This work arose from a collaborative project between the University of Western Cape and the University of Oslo, funded by the Research Council of Norway. The original project was set up to identify informative Y-chromosomal markers for use in forensic casework in South Africa, after it was found that the standard Y-chromosome markers used in crime cases were not suited to the ethnically varied South African population. Appropriate markers are necessary not only to help convict criminals, but to exclude innocent people who happen to match a suspect by chance. This research became vital in a country with a long history of racial discrimination and human right abuses. Another purpose of the original project was to train South African scientists in bone DNA typing, to help identify the remains of political activists murdered during the Apartheid period. Very little research has been carried out on the genetic composition of complex urban populations. In this master project I used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to explore the present-day genetic makeup in Cape Town, South Africa, in the context of historical information. My study group consisted of a group of students from the University of Western Cape. MtDNA is maternally inherited, with little or no recombination. This permits maternal genetic lineages to be traced back to a most recent common ancestor (MRCA). MtDNA exhibits population-specific polymorphisms. The mtDNA control region is subject to high mutation rate, which allows closely related groups to be studied. The high mutation rate can be used to infer the phylogeographical changes since our MRCA. In this study, a high level of genetic diversity was observed. In the 48 individuals tested, 48 unique sequences were observed, representing thirty different mtDNA groups with origins in Africa, Eurasia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.