Port Elizabeth is a city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. It has a population of just over 300,000, with a total of 1.3 million in the surrounding Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. It is one of South Africa’s most important port cities and with a long coastline on Algoa bay is known as “The Windy City”. The city was founded in 1820 to accommodate British settlers and the renowned bell tower was built in 1923 to commemorate the arrival of these people. The city is a popular tourist resort and cultural center, housing the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, opened in 1956 and formerly known as the King George VI Art Gallery. The city is also a popular center for water sports, whale watching and big game viewing. To get the most out of their new city, expats living in Port Elizabeth can join other global minds at InterNations. The online expat community is an excellent source for all sorts of information useful to new arrivals in the city.
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Expatriates moving to Port Elizabeth will find a good infrastructure with excellent transport links. The main highway is the N2, which runs west to Cape Town and east to Durban. The city’s bus system is centered on the station in Market Square and Port Elizabeth railway station has many local commuter services and national long distance links to cities such as Bloemfontein and Johannesburg. Port Elizabeth Airport has good domestic connections and international flights can be accessed via Johannesburg and Cape Town. Sea freight arrives at the international harbor at Coega. This port has long been important to the economic life of Port Elizabeth and is one of the reasons for its relatively cosmopolitan atmosphere. This international focus is ideal for expats in Port Elizabeth, who can consult with other expatriates on the discussion groups and forums of InterNations to learn more about their new city.
There is no doubting the importance of the port to the economy of Port Elizabeth. It remains vital and has the largest ore loading capabilities in the southern hemisphere. The port continues to be developed via the Industrial Development Zone. The city is also home to South Africa’s car industry. Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen all have plants here and there is an extensive supply chain industry. This is also one of the reasons for the number of expats working in Port Elizabeth. InterNations represents an excellent resource to make new business connections and Expat Magazine gives lots of advice and information on the expatriate lifestyle, including articles on topics such as international business culture, moving abroad with a family and how to best get settled in your new home.