|• Total||45.55 km2 (17.59 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,400/km2 (8,900/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||99.5%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||5219|
Mdantsane is a South African township situated between East London and King William's Town in the Eastern Cape province. It is reputed to be the second largest township in South Africa after Soweto and houses the second biggest shopping mall in the Eastern Cape Province (Mdantsane City and open since April 2008). The original inhabitants were people who were forcibly removed from what was known as East Bank in East London. The East Bank was a multiracial residential area. Mdantsane was located within an apartheid structure, then known by the name of Ciskei.
It is divided into eighteen zones which are still expanding, with the newest unit known as Unit P. The zones are named numerically in the chronological order of their establishment. The central market, in N.U.2 (Zone 2) district is called "The Hi-way". It is named after Qumza Highway, which is the main road that runs through Mdantsane from East London city centre to an industrial area at the end, Fort Jackson. Here many informal traders sell their wares on the streets and it is also the location of the main taxi rank. There is also formal trading which is housed in the recently built shopping malls. Mdantsane is also known as a home of boxing, because this is where boxing world champions like Happyboy Mgxaji, Welcome Ncita and Vuyani Bungu hail from. A pulsating culture in music, arts and poetry continues to thrive in this close-knit township life. Many political stalwarts and veterans also hail from this township, including Thozamile Gqweta, Ntombazana Gertrude Botha, Mlamli Ondala and Bangumzi Sifingo.
There is a vibrant social life with many church denominations and other social activities. However, according to Statistics South Africa, the area still has a very high unemployment rate. The township is part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
Cecilia Makiwane Hospital is a 1,724-bed multidisciplinary hospital in Mdantsane. It was named after Cecilia Makiwane, the first black registered nurse in South Africa. Along with Frere Hospital and the East London Mental Health Unit, it forms part of the East London Hospital Complex, which serves a population of almost three million people.
The language spoken in Mdantsane is Xhosa, however English or Afrikaans is spoken as a second language by the inhabitants. The majority of Mdantsane's residents subsist below the living wage, according to the government's economic classifications. However, there is a growing middle class in Mdantsane. With the advent of the Mdantsane Urban Renewal initiative this category of residents is set to grow rapidly.