10 Things you did not know about East London

East London is part of the Buffalo City municipality in the Eastern Cape province. There is more to this city though.

Here are some things that you might not have known about East London:

  • East London was originally called Port Rex and was founded in 1847 when a British fort was built in the region to serve as supply port for nearby King William’s Town.
  • The existing East London port (in the mouth of the Buffalo River) is the only river port in South Africa (adjoining the Indian Ocean). The port has been operating since 1870.
  • East London was granted city status in 1914.
  • In 2000 East London became part of the municipality of Buffalo City (which includes King William’s Town and Bisho as well).
  • East London has an estimated population of +/- 480,000 and +/- 1.4 million people live in the Buffalo City metropolitan area.
  • The Prince George Circuit race circuit was opened in East London in 1959. This racetrack hosted 3 Formula 1 South African Grand Prix races in the 1960s.
  • Buxton Street in the East London CBD (formerly known as Panmure) was first constructed in 1877 and was given the German name “Berlin Street” in honour of the German settlers. In 1914, however, when anti-German sentiment became strong in East London because of the outbreak of the First World War, the street was renamed “Buxton Street” after Lord Buxton who had become Governor General of South Africa in that year.
  • Buffalo park (the cricket stadium in East London) can hold up to 28,000 people. The stadium is also known as Mercedes-Benz Park. The stadium was originally nicknamed “The Buffs” but locals refer to it nowadays as “The Carpark”.
  • Famous East Londoners include Mark Boucher (South African cricketer),  Joan Harrison (Swimmer and 1952 Olympic champion), Mark Andrews (Springbok rugby player), Andre Vos (Rugby player), Rory Kockott (Rugby player), Jody Sheckter (1979 Formula 1 champion), Wendy Botha (4 time World Surfing Champion), Deon Opperman (Playwright), Vuyani Bungu (Boxer), Welcome Ncita (Boxer) and Derek Bauer (Cartoonist). All of them were born in East London.
  • East London is the 6th largest city in South Africa.

Feedback is appreciated and welcome on the Junk Mail blog. If an important fact has been left out in this post, please let us know by commenting on this post.

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here’s is one thing some might not have known about East London. Before 1992; there was a pair of power stations sitting on the West Bank area of the port. Both are long gone; as well as the beloved chimneys from the bigger of the two stations that the public pleaded to have retained as a landmark. There is no sign that there were power stations here; not even foundations. The stations are known only to those old enough to have seen them.

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