Buffalo City

Quick Fact

Estimated population of  755,200 – Census 2011.

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Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape Province, on the eastern coast of South Africa.  Consisting of the towns of East London, King William’s Town, Mdantsane, Zwelitsha and Bhisho, the municipality was named after the Buffalo River, which flows through East London.

Rank By:
7 ranking by population size
  Rank view all
Ekurhuleni , Gauteng 3,178,470 4
City of Tshwane , Gauteng 2,921,488 5
Nelson Mandela Bay , Eastern Cape 1,152,115 6
Buffalo City , Eastern Cape 755,200 7
Mangaung , Free State 747,431 8
Quick Fact

4,9% of those aged 20 years and older had no form of schooling.

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Whites make up 7,7% of the population, 6% are coloureds, and other race groups comprise the remaining 1,2%.  Of those aged 20 years and older, 5,2% have completed primary school, 37,9% have some secondary education, 27,2% have completed matric and 13,9% have some form of higher education.

Group Percentage
Black African85,1%
Coloured6%
Indian/Asian0,8%
White7,7%
Other0,3%
Age Males Females
0-4 5,2% 5,1%
5-9 4,4% 4,3%
10-14 3,8% 3,6%
15-19 4,4% 4,6%
20-24 5% 5,2%
25-29 4,5% 4,8%
30-34 3,8% 4%
35-39 3,3% 3,7%
40-44 2,9% 3,5%
45-49 2,6% 2,6%
50-54 2,3% 3%
55-59 1,9% 2,3%
60-64 1,3% 1,6%
65-69 0,8% 1,3%
70-74 0,7% 1,1%
75-79 0,3% 0,7%
80-84 0,2% 0,4%
85+ 0,1% 0,4%
Language Percentage
Afrikaans 7%
English 10,7%
IsiNdebele 0,2%
IsiXhosa 76,9%
IsiZulu 0,4%
Sepedi 0,2%
Sesotho 0,3%
Setswana 0,2%
Sign Language 0,7%
SiSwati 0%
Tshivenda 0%
Xitsonga 0,1%
Other 0.7%
Not Applicable 2,5%
Group Percentage
Married 23,3%
Living together like married partners 4,6%
Never married 66,3%
Widower/Widow 3,8%
Separated 0,8%
Divorced 1,3%
Group Percentage
No Schooling 2,1%
Some Primary 39,6%
Completed Primary 5,5%
Some Secondary 33,9%
Completed Secondary 13,6%
Higher Education 2,6%
Not Applicable 2,7%
Sex Percentage
Female 52,5%
Male 47,5%
Quick Fact

80,9% of used electricity for lighting.

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There are 223 568 households in the municipality, with an average household size of 3,2 persons per household. Just under half of all households (45,8%) are headed by females. Just over half of all households (52,6%) have access to piped water that is accessible from within the dwelling.

Area Percentage
Urban 82,3%
Tribal/Traditional 16,5%
Farm 1,3%
Item Yes No
Cellphone 86,4% 13,6%
Computer 19,5% 80,5%
Television 74,9% 25,1%
Satellite Television 25,4% 74,6%
Radio 68,4% 31,6%
Landline / Telephone 14,6% 85,4%
Motor Car 28% 72%
Refrigerator 66,7% 33,3%
Electric / Gas-Stove 75,3% 24,7%
Energy Source Cooking Heating Lighting
Electricity 74,4% 41,1% 80,9%
Gas 3,8% 2,2% 0,4%
Paraffin 18,5% 33,7% 16,7%
Solar 0,2% 0,4% 0,2%
Candles 0% 0% 1,5%
Wood 2,5% 4,8% 0%
Coal 0,1% 0,6% 0%
Animal Dung 0,1% 0,1% 0%
Other 0,2% 0% 0%
None 0,2% 17% 0,2%
Access Percentage
From Home 8,1%
From Cellphone 14,6%
From Work 5,3%
From Elsewhere 4,9%
No Access 67,1%
Tenure Status Percentage
Rented 23,3%
Owned and fully paid off 36,6%
Owned but not yet paid off 13,3%
Occupied rent free 23%
Other 3,8%
Source of water Percentage
Regional/Local water scheme (operated by municipality or other water services provider) 91,6%
Borehole 0,9%
Spring 0,1%
Rain water tank 1,2%
Dam/Pool/Stagnant water 1,1%
River/Stream 0,3%
Water vendor 0,5%
Water tanker 1,9%
Other 2,4%
Toilet Facility Percentage
None 6,4%
Flush toilet (connected to sewerage system) 68,8%
Flush toilet (with septic tank) 2,4%
Chemical toilet 1,6%
Pit toilet with ventilation 5,3%
Pit toilet without ventilation 11%
Bucket toilet 1,2%
Other 3,2%
Refuse Disposal Percentage
Removed by local authority/private company at least once a week 70,4%
Removed by local authority/private company less often 0,9%
Communal refuse dump 3%
Own refuse dump 21%
No rubbish disposal 3,2%
Other 1,4%
Refuse Disposal Percentage
Removed by local authority/private company at least once a week 70,4%
Removed by local authority/private company less often 0,9%
Communal refuse dump 3%
Own refuse dump 21%
No rubbish disposal 3,2%
Other 1,4%
Quick Fact

