Nelson Mandela Bay
The Nelson Mandela Metropole is the only metropolitan municipality in the province, and is one of only six metropolitan areas in South Africa incorporating Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch and Coega. The largest city in the district, Port Elizabeth, was the first port to be developed as a well known and very popular holiday destination. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Port Elizabeth Technikon are both situated in the city. Uitenhage is only 35km from Port Elizabeth, and between, is Dispatch. 15km east of Port Elizabeth, the deepwater port of Ngqura and the Coega Industrial Development Zone are busy being developed. The Metropole boasts seven biomes, and they are biodiversity, beach, the Big Five, Xhosa culture, Sports mecca and adventure.
The Neslon Mandela Metropole has an area of 1,952 square kilometers, and has a population of more than 969, 000 people. It has the highest population density of all the districts having 714 people per square kilometer. Although the majority of the population is African, there is a higher percentage of coloureds and whites living in this district than in most of the other districts in the province.
The Nelson Mandela Metropole is the largest single economy in the whole province. The main economic sector is manufacturing providing 34% of formal employment. Another significant industry in the district economy is the automotive industry hosting two of the six vehicle assemblers in South Africa, namely General Motors and Volkswagen. Catalytic converter production has grown at a rapid rate as well. Other main manufacturing industries include food processing, furniture, textiles and clothing, and light engineering. The tourism industry also plays an important role in the districtís economy, being the strongest in Port Elizabeth as it famous for its beaches and being the starting point for the Garden Route. The Nelson Mandela Metropole is also used as a starting point for many tourism routes to the rest of the Eastern Cape Province. There is low informal employment, which reflects the strong manufacturing base. The Nelson Mandela Metropole has the lowest unemployment rate in the Eastern Cape.
The Nelson Mandela Metropole Municipality has been in the process of formulating a long-term Economic Growth and Development Strategy which is in its final stages at the moment.