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Buffalo City (South Africa)

Eastern Cape Province

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: buffalo city |
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image by Martin Grieve, 18 Dec 2006

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Buffalo City flag (2001 - )

The Buffalo City Municipality is situated on the east coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It was established in  December 2000 following the re-organization of South African local authorities and includes East London, Bhisho and King William's Town, as well as the large townships of Mdantsane and Zwelitsha.  The municipality is named after the Buffalo River, at whose mouth lies the only river port in South Africa.

The area has a well-developed manufacturing base, with the auto industry playing a major role. DaimlerChrysler has a large assembly plant located next to the port of East London which produces a variety of vehicles for local consumption and for export.

Bhisho (formerly spelt Bisho) is the provincial capital of the Eastern Cape and was the capital of the former Ciskei Homeland.  Bhisho is the isiXhosa word for "buffalo".

The new municipal flag of Buffalo City contains the municipal crest in the centre of a  white field with the name of the Municipality in black beneath.

scan by Bruce Berry, 18 Dec 2006 

The new municipal crest was designed by Cuan Miles, a graphic design lecturer at the Buffalo City Further Education and Training College in 2001.  The crest is in the shape of an abstract shield, with a red, black and white border around a picture of the sun and a traditional landscape.

According to Miles, the sun's rays represent the climate, our Sunshine Coast. It also represents life, unity, warmth and energy. The buffalo horns at the top of the shield represent the historical name of the Buffalo River and the area's natural heritage. The central image with the sea and rolling hills represents the land in which the people live.  Traditional Xhosa culture is reflected by the black and white border. The border is rendered in a linear woodcut style, which has a strong tradition in South African art. Along the borders are various symbols from the Buffalo City area: a coelacanth (which was found off the East London coast), Aloe Ferox and Xhosa culture and sport in the form of a boxer. The striking red and blue spears represent the warriors of the past.

The motto, in isiXhosa, is "Masichume, Sande, Siphumele" which translates roughly into "Let's grow, expand and succeed" and reflects the city's vision of being a people-centred place of opportunity where the basic needs of all are met in a safe, healthy and sustainable environment.
Bruce Berry, 18 Dec 2006