PORT ELIZABETH

Introduction

Info Port Elizabeth


introduction

Port Elizabeth or The Bay  is one of the largest cities in South Africa, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed "The Friendly City" or "The Windy City", stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaportsin South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the southernmost large city on the African continent, just farther south than Cape Town.

Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, which has a population of over 1.3 million.


info
POPULATION :• City 312,392
• Metro 1,152,915
FOUNDED :  1820
TIME ZONE :
LANGUAGE :• Afrikaans 40.2%
• English 33.2%
• Xhosa 22.2%
• Other 4.3%
RELIGION :Zion Christian 11.1%,Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1%
AREA :• City 251.03 km2 (96.92 sq mi)
• Metro 1,959 km2 (756 sq mi)
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 33°57′29″S 25°36′00″E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.54
 Female: 51.46
ETHNIC : • Black African 30.6%
• Coloured 27.0%
• Indian/Asian 3.2%
• White 37.8%
• Other 1.4%
AREA CODE : 041
POSTAL CODE : 6001
DIALING CODE :  +27 41
WEBSITE :


Tourism

A perfect complement to the Garden Route, the Friendly City is a major sea port and tourist destination set along the beautiful shores of Nelson Mandela Bay. The centre of the South African motor industry is spoiled by moderate and warm temperatures all year round with scattered rain throughout the year - climatic attributes which contribute to an outstanding quality of life. A popular and significant destination for water sports, Port Elizabeth also offers many historical attractions, such as the Historic Donkin Heritage trail, taking visitors along the footsteps of the 1820 settlers. British heritage is reflected in the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, and the Oldest Bowling Green in South Africa. Port Elizabeth’s greatest treasures, however, are malaria-free wildlife areas in its vicinity, and clean beaches washed by warm water.

Located at the end of the picturesque Garden Route along the Cape coast, the city has beaches in and near it. The most popular swimming beaches include King's Beach and Hobie Beach.

Many local historic attractions are linked by the Donkin Heritage Trail. These include the Campanile (bell tower), built in 1923 to commemorate the arrival of the 1820 Settlers and offering a viewpoint over the city; the city hall (1862); the Donkin Reserve park and monument; and the old stone Fort Frederick itself (1799). The CBD also boasts the towering Eastern Cape post office headquarters.

Route 67 is a walking trail consisting of 67 public artworks, symbolising 67 years which Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela dedicated to the freedom of South Africa. The artwork is a celebration of South African culture and history and is scattered along the route as it starts from the Campanile, up the stairs to the Vuysile Mini Market Square and to the large South African flag at the Donkin Reserve. The artworks were created by local Eastern Cape artists.

Other attractions include the gardens at St George's Park, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum (formerly known as the King George VI Art Gallery), the museum and oceanography room at Humewood, and the new Boardwalk waterfront complex.

The wider area surrounding PE also features game viewing opportunities, including the Addo Elephant Park, 72 kilometres (45 mi) to the north near the Zuurberg mountain range and National Park.

Port Elizabeth is also a destination for whale watching with humpback whales sighted between June and August, and again between November and January, Southern right whales sighted between July and November, and Bryde's whales sighted all year round.

The tourist information centres are in the Donkin Reserve in the town center, at The Boardwalk (Marine Drive) and at the Airport Arrivals hall. 


History

The area around what is now called Algoa Bay was first settled by hunting and gathering people ancestral to the San at least 100,000 years ago. Around 2,000 years ago, they were gradually displaced or assimilated by agriculturalist populations ancestral to the Xhosa, who migrated into the region from the north.

The first Europeans to have visited the area were Portuguese explorers Bartholomeu Dias, who landed on St Croix Island in Algoa Bay in 1488, and Vasco da Gama, who noted the nearby Bird Island in 1497. For centuries, the area was simply marked on European navigation charts as "a landing place with fresh water".

