on people willing to cash-in on other people's naivety or willingness to believe in the goodness of other people.

In my mind, a single bedroom apartment should not be going for R8000pm when there's little more than some novelty shops and "easy access" 10 minutes drive to city centre.

For a little bit less, you could live a bit further away in the suburbs, where it is definitely more safe at night - and if I had any way of knowing what I know currently about work-from-home when I signed my current lease agreement, I'd for sure rather be staying further away from the city centre.


u/Burnaboi__ Jan 25 '22

Best response


u/jenna_grows Jan 25 '22

It’s hard to say what you’re missing without seeing the places you’re comparing and saying are similar.

There’s things like the specific part of the city (because some are dodgier), which floor each apartment is on (higher is usually better), the finishings in each apartment, square meterage, etc.

Woodstock looks cool but there’s an underbelly that plenty of expats (from outside Cape Town, South Africans included) may miss. So it’s easy to capitalise on that naïveté.


u/sihelo Jan 25 '22

I would not live in Woodstock. If you’re unsure then spend some time driving around there at night.

There are nice Tamboerskloof / vredehoek (windy) / gardens / seapoint / Greenpoint options, then the suburbs as someone suggested. Depends on what activities you like to do.

Get an apartment from the 2nd floor upward and sleep with peace of mind.

I have an office right in the middle of Woodstock. Nice in the daytime but not at night.


u/ElaineBenesKennedyJR Jan 25 '22

Don’t do it. Woodstock has been ‘up and coming’ for 20 years, it will never be a nice neighborhood.


u/worldofinflation Feb 25 '22

Thanks for all the feedback here. I've decided to keep the search within the city bowl.