SA Metro: Buffalo City

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South Africa has eight metropolitan municipalities. Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape was declared a metro municipality after the 2011 local elections.

Buffalo City metropolitan municipality is in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape. It consists of the towns of East London, King William’s Town, Mdantsane, Zwelitsha, and Bhisho.

The municipality – named after the Buffalo River which flows through East London – was established as a local municipality in 2000 after South Africa’s reorganisation of municipal areas.

In May 2011, it was separated from the Amathole District Municipality and converted into a metropolitan municipality.

History was made in Buffalo City when the City elected its first female mayor in March 2006.


By 2011, Buffalo City boasted a total population of 755 198. The Metro registered a population growth rate of 0.7% between 2001 and 2011.

Census 2011 data reveals that Black Africans make up 85.1% of the metro’s population, Whites 7.7%, Coloureds 6%, and Indian/ Asians 0.8%. The gender ratio in the metro is 52.5% female and 47.5%, male.

Between 2001 and 2011, Buffalo City experienced population a population growth of 0.36%.


IsiXhosa is spoken by 76.9% of residents as their mother tongue, while English accounts for 10.7% and Afrikaans 7%.

Unemployment rate 

Census 2011 data reveals also that 72.5% of the metro’s population live in ‘formal dwellings’; 68.8% were connected to a flush sewerage system; 70.4% has their refuse removed on a weekly basis; 52.6% had access to piped water inside their dwelling and 80.9% used electricity for lighting.

Main towns

Beacon Bay, Berlin, Bisho, Breidbach, Dimbaza, East London, Kidd’s Beach, King William’s Town, Mdantsane, Phakamisa, Potsdam, Zwelitsha.

Main economic sectors

Community services (25%), finance (24%), manufacturing (24%), trade (12%), and transport (12%).

Council’s seats

The Current council composition 100 seats: ANC 60, DA 24, EFF 8, AIC 4, ACDP 1, COPE 1, PAC 1, UDM 1

The executive mayor of Buffalo City metro is Mr Xola Pakati.

Source: Municipalities.co.za