The Eastern Cape is often referred to as a world in one province. The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces, it offers everything from snow skiing to sunny beaches, game researches to fascinating history. Located on the eastern most part of South Africa, an area of almost 170,000 square kilometres of diverse landscape is divided into six district municipalities and two metropolitan municipalities. The provinces seat of government is in Bhisho, Buffalo City Metro. The province has a very strong and distinct culture and heritage, a rich history from the vibrant and timeless Xhosa traditions.
The Eastern Cape was one of the first areas settled by the Portuguese in 1488 and by the British in 1820. It was the site of many wars between the local Khoisan and Xhosa’s as well as the British, Dutch and Germans. This rich cultural heritage has been preserved in some of the region’s smaller towns including Bathurst, Grahamstown and Cradock. Renowned as the birth province of globally recognised and respected liberation struggle icons like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Steve Biko, O.R. Tambo, Robert Sobukwe, Goven Mbeki and the list goes on. These are people who not only created a lasting legacy for the Province but went on to change the course of history in South Africa. These facts and many other facts that are uniquely Eastern Cape assert this province as a Home of Legends. Eastern Cape Provincial Government The Eastern Cape’s capital is Bhisho which lies 60km west of East London. The provincial government discharges its duties through 13 government departments and state-owned enterprises. Eastern Cape boasts two of the most successful Industrial Development Zones in South Africa, the East London and Coega IDZ’s. Both are ideally situated for exports to world markets.