Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth is named after South Africa’s iconic statesman Nelson Mandela. Read on to know more about this ‘friendly’ South African city.

Port Elizabeth

The South African city of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth arguably is one of South Africa’s most visited city. It is named after South Africa’s and one of the world’s most respected statesman – Nelson Mandela. This year apart from the group matches, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth will host the third and fourth place play-off for the FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament. The city known as the ‘Friendly City’ is located in South Africa’s Eastern Province and experiences cold winters and mild summers with spells of winter rainfall too.

The history of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth can be traced back to the early hunter-gatherers, the San and the Khoi. The area was once home to the Xhosa who thrived along the banks of the Sundays River. However, all of this changed when the British stormed into the port city in 1820. The British after battling against the paltry resistance put up by the Xhosa soon made the city their entry point to the gold rich country that was South Africa. The port city was named Port Elizabeth in the memory of the wife of the then acting Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Rufane. The city also played a pivotal role in the resistance against the offensive apartheid regime that plagued the ‘Rainbow Nation’. The cities of Dispatch and Uitenhage fall within the jurisdictional limits of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and many other prominent personalities have all been a part of life at Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth. The city thrives on its motor and tourism industries and is blessed with a good helping of architectural marvels, the Opera House being a good example of the same. The port city is also the best place from which to uncover the mysterious secrets of the Eastern Cape. The untouched beaches of the Sunshine coast and Hogsback, which is believed to have inspired J.R.R Tolkien to pen the Lord of the Rings books, are all an easy drive away from the city. The area around the city is also blessed with an abundance of five-star game lodges. Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth is one city that everyone has to visit to experience all things South African. 
Football In Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth has almost always been about cricket, rugby and most importantly ‘Football’. The people here are a sporty lot and tend to take their love for sports to professional levels. The erstwhile professional side, Bay United was the only team from Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth to actually fight for an enviable rank in South Africa’s top flight football league.

The Eastern Cape Province in the past has been home to some of South Africa’s most distinguished sporting talents. Former Bafana Bafana defender Frank Schoeman, Blackburn Rovers forward Elrio van Heerden and Patrick Mayo have all emerged from the city of Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth. The city in the 1996 CAF Africa Cup played host to the group and quarter-final matches and also hosted Senegal for the 2005 Nelson Mandela Challenge.

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