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Main street of Mount Frere
|• Total||3.53 km2 (1.36 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||96.1%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||5090|
|Area code||039 255|
Mount Frere is a town located in the Eastern Cape province, previously known as the Transkei region, of South Africa. Its name in Xhosa is kwaBhaca, or "place of the Bhaca people", who settled here while fleeing the advance of Shaka Zulu.
Mount Frere is situated between Kokstad and Mthatha along the N2 road about 100 km north east of Mthatha. It is administered by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality and the villages are ruled by the Tribal chief with intermediary borders.
Mount Frere was founded in the 17th century and named after Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere.
There is one major street in Mount Frere and it is the Main street on the N2 road. It has many restaurants, shops and public services including the Police Station, Post Office, Municipal offices and the newly built Madzikane Ka Zulu Memorial Hospital. Most of the businesses and shops are situated along the Main street, there are only a few outside this area.
There are a lot of farmers in and around Mount Frere and most of the people rely on subsistence farming for their basic needs. Peaches, pears, oranges and maize meal are the most popular fruits and vegetables in Mount Frere and recently there has been involvement from the Municipal to change these Subsistence farmers into Commercial farmers.
Mount Frere has a population of over 5,000 although this might appear as crowded, the town in fact, has the smallest population, as most people are from the surrounding rural villages. The closest village is Lubhacweni which is located north of the town.
Rural villages surrounding the own still lack basic services like proper roads, electricity and water. Villages include Dangwana, Kumahahane, Mbondleni, Mtwana, Mtshazi, Mvuzi, Toleni, Mhlanganisweni, Qoqa, Lugangeni and others.
Mount Frere is underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure and sanitation. There are few proper public roads and most of the roads are gravel roads. Most people who do not have water tanks still make use river water, most of the villages are also still without electricity.
There is rarely any skills development in the area and as a result most of the youth have moved to the cities and more developed towns like Mthatha, Gauteng, Cape Town and Kokstad. Most of the people in Mount Frere are the elderly as this is mostly accelerated by the staggering unemployment rate and lack of essential services, like proper infrastructure and skills development.
The majority of Mount Frere's inhabitants are of Christian and Traditional African religion. There are minute populations of Islamic and Buddhists religions, mostly the foreign shopkeepers in rural villages.
The most prominent churches are the Methodist church and the Assemblies of God. Most of the people who live in Mount Frere are black people, there is a very small percentage (less than 1%) of white, Indian and foreign populations in Mount Frere.
There are Primary and Secondary Schools known as Jolobe Junior Secondary School, Mount Frere High School and Ingwe Further Education and a Training College. The Madzikane Ka Zulu Memorial Hospital (previously known as Mary Theresa Hospital) is situated along the N2 main road, a few kilometer east out of town. It is one of the largest hospitals in the province and a landmark in the area.