Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho. It was formed in 1994 out of the "independent" homelands of Transkei and Ciskei, as well as the eastern portion of the Cape Province. It is the traditional home of the Xhosa, and the birthplace of many prominent South Africans, such as Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Steve Biko and Charles Coghlan.
Law and Government
See also List of cities and towns in the Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape gets progressively wetter from west to east. The west is mostly semi-arid Karoo, except in the far south, which is temperate rainforest in the Tsitsikamma region. The coast is generally rugged with interspersed beaches. Most of the province is hilly to very mountainous between Graaff-Reinet and Rhodes including the Sneeuberge (Afrikaans: Snow Mountains), Stormberge, Winterberge and Drakensberg (Afrikaans: Dragon Mountains). The highest point in the province is Ben Macdhui at 3001m. The east from East London towards the Kwa-Zulu Natal border is lush grassland with intermittent forest. This region, Transkei, is rolling hills punctuated by deep gorges.
Eastern Cape has a shoreline in the south on the South Indian Ocean. In the northeast, it borders the following districts of Lesotho:
Domestically, it borders the following provinces:
Mohale's Hoek - west of Quthing
Quthing - between Mohale and Qacha's Nek
Qacha's Nek - east of Quthing
Western Cape - west
Northern Cape - northwest
Free State - north
KwaZulu-Natal - far northeast Climate
The landscape is extremely diverse. The western interior is largely arid Karoo, while the east is well-watered and green. The Eastern Cape offers a wide array of attractions, including 800 km of untouched and pristine coastline along with some particularly splendid beaches, and "big-five" viewing in a malaria-free environment.
The Addo Elephant National Park, situated 73 km from Port Elizabeth, was proclaimed in 1931. Its 743 km² offers sanctuary to 170 elephants, the last Cape buffalo and 21 black rhino of the very scarce Kenyan sub-species.
The province is the location of South Africa's only ski resort, Tiffindell, which is situated near the hamlet of Rhodes in the Southern Drakensberg on the slopes of the highest mountain peak in the Eastern Cape (3001 m).
The National Arts Festival, held in Grahamstown is Africa's largest and most colourful cultural event, offering a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. Every year for 11 days the town's population almost doubles, as over 50,000 people flock to the region for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is an 80 km long coastal strip between Nature's Valley and the mouth of the Storms River. In the park the visitor finds an almost untouched natural landscape. Near the park is the Bloukrans Bridge, which is the world's highest bungee jump.
Jeffreys Bay is an area with some of the country's wildest coastline, which is backed by some of Africa's most spectacular sub-tropical rainforest. Famous for its "supertubes", probably South Africa's longest and most consistently good wave, it's charged with a surf vibe as relaxed as it is friendly, and this tends to soften the effect of the wealthy set who have made this part of the coast their own.
Aliwal North, lying on a splendid agricultural plateau on the southern bank of the Orange River, is one of the country's most popular inland resorts and is famous for its hot springs.
The rugged and unspoilt Wild Coast is a place of spectacular scenery, and a graveyard for many vessels.
The Eastern Cape remains one of the poorest provinces in South Africa. This is largely due to the extreme poverty found in the former homelands, where subsistence agriculture predominates. The two major industrial centres, Port Elizabeth and East London have well-developed economies, based on the automotive industry. General Motors and Volkswagen both have major assembly lines in the Port Elizabeth area, while East London is dominated by the large DaimlerChrysler plant. The largest construction project in Africa is currently underway at Coega, about 20 km north of Port Elizabeth, where a new harbour is being built. It is expected that this development will give the province a major economic boost.
The Eastern Cape Province is divided into 46 municipalities:
Aberdeen Plain Municipality
Alfred Nzo Municipality
Amahlathi Municipality, is seated at Stutterheim
Blue Crane Route Municipality
Buffalo City Municipality (East London, Bhisho and King William's Town)
Chris Hani Municipality
Great Kei Municipality
Intsika Yethu Municipality
Inxuba Yethemba Municipality
King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality
Ndlambe Municipality Municipality
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage & Despatch)
O.R. Tambo Municipality
Port St. Johns Municipality
Sunday's River Valley
Posted by gigihong07 at 10:16 AM