Port St. Johns Local Municipality

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Port St Johns
Official seal of Port St Johns
Location in the Eastern Cape
Location in the Eastern Cape
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
DistrictOR Tambo
SeatPort St. Johns
 • TypeMunicipal council
 • MayorNomvuzo Mlombile-Cingo (ANC)
 • SpeakerBulelwa Nokhanda (ANC)
 • Chief WhipCebisa Mazuza (ANC)
 • Total1,291 km2 (498 sq mi)
 • Total156,136
 • Density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African99.3%
 • Coloured0.4%
 • Indian/Asian0.1%
 • White0.2%
First languages (2011)
 • Xhosa95.0%
 • English2.7%
 • Other2.3%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Municipal codeEC154

Port St. Johns Local Municipality is an administrative area in the OR Tambo District of Eastern Cape in South Africa.


Port St. Johns Local Municipality is a Class B municipality. The municipality is named after its only large town, Port St. Johns the administrative center.[3]

It is bounded on the southeast and south by the Indian Ocean; to the southwest and west by the Nyandeni Local Municipality, and in part the Mnenu River; and to the northwest, north and northeast by the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality (Qaukeni) and in part the Mzintlava River.[4] The major river in the municipality is the Mzimvubu River, and the large town of Port St. Johns is at the mouth of the Mzimvubu.[4]

The municipality consists of 16 wards and covers a total area of 1239 square kilometers (8800 hectares).[3] There are over 130 villages in the municipality.[3]

The interior of the municipality is rugged with some small arable areas.[3]


The municipality lies near the center of the coastal region of Mpondoland (Pondoland), the area formerly part of the Mpondo Kingdom and a traditional home of the Mpondo people. When the Kingdom split in two around 1846, the Port St. Johns area became part of Western Mpondoland under King Ndamase, as a result of a disagreement with his father King Faku, even though in theory Ndamase still owed fealty to his father.[5]

In 1869 the British government of the Cape Colony offered the Mpondo king, Ndamase, a substantial sum of money for the Port St. Johns area, but Ndamase refused the offer. Cape Colony renewed the offer in 1874, but Ndamase remained adamant. However after Ndamase died in 1876, his successor Nqwiliso, readily agreed and in 1878, Nqwiliso ceded the Port St Johns area to the Cape Colony in exchange for £1000 and recognition as the ruler of the Western Mpondo Kingdom.[6]

The town of Port St Johns was founded in 1884, taking its name from the earlier Portuguese "Sâo Joâo" at the area was called. It is unclear whether the Portuguese name was derived from a wreaked ship of the same name that foundered there, or from the silhouette of a rock face that reminded the sailors of the apostle.[7] However, before 1552 the locality was known to the Portuguese as "Sâo Christovâo".[8]

In 1960 the population of the municipality generally did not participated in the Mpondo Revolt.[9] However, the murder of Headman Aaron Majali of Majola on 26 September 1960 by fifteen youths from Ntlanjana and Guduza was definitely related.[10]

From 1959 to 1994, the municipality was part of the bantustan of Transkei.[3][4]

Main languages[edit]

The 2001 census recorded the following first languages: 98.69% IsiXhosa; 0.64% English; 0.20% Afrikaans; 0.13% IsiZulu; 0.12% SiSwati; 0.08% IsiNdebele; 0.06% Sesotho; and 0.08% other languages.


The municipal council consists of thirty-nine members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Twenty councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in twenty wards, while the remaining nineteen are chosen from party lists so that the total number of party representatives is proportional to the number of votes received. In the election of 1 November 2021 the African National Congress (ANC) won a majority of thirty-one seats on the council. The following table shows the results of the election.[11]

African National Congress26,29369.102029,46978.501131
Economic Freedom Fighters2,3556.1902,8407.5733
Independent candidates4,13110.8600
African Transformation Movement1,5554.0901,5674.1722
Civic Independent1,5003.9408642.3011
Democratic Alliance1,0442.7401,2653.3711
United Democratic Movement7491.9708592.2911
3 other parties4211.1106771.8000
Valid votes38,04897.1537,54196.55
Invalid/blank votes1,1182.851,3413.45
Total votes39,166100.0038,882100.00
Registered voters/turnout76,24851.3776,24850.99

Main places[edit]

The 2001 census divided the municipality into the following main places:[12]

Place Code Area (km2) Population Most spoken language
Amakwalo 23301 57.81 5,165 Xhosa
Bomvini 23302 253.67 25,094 Xhosa
Emtweni 23303 221.68 22,729 Xhosa
Gunyeni 23304 63.03 15,408 Xhosa
Manzamhlophe 23305 133.75 13,394 Xhosa
Mvumelwano 23306 315.70 31,342 Xhosa
Ndluzula 23307 195.11 22,123 Xhosa
Port St Johns Part 1 23308 8.79 5,181 Xhosa
Port St Johns Part 2 23310 0.80 289 Xhosa
Qaukeni 23309 37.94 5,420 Xhosa


  1. ^ "Contact list: Executive Mayors". Government Communication & Information System. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "OR Tambo District Municipality Coastal Management Programme 2016-2021" (PDF). Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa: OR Tambo District Municipality. 2016. pp. 18–19. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Location". Port St. Johns Municipality. Archived from the original on 9 December 2020.
  5. ^ Hendricks, Fred; Peires, Jeff (2011). "Chapter Six: All Quiet on the Western Front: Nyandeni Acquiescence in the Mpondoland Revolt". In Kepe, Thembela; Ntsebeza, Lungisile (eds.). Rural Resistance in South Africa: the Mpondo revolts after fifty years. Afrika-Studiecentrum Series, volume 22. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. pp. 115–140, pages 117 & 120. doi:10.1163/9789004214958_007. ISBN 978-90-04-21446-0.
  6. ^ Hendricks & Peires 2011, p. 118
  7. ^ "Place Names: Local Authorities for All Provinces". Official South African Geographical Names System, Arts and Culture Department, Government of South Africa. Archived from the original on 12 October 2004.
  8. ^ Raper, Peter Edmund (1987). Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (second ed.). Johannesburg, South Africa: Lowry Publishers. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-947042-06-6.
  9. ^ Hendricks & Peires 2011, pp. 134–135
  10. ^ Hendricks & Peires 2011, pp. 135–137
  11. ^ "Election Result Table for LGE2021 — Port St Johns". wikitable.frith.dev. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  12. ^ Lookup Tables - Statistics South Africa

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°37′42″S 29°32′16″E / 31.62833°S 29.53778°E / -31.62833; 29.53778