One of the main goals of the Portuguese Crown in the Indian Ocean was to take over the lucrative trade of Arab and Afro-Arabian merchants who plied routes between the East African coast and India. As they took over that trade, the Portuguese strengthened trading with Goa, their colony in India. The name Algoa meant "to Goa," just as the port further north in present-day Mozambique, Delagoa meant "from Goa." Algoa was the port from which ships left for Goa during the season when the winds were favourable, while Delagoa was the port in Africa at which they arrived from Goa in the season when the winds for the return trip were favourable.

The area became part of the Cape Colony. This area had a turbulent history between its founding by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 and the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 as a result of the British winning the Boer War.

In 1799, during the first British occupation of the Colony during the Napoleonic Wars, a stone fort was built, named Fort Frederick after the Duke of York. This fort, built to protect against a possible landing of French troops, overlooked the site of what later became Port Elizabeth. It is now operated as a monument.

From 1814 to 1821 the Strandfontein farm, which later became the Summerstrand beach suburb of Port Elizabeth, was owned by Piet Retief. He later became a Voortrekker leader and was killed in 1837 by Zulu king Dingane during negotiations about land. An estimated 500 men, woman and children of his party were massacred. After Retief, the Strandfontein farm was owned by Frederik Korsten. Another contemporary suburb of Port Elizabeth is named for him in the 21st century.

In 1820 a party of 4,000 British settlers arrived by sea, encouraged by the government of the Cape Colony to form a settlement to strengthen the border region between theCape Colony and the Xhosa people. At this time the seaport town was founded by SirRufane Shaw Donkin, the Acting Governor of the Cape Colony, who named it after his late wife, Elizabeth. Diplomat Edmund Roberts visited Port Elizabeth in the early 1830s. He noted that Port Elizabeth in the 1820s had "contained four houses, and now it has upward of one hundred houses, and its residents are rated at above twelve hundred persons."

The Apostolic Vicariate of Cape of Good Hope, Eastern District, was established in the city in 1847, and in 1861 Port Elizabeth was granted the status of autonomous municipality. The town expanded as a diverse community comprising European, Cape Malay and other immigrants. The population increased rapidly after 1873 when the railway to Kimberley was built. Prime Minister John Molteno had formed the Cape Government Railways in 1872, and the massive expansion of the Cape Colony's railway network over the following years saw the harbour of Port Elizabeth servicing a large area of the Cape's hinterland.

During the Second Boer War, the port was an important transit point for British soldiers, horses and materials headed to the front by railway. While no armed conflict took place within the city, many refugees from the war moved into the city. These included Boer women and children, who were interned by the British in a concentration camp. Following that war, the Horse Memorial was erected to honour the tens of thousands of horses and mules that died during the conflict.


Apartheid era

Post apartheidUnder apartheid, the government established legal racial segregation and started programs to separate communities physically as well as by classification and custom. It forced relocation of the non-white population from mixed areas under the Group Areas Act began in 1962, causing various townships to be built for their use. The whole of theSouth End district, being a prime real estate location, was forcibly depopulated and flattened in 1965; relocations continued until 1975.As black South Africans organized to try to achieve civil rights and social justice, government repression increased. In 1977 Steve Biko, the black anti-apartheid activist, was interrogated and tortured by the security police in PE, before being transported to Pretoria where he died. Other notable deaths in the city during this time included the Cradock Four, and George Botha, a high school teacher.

The black majority finally achieved the vote. Since the multiracial elections of 1994, Port Elizabeth has faced the same problems as the rest of South Africa, more especially lack of foreign and government investment, coping with HIV/AIDS, and a general increase in crime.

With the establishment of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (CIDZ), foreign direct and also national level investment has improved substantially in the region of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth. The IDZ, under the stewardship of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), since inception has managed to attract to its investment account in excess R140-billion into the Economy of the Eastern Cape and has enabled the creation of over 45 000 jobs. This is significant for the sustainability of the IDZ, Nelson Mandela Bay, and the economy of the Eastern Cape. The CDC consistently continues to demonstrate its capability as the leading catalyst for socio-economic growth in the Eastern Cape, with a view to becoming so for South Africa.

