SA Metro: Nelson Mandela Bay


Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is located on the south-eastern coast of Africa in the Eastern Cape. It was formed in 2001, as an administrative area covering Gqeberha (former Port Elizabeth), the neighbouring towns of Uitenhage and Despatch, and the surrounding agricultural areas.

Nelson Mandela Bay is a major seaport and automotive manufacturing centre.

The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is situated within the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. The initiative is a multibillion-dollar industrial development complex customized for heavy, medium and light industries.

It is adjacent to a deepwater port, the Port of Ngqura, and covers 110 km² of land. The city’s unique advantage of possessing two ports, namely Port Elizabeth Harbour and Ngqura, creates an opportunity for the city to establish a strong and vibrant maritime sector.


The population of the NMBM is 1 152 115 and the Metro covers an area of 1 950 km². Census 2011 data revealed that there were 324 292 households in the metro.

The population is 60.1% black African, 23,6% coloured, 14,4% white and 1,1% Indian/Asian. Of the population, 552 994 (48%) are male and 599 121 (52%) are female.

Between 2001 and 2011, Nelson Mandela Bay metro experienced a population growth rate of 1.36%.


IsiXhosa is spoken by 53,2% of residents as their mother tongue, while Afrikaans accounts for 28,9%, and English 13,3%.

Unemployment rate 

Census 2011 data reveals also that 87.2% of the metro’s population live in ‘formal dwellings’; 87.4% were connected to a flush sewerage system; 82.9% has their refuse removed on a weekly basis; 74.1% had access to piped water inside their dwelling and 90.5% used electricity for lighting.


Bethelsdorp, Bloemendal, Blue Horizon Bay, Clarendon Marine, Despatch, KwaNobuhle, Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, Summerstrand, Swartkops, Uitenhage.

Main economic sectors

Manufacturing (25%), community services (23%), finance (23%), trade (13%), and transport (13%).

Council’s seats

The current composition of the council’s 120-seats: DA 57, ANC 50, EFF 6, UDM 2, ACDP 1, AIC 1, COPE 1, PA 1, UFEC 1.

DA’s Nqaba Bhanga is the current mayor of the city.


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