Dear South Africa (excluding anyone who lives in the Eastern Cape)
Now I know the Eastern Cape doesn’t often feature very high on the list of happening SA places but people, please…. Port Elizabeth (PE) and East London (Slummies) are not the same place… not even close!
Let’s for a minute turn to our trusty Wikipedia and see what it has to say:
Port Elizabeth or The Bay
(Zulu: Bhayi; Xhosa: iBhayi; Afrikaans: Die Baai) is one of the largest cities in South Africa, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed “The Friendly City” or “The Windy City”, stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa.
Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of over 1.3 million.
(Afrikaans: Oos-Londen, Xhosa: eMonti) is a city on the southeast coast of South Africa, situated at 32.97°S and 27.87°E in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape province. The city lies on the Indian Ocean coast, largely between the Buffalo River and the Nahoon River, and hosts the country’s only river port. East London today has a population of over 267,000 with over 755,000 in the metropolitan area.
Lieutenant John Bailie of the Royal Navy, one of the 1820 Settlers, surveyed the Buffalo River mouth and founded the town in 1836, a memorial on Signal Hill commemorating the event. The city formed around the only river port in South Africa and was originally known as Port Rex. This settlement on the West Bank was the nucleus of the town of East London, which was elevated to city status in 1914.
A few other facts that might make this simpler for you:
- There is 300km between the two cities. So please, when I request a flight to be booked to Slummies, please don’t book it to PE and chuck in a car so that I can just “quickly” drive to my meeting in Slummies.
- PE has the elephant = Ado / Slummies as the coelacanth = Museum
- PE has the Nelson Mandela Stadium (capacity 48 000 peeps) / Slummies has the Basil Kenyon Stadium (capacity 16 000 peeps)
- PE peeps have holiday homes at St Francis Bay / Slummies peeps have holiday home at Kei Mouth
- PE hosts the Ironman South Africa / Slummies host the Ironman 70.3
- PE has Hobby Beach / Slummies has the magical Nahoon Beach
- PE has to drive 50km’s to Nanaga Farm Stall to get good pies / Slummies just needs a gentle cruise to the beachfront to get Friesland Milkshakes, Shamrock Pies and Windmill chips – winning!
If you have any doubt or confusion, just check in with Gareth Cliff, he knows the difference! So, if we ever meet and I introduce myself as being originally from East London, please don’t answer with: “So what school did you go to in PE?”