Despatch, Eastern Cape

Despatch is a small town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa situated between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage with an estimated population of 40 000. It forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality which includes Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, and has collectively a population of over 1.3 million.


Despatch is located in Eastern Cape
Despatch is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 33°48′5.57″S 25°28′36.41″E / 33.8015472°S 25.4767806°E / -33.8015472; 25.4767806Coordinates: 33°48′5.57″S 25°28′36.41″E / 33.8015472°S 25.4767806°E / -33.8015472; 25.4767806
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
MunicipalityNelson Mandela Bay
 • Total19.65 km2 (7.59 sq mi)
 • Total39,619
 • Density2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African36.9%
 • Coloured17.8%
 • Indian/Asian0.2%
 • White44.7%
 • Other0.4%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans59.7%
 • Xhosa33.2%
 • English5.1%
 • Other2.0%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code041


The town of Despatch is situated on rich clay soil and in the late 1800s was the site of a flourishing brick industry. Despatch's name derives from this brick industry history on the account that bricks were dispatched from the original railway siding. Many of the older buildings in Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth were built from these bricks. Most of these early bricks can be identified by the word 'Despatch' imprinted on the top and bottom of the brick. The only reminder of the town's brick industry past is a chimney built in 1882 which formed part of the Brick Works. The Chimney is situated in a field on the outskirts of the town to the north next to the railway lines. In recent years restoration work has brought it back to its former glory including supports which now give it the appearance of a space rocket.

In 1903 the remains of a Stegosaurus were discovered near Despatch.

The township of Despatch was originally developed in 1942 to offer cheaper homing alternative for its fast growing neighbours of Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth. The town obtained official municipal status in 1945 and in 2001 it jointed with Uitenhage, Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas to form the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Despatch". Census 2011.

External linksEdit