In 2001, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality was formed as an administrative area covering Port Elizabeth, the neighbouring towns of Uitenhage and Despatch and the surrounding agricultural areas. The name was chosen to honour former President Nelson Mandela. The combined metropolitan area had a population estimated at around 1.3 million in 2006.


2010 FIFA World Cup

The Port Elizabeth harbour, waterfront and city centre were upgraded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but do not rival the popular Cape Town waterfront. The 46,000-seat,R2 billion Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was built in Port Elizabeth in time to serve as one of the venues for World Cup games. The stadium hosted eight World Cup games between 12 June 2010 and 10 July 2010.


Climate

"The Windy City" has a subtropical climate with light rain throughout the year. Under the Köppen climate classification, Port Elizabeth has an oceanic climate (Cfb ).

The area lies between the winter rainfall, Mediterranean climate zones of the Western Cape and the summer rainfall regions of eastern South Africa. Winters are cool but mild and summers are warm but considerably less humid and hot than more northerly parts of South Africa's east coast. The climate is very even throughout the year with extreme heat or moderate cold rare. Three rivers flow through Port Elizabeth: the Chatty, the Shark, and the Baakens.

Climate data for Port Elizabeth

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec 
Record high °C (°F)39.0
(102.2)
40.0
(104)
40.7
(105.3)
39.0
(102.2)
35.4
(95.7)
32.4
(90.3)
33.1
(91.6)
36.8
(98.2)
39.7
(103.5)
39.8
(103.6)
40.2
(104.4)
36.0
(96.8)
 
Average high °C (°F)25.4
(77.7)
25.4
(77.7)
24.6
(76.3)
23.0
(73.4)
21.7
(71.1)
20.3
(68.5)
19.7
(67.5)
19.6
(67.3)
20.0
(68)
20.8
(69.4)
22.3
(72.1)
24.3
(75.7)
 
Daily mean °C (°F)21.3
(70.3)
21.2
(70.2)
20.3
(68.5)
18.2
(64.8)
16.1
(61)
14.3
(57.7)
13.9
(57)
14.3
(57.7)
15.4
(59.7)
16.7
(62.1)
18.2
(64.8)
20.1
(68.2)
 
Average low °C (°F)17.9
(64.2)
17.9
(64.2)
16.9
(62.4)
14.3
(57.7)
11.5
(52.7)
9.2
(48.6)
8.8
(47.8)
9.8
(49.6)
11.4
(52.5)
13.1
(55.6)
14.6
(58.3)
16.4
(61.5)
 
Record low °C (°F)7.4
(45.3)
7.9
(46.2)
7.0
(44.6)
4.4
(39.9)
−0.3
(31.5)
−0.5
(31.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
1.5
(34.7)
3.0
(37.4)
5.6
(42.1)
6.5
(43.7)


Geography

The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed "The Friendly City" or "The Windy City", stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the southernmost large city on the African continent, just farther south than Cape Town.


Economy

Historically, the majority of trade in the region came through Port Elizabeth. In the 1830s, at least five ships regularly transported goods to Europe.It became a free port in 1832. In 1833, about 50 vessels had moved through the port. In 1828, 55,201 pounds of goods were imported through the port, increasing the following year to 12,845 pounds. Port Elizabeth exported 41,290 pounds in 1828, with a large increase to 86,931 goods exported in 1829. Exports included wine, brandy, vinegar, ivory, hides and skins, leather, tallow, butter, soap, wool, ostrich feathers, salted beef, wheat, candles, aloe, barley, and more.

Home of South Africa's motor vehicle industry, Port Elizabeth boasts most vehicle assembly plants, General Motors, Ford, Continental Tyres and many more automotive companies. Most other industries in Port Elizabeth are geared towards the motor vehicle industry, providing parts such as wiring harnesses, catalytic converters,batteries and tyres to the vehicle manufacturers.

Port Elizabeth is also a major seaport, with the most significant ore loading facilities in the southern hemisphere. As part of the ongoing development, a new Industrial Development Zone with expanded port facilities is being built at Coega.

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