The municipality of Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa was formally established in December 2000. At that time, Buffalo City was already a manufacturing haven for large international companies and booming local businesses.
The local government adopted a municipal flag which shows a crest in the middle of a white background. The crest was designed in 2001 by a graphic artist from Buffalo City, Cuan Miles. It is like a shield of armour with buffalo horns around a black, white and red border encasing the sun and landscape. The symbol of the sun stands for warmth, energy, and life; the buffalo horns represent the natural beauty of the areas and the colours are traditional Xhosa and South African art.
Life in Buffalo City
For new residents to Buffalo City, East London is usually perceived of as cosmopolitan in a way not expected for a developing country. East London has excellent infrastructure and good amenities. Many newcomers expect to see the typical African rough and tumble world; thatched houses; live, roaming animals, and scenes with tribal forces. The reactions at seeing a modern city is almost amusing. The roads are paved and no, there are no lions or monkeys roaming around freely, at least, not in the major urban areas.
Buffalo City has been described aptly as a “diamond in the rough” and the “unsung treasure of South Africa.” In East London, it is blue sky and sea blended harmoniously for most areas with the industrial nature of the area. Life is bustling with activities, people, and voices. The sun shines most of the year and the people, mostly young, are friendly and welcoming.
Housing in most of Buffalo City is medium-sized suburbia. This means they are modern, comfortable houses: but, unfortunately, you will still see poverty. Like most places in South Africa, you will see TAG Heuer watches intermingled with people in dire economic conditions. Fortunately, more jobs have opened up in the past 2 years. In 2010, employment rose by 1.2% or the equivalent of 157 000 new jobs. The unemployment figure remained high because of the entry of new graduates into the workforce and the fact that this figure includes people who did not work for a minimum of 12 months, regardless of the reason.
Places of Interest
Staying in Buffalo City provides you with quick access to some of the most unusual sites in the country. This municipality is bursting with natural resources including conservation sites, 10 estuaries, 14 beaches, and several heritage sites.
The beaches are the main attraction for most locals and visitors especially during the holiday season. Many South Africans trek to enjoy the warm Indian Ocean either to swim or fish. This is also a place that is steeped in history because of the role the Eastern Cape Province played during the Apartheid period.
Buffalo River is an attraction because it is the only river port in the country. However, the port itself has restricted access since it is used by the East London Industrial Development Zone. In King William’s Town, you will get to enjoy lots of open spaces, water sports, history, culture, old architecture, and the Amathole Museum.