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Uitenhage (/ˈjuːtɪnhɡ/; Afrikaans: [œitənˈɦɑːχə]) is a South African town in the Eastern Cape Province. It is well known for the Volkswagen factory located there, which is the biggest car factory on the African continent. Along with the city of Port Elizabeth and the small town of Despatch, it forms the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

Victoria Tower in Uitenhage
Victoria Tower in Uitenhage
Uitenhage is located in Eastern Cape
Uitenhage is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 33°46′S 25°24′E / 33.767°S 25.400°E / -33.767; 25.400Coordinates: 33°46′S 25°24′E / 33.767°S 25.400°E / -33.767; 25.400
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
MunicipalityNelson Mandela Bay
 • Total75.35 km2 (29.09 sq mi)
103 m (338 ft)
 • Total103,639
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African23.8%
 • Coloured54.7%
 • Indian/Asian1.2%
 • White18.4%
 • Other1.8%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans68.9%
 • Xhosa17.9%
 • English10.4%
 • Other2.9%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code041



Uitenhage was founded on 25 April 1804 by landdrost (district magistrate) Jacob Glen Cuyler and named in honour of the Cape's Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist by the Dutch Cape Colony governor, Jan Willem Janssens.[3] Uitenhage formed from part of the district of Graaff Reinet (shortly after its short-lived secession).

The Cape Colony received a degree of independence when "Responsible Government" was declared in 1872. In 1875, the Cape government of John Molteno took over the rudimentary Uitenhage railway site, incorporated it into the Cape Government Railways (CGR), and began construction of the lines connecting Uitenhage to Port Elizabeth and the Southern African interior. Two years later, in 1877, Uitenhage was declared a municipality.[4]

Nearly a hundred years later, as part of the Republic of South Africa, Uitenhage became a centre for resistance against apartheid. In 1985, police opened fire on a funeral procession in Uitenhage, killing a number of unarmed people, in an event that became notorious as an example of police oppression in South Africa under apartheid.[5][6]

In 2001 it was incorporated with Port Elizabeth and Despatch into the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.


Uitenhage is known for the large industries situated there. The largest of these industries are the Volkswagen and Goodyear factories. An automotive supplier park, Alexander Park Industrial, has also been created directly next to the Volkswagen factory, thus allowing automotive component manufacturers to construct their manufacturing plants close by.

Notable peopleEdit

  • Allan Hendrickse - Preacher-teacher-politician from apartheid politics[7]
  • Balthazar Johannes Vorster - South African Prime Minister 1966 - 1978
  • Carel Fourie - Springbok rugby wing; from Die Brandwag Hoërskool.[citation needed]
  • Charles Robert Redcliffe[citation needed] - Labour Party politician, community leader and anti-apartheid activist.
  • Christo van Rensburg - South African tennis player, ATP-ranked singles #19 in 1988 and doubles #5 in 1987[8]
  • Deshun Deysel - international business coach and mountaineer.[9]
  • Deon Kayser - rugby player.[10]
  • Enoch Sontonga - composer of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika which is now part of the national anthem.
  • Garth Wright - Springbok rugby scrum-half from Muir College in the late 80s and early 90s[11]
  • James Wide - Double leg amputee railway signalman and owner of Jack the signal-baboon.
  • Jean-Paul (JP) Biko Keyter - RSG Radio Presenter, TV Sport Presenter/Writer on eNuus at etv, Kyknet, SABC Sport and Actor[citation needed]
  • Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe - British Army officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Johan van der Merwe - Springbok rugby centre 1969/70 British tour; from Die Brandwag Hoërskool.[citation needed]
  • Lee-Roy Wright - South African actor and television presenter[12]
  • Linky Boshoff - South African Tennis player; Won US Open Doubles Title at Forest Hills with Ilana Kloss 1976, Ranked no 1 Doubles 1976, reached 1/4 finals singles French Open 1977 and Wimbledon 1974 and 3rd round US Open 1975; from Riebeek College Girls High School.[citation needed]
  • Loyiso Bala - South African R&B singer; part of Bala Brothers ground and TKZee[13]
  • Mcebisi Jonas, former deputy Finance Minister. He remains an active member of ANC's Uitenhage branch[14]
  • Nantie Hayward - South African cricketer who now plays in the Indian Cricket League
  • Okkert Brits - Olympic pole vaulter
  • Polla Fourie - Springbok rugby flank; brother of Carel; from Die Brandwag Hoërskool.[citation needed]
  • Sean Burke - musician, composer currently based in Randburg, Gauteng[15]
  • Smuts Ngonyama - ANC National Spokesman during Thabo Mbeki's Era. Recently appointed South African Ambassador to Spain
  • The Invaders[16] - popular South African music group from the 1960s
  • Ton Vosloo - Journalist; previous editor of Beeld (1977-1983), managing director Naspers Ltd 1984-1992, chair Naspers Ltd (1992-1997), Non-executive chair Naspers Ltd (1992-April 2015), Board Member of Multichoice South Africa and a director of Media24; from Die Brandwag Hoërskool.[17]
  • Pierre Terblanche - Previous director of design at Ducati, Italy; from Die Brandwag Hoërskool.[citation needed]

Notable animalsEdit

  • Jack - A chacma baboon trained as double leg amputee signalman James Wide's assistant.

