Uitenhage at a glance
The town of Uitenhage is a bustling industrial hub found in the Eastern Cape Province approximately 38 km away from the harbour city of Port Elizabeth. Fondly referred to as the Garden Town of the Eastern Cape, it lies in the foothills of the Winterhoek Mountains and on the banks of the Swartkops River with the town's official flower, the Strelitzia, blooming everywhere. Starting out as a farming community, Uitenhage has maintained its scenic charm while developing and growing into a thriving industrial and commercial epicentre.
Uitenhage was established in 1804 due to the conflict in the area between the Xhosa people and the settlers, a magisterial district was created, spearheaded by Uitenhage’s namesake General J.A. Uitenhage de Mist who offered his families coat of arms to the town, which became the first place in South Africa to bear one. Its history is traceable back to the 18th century when settlers put down roots in the Swartkops Valley; among these settlers were
Gert Scheepers and his wife, Johanna. established a farm in 1772, De Rietvallei – which is now known as the town of Uitenhage. By 1875 a railway line was built between Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth, later forming a link in the main railway line to the Karoo, which provided the town with a big source of employment, growing the town’s revenue and initiating its ‘industrial revolution’.
Since then industry and commerce has driven Uitenhage’s economy, fuelled its real estate market and has led to many exciting developments turning a farm into a large town, with a population of over 300 000. Plastic production, chicken exports and mining are all trades Uitenhage is known for, but is most famous for its automotive and associated parts manufacturing.
Volkswagen South Africa Factory
Since its inception in 1946, the Volkswagen South African Factory in Uitenhage has become the leading car manufacturer in the country and the African continent ever since their first Beetle rolled off the production line in 1951. Celebrating their 70th anniversary in 2016, they have continued to be a pillar of Uitenhage’s economy – and a leading creator of employment in the area – drawing thousands of South Africans to the town over the past few decades. Due to its massive influence a VW heritage centre was built in its honour in 2004 and remains to be Uitenhage’s main attraction.
The AutoPavilion, Place of Cars and Legends
Since opening its doors this state of the art heritage centre replaced the existing museum, absorbing all of the Company’s old vehicle models, which were housed there. This multi-million attraction transports visitors on a road trip through VW’s history and is one of five automobile discovery centres in the world. Expos include high-tech interactive demonstrations, showing off classic to ultra-modern and cars who have affected the automotive industry – past and future.
Activities include; seeing the evolution of VW from their first Beetle to their latest sports cars, a ‘movie studio’ Beetle and factory tours and many hours of educational entertainment.
There are nearly two dozen schools in Uitenhage with many other educational institutions surrounding the town; these include the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth Varsity College and many other primary, secondary and tertiary institutions
Muir College Boys High
This prestigious boys school is the oldest English-speaking school, established in 1822, in South Africa-founded by Scottish educationalist James Rose-Innes who started Uitenhage’s first free public school. Embraces its slogan of ‘Growth and Leadership’, prioritising academics, firmly integrated into their history and traditions.
Boasting a highly qualified faculty, this school enjoys only the best facilities including; a gym,25m swimming pool, several sports fields, a library and computer lab.
Riebeek Girls High School
This progressive girls school was founded in 1877 and encourages a cooperate atmosphere, providing learners with a safe and happy environment while motivating them to achieve. Services are available to primary and secondary school pupils (Grade 4 to 12). This Christian school observes religious tolerance and fosters good morals and values in their learners. Riebeek Girls High prides themselves in the 14 excellent clubs and societies they offer as well as the achievements in academics, sports and culture. Learners can join a variety of sports teams including; swimming, hockey and tennis and are encouraged to ‘shine like diamonds’ in this balanced environment.
Uitenhage has a variety of health care services in the area including several pharmacies, two hospitals, a dental clinic and many other healthcare and medical institutions.
Klinicare Pharmacy Uitenhage
This pharmacy follows very high standards, with its branch staffed by friendly and qualified pharmacists and clued up front of store employees. They have medical aid controllers on call, who assist clients in getting chronic medications and processing medical aid claims. They also have a travel clinic which has been approved by the World Health Organisation and operates as a yellow fever inoculation centre.
You can expect professional advice, helpful assistance and many other valuable services such as; patient screening and a wellness clinic for infants.
This dental surgery boasts years of experience and offers assistance and services in various dental needs, with only the highest standard of aid. Regardless of your dental need, Dentist@Health will be able to assist as their services range from; diagnosis/prevention, root canal treatments, oral surgery, orthodontics and even bleaching – just to name a few.
Netcare Cuyler Hospital
Forming part of the Netcare group, this private 120-bed hospital provides medical assistance all of their patients. With state of the art facilities they not only have general practitioners on call but also boast nearly thirty specialist services including; breast milk bank, dermatology, emergency medicine, ENT and general surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, maternity/natal and post-natal classes and care, reconstructive and plastic surgery.
With steady employment opportunities in Uitenhage and its close proximity to Port Elizabeth and its industries, many people relocate to Uitenhage due to its affordable property. Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty understands the needs of their buyers, selecting the best property options and making sure all of their buyers get the best value for their money. Freestanding homes, apartments and even farmlands are on offer. This town’s diverse commerce and industry , stunning settings, modern amenities and historic features all add up to make Uitenhage a wonderful place to call home.