Eastern Cape DestinationsDespatch, Port Elizabeth
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality comprises Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and the small town of Despatch (as well as the surrounding rural areas). As such, Despatch has become an extension of the two bigger towns flanking it, but has also retained its own character and identity.
Its history extends into the late 19th century, when bricks were being made here and then despatched to Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth for the building of homes. While the brick industry is now one of yesteryear, some of the old homes still exist as a memorial to the establishment of this little town and the business that put it on the map.
Despatch is now a quiet residential area, but is situated in the heart of the South African motor hub, with the Volkswagen and General Motors headquarters in Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth respectively. It is home to many families and retirees, and has a population of around 30 000 people.
The Despatch Museum is an excellent place in which to experience some of the history and heritage of the town. It tells the tale of its establishment, and even has a model of a Stegosaurus, the remnants of which were found in this area in 1903. A number of acclaimed sportsmen hailed from here; including Adri Geldynhuys (former Springbok rugby player), Danie Gerber (former South African Union rugby player), and Rudi Koertzen (a former international cricket umpire), amongst others. Some of their blazers, medals and photographs adorn the walls of this museum.
Thanks to its convenient locale, Despatch offers its visitors the feeling of a quiet Eastern Cape town, coupled with the conveniences of being close to the urban hub of Port Elizabeth, with its many restaurants, malls and gorgeous beaches. Uitenhage is a pretty town with loads of history and character, and is only a few minutes’ drive from Despatch.