35,1% unemployment rate

Quick Fact Image

Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has a strong manufacturing base, with a prominent automobile industry. In terms of the labour market for the municipality as a whole,35,1% of the 285 223 economically active individuals (i.e., those who are employed or unemployed but looking for work) are unemployed. Of the 135 753 economicallyactive youth (15–35 years) in the municipality.

Employment Status Number
Employed 185215
Unemployed 100008
Discouraged Work Seeker 31557
Not Economically Active 193921
Income Percentage
None income 17%
R1 - R4,800 5,2%
R4,801 - R9,600 7%
R9,601 - R19,600 18,5%
R19,601 - R38,200 17%
R38,201 - R76,4000 11,1%
R76,401 - R153,800 8,9%
R153,801 - R307,600 7,9%
R307,601 - R614,400 4,9%
R614,001 - R1,228,800 1,5%
R1,228,801 - R2,457,600 0,4%
R2,457,601+ 0,3%
Agricultural households
Type of specific activity Number
Livestock production 13,800
Poultry production 16,342
Vegetable production 25,964
Production of other crops 4,368
Other 6,768

**An agricultural household may engage in more than one agricultural activity

Agricultural households
Type of activity Number
Crops only 19,182
Animals only 14,400
Mixed farming 8,158
Other 1,884

**An agricultural household may not fall under more than one agricultural activity

Income category of agricultural households
Annual income category of agricultural household heads Number
No income 12,093
R1-R4 800 1,563
R4 801-R38 400 22,426
R38 401-R307 200 5,830
R307 201+ 856
Unspecified 855

Place names

Places in Buffalo City Municipality

Key Statistics 2011

Total population755,200
Young (0-14)26,4%
Working Age (15-64)67,6%
Elderly (65+)6%
Dependency ratio47,9
Sex ratio90,4
Growth rate0,69% (2001-2011)
Population density298 persons/km2
Unemployment rate35,1%
Youth unemployment rate45,1%
No schooling aged 20+4,9%
Higher education aged 20+13,8%
Matric aged 20+27,1%
Number of households223,568
Number of Agricultural households43,624
Average household size3,2
Female headed households45,8%
Formal dwellings72,5%
Housing owned/paying off49,8%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage68,8%
Weekly refuse removal70,4%
Piped water inside dwelling52,6%
Electricity for lighting80,9%

Key Statistics 2001

Total population704,855
Young (0-14)27,4%
Working Age (15-64)67,6%
Elderly (65+)5,2%
Dependency ratio48,3%
Sex ratio88,3
Growth rate0,55% (2001-2011)
Unemployment rate53,1%
Youth unemployment rate64,2%
No schooling aged 20+11,2%
Higher education aged 20+9,7%
Matric aged 20+21,5%
Number of households191,958
Average household size3,6
Female headed households46,7%
Formal dwellings62,9%
Housing owned/paying off51,7%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage63,9%
Weekly refuse removal71,2%
Piped water inside dwelling31,8%
Electricity for lighting63,3%