Notable buildingsEdit

Coats of armsEdit

Drostdy — In 1804, the Cape colonial government assigned the shield of Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist's arms to the new Uitenhage drostdy. The arms were Sable, a cross moline Argent, i.e. a silver cross moline on a black shield. An anchor was placed behind the shield.[19] The British authorities discontinued the drostdy seals in 1814, and replaced them with the royal coat of arms.[20]

Municipality — In 1881, the Uitenhage municipal council adopted the De Mist arms, complete with a crest consisting of a cross moline issuing from a gold coronet.[21] The arms were registered with the Cape Provincial Administration in September 1956[22] and at the Bureau of Heraldry in June 1994.[23]

Divisional council — The Uitenhage divisional council (the local authority for the rural areas outside the town) assumed a coat of arms in 1968. The arms were granted by the provincial administrator in August 1968[24] and registered at the Bureau of Heraldry in June 1972.[23]

On the arms were stated: "Or, a triple crowned tree Vert, the trunk entwined with the Batavian tricolour; on a chief wavy Sable a cross moline between dexter a pickaxe and hammer in saltire, handles downwards and sinister two scrolls in saltire, Argent." In layman's terms, the design was a golden shield displaying, from top to bottom, a crossed pickaxe and hammer, a cross moline and two crossed scrolls on a black horizontal strip with a wavy edge, and a triple-crowned tree with a Batavian Republic flag wrapped around it.

The crest was an elephant, and the motto Per laborem ad honorem.


  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Uitenhage". Census 2011.
  3. ^ "Uitenhage is founded". sahistory. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  4. ^ Burman, Jose (1984), Early Railways at the Cape. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, p.66. ISBN 0-7981-1760-5
  5. ^ Thornton, R. J. (1990). "The Shooting at Uitenhage, South Africa, 1985: The Context and Interpretation of Violence". American Ethnologist. 17 (2): 217–236. doi:10.1525/ae.1990.17.2.02a00020. JSTOR 645077.
  6. ^
  7. ^ McGregor, Liz (21 March 2005). "Obituary: The Rev Allan Hendrickse". UD News. Uitenhage. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  8. ^ Christo van Rensburg - South African Airways ATP Rankings History
  9. ^ Combrinck, Heilie (30 June 2016). "First local TEDx conference hosts famous guests". UD News. Uitenhage. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  10. ^ Biyela, Lunga (3 April 2014). "Kayser happy to share". The Witness. Durban. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  11. ^ The Captain's Table: Panel: Garth Wright
  12. ^ "Lee-Roy Wright".
  13. ^ "Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality : Loyiso Bala".
  14. ^ Reporter, Citizen. "Details: How Mcebisi Jonas could make his political comeback". The Citizen. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  15. ^ Artist hits home with Consciousness Hip Hop Archived 2012-05-28 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Gedye, Lloyd (22 November 2008). "Rise of The Invaders". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  17. ^ Vosloo, Ton (2018). Oor Grense – ’n Lewe in die media in ’n tyd van verandering [Over Borders: A life in the media in a time of change] (in Afrikaans). Jonathan Ball. ISBN 9781868428878.[page needed]
  18. ^ Schalk, le Roux (June 2007). "The First Mosque: Caledon Street, Uitenhage" (PDF). Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir kultuurgeskiedenis (South African journal of cultural history). 21 (1): 59. Retrieved 24 June 2017. it is deduced that the mosque in Caledon Street was a completed building by March 1849
  19. ^ Pama, C. (1965) Lions and Virgins.
  20. ^ Cape Town Gazette 418 (15 January 1814).
  21. ^ The arms were depicted on a cigarette card issued in 1931.
  22. ^ Cape of Good Hope Official Gazette 2833 (28 September 1956).
  23. ^ a b National Archives of South Africa : Data of the Bureau of Heraldry
  24. ^ Cape of Good Hope Official Gazette 3470 (9 August 1968).


External linksEdit

Note: Distances by tarred road as per SA Explorer – Uitenhage Distances