Stirling High School Auditorium, Gleneagles Road, East London DATE: Friday, 16th October.
East London, affectionately called Buffalo City by the locals, is situated 1000 kilometres from Cape town on the South East coast of South Africa. Lying in between the Nahoon River in the north and the Buffalo river to the south it is the only river port in South Africa. The shores are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and with its sub-tropical climate is a sought after tourist destination for local South Africans and international tourist alike.
East London, itself, has some 400 000 residents, the metropolitan area has 1.4 million, and is the second largest city in the province of the Eastern Cape.
With a genuine sense of hospitality and laid back style of living the inhabitants of East London will make you feel more than welcome. There are only a few hotels in the city which has opened up a niche for local Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering establishments, to fill the void, where you will find great service and true South African cordiality. Overseas visitors will find the prices most agreeable, just check our currency converter to find out why. East London is at the northern end of a 300 kilometre stretch of coastline referred to as the "Sunshine Coast" which has St Francis Bay at the southern end.
The Sunshine Coast is renowned for its many kilometres of beautiful unpolluted and un-crowded beaches. Long before written history the banks of the now Buffalo River and the seashore were inhabited by early man, the Nahoon footprints have been dated at been 200 000 years old, the oldest fossilized human footprints found in the world. In more recent history the area was home to the Khoisan or Bushman tribe who were pushed out of the region by the later white settlers.
It was in the area around East London that the Xhosa and white setters met for the first time and a century long battle ensured for the right to the prime grazing lands of the Eastern Cape. A British fort, Fort Glamorgan was constructed in 1847 around which present day East London developed, this was to protect the vital river port which was essential in supplying the army's and settlers in the region. For more history information on East London please visit Dr Keith Tankards archive at http://www.eastlondon-labyrinth.com
The economy of East London is heavily dependent on the motor manufacturing industry, Daimler Chrysler www.chrysler.co.za has a plant that produces for the local market and exports to England, Japan and Australia which is situated, not surprisingly, near the harbour, nevertheless the Eastern Cape remains one of the poorest regions of South Africa but with intervention by the government and the growth of the tourist industry by leaps and bounds the situation is improving.
Both Nelson Mandela and the former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, have their roots in the Eastern Cape. Thabo Mbeki attend high school in Lovedale until been expelled for his participation in the struggle for freedom.
East London has a small but busy national airport that has between 20 and 30 flights a day into it and brings in 350 000 people a year to the city. For more information on the airport please visit the website at http://www.acsa.co.za/home.asp?pid=232
Originally called Port Rex the port on the Buffalo River plays a huge role in the economy of the city and serviced 399 ships in the 2005/2006 fiscal year, for more information please visit East London Port
Elephant in Addo Game Reserve
East London, Bhisho and King Williams Town municipalities have been incorporated into one and is now known as the Buffalo City Municipality which is in the Amatole District of the Eastern Province. For more information on exactly how this city is governed please visit http://www.buffalocity.gov.za/