Eastern Cape DestinationsSouth End, Port Elizabeth
The suburb of South End, as it's name suggests, lies just to the south of the centre of Port Elizabeth overlooking the harbour. It lies between Humewood and the centre of the city, east of Settlers Park Nature Reserve, a prime spot to base yourself in the city.
But it is South End's history that interests those who stay here. In similar fashion to District 6 in Cape Town, South End was a colourful neighbourhood that, because of its prime location right near the centre of town, was the site of enforced relocation of its residents during Apartheid, after which the suburb was flattened.
Before this however, during the 1950s and early 1960s, South End was highly cosmopolitan. Blacks, whites, coloureds, Indians, Chinese, Jews, Greeks and others lived side-by-side. In the small neighbourhood mosques, a Hindu temple, and various churches reflected the harmonious spirit of those who lived here.
Beautiful buildings that dated back to the 19th and 20th centuries with high ceilings, wooden floors and beautiful gables are now only evident in photographs, as with the 'removal' of people to various other parts of the city, homes were destroyed completely.
Today you can visit South End's Museum, where, at its entrance, you will find a wild fig tree, a Hindu temple and a couple of Muslim mosques in the vicinity. Inside are photographs of the old South End, and tours of the museum are conducted by former residents.
Whilst no longer considered 'over the river' as it was by locals during the 1860s, South End is a great base from which to explore the inner city's history.