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Almshouses, Alms Street, Bethelsdorp
Almshouses, Alms Street, Bethelsdorp
Bethelsdorp is located in South Africa
 Bethelsdorp shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 33°53′S 25°30′E / 33.883°S 25.500°E / -33.883; 25.500Coordinates: 33°53′S 25°30′E / 33.883°S 25.500°E / -33.883; 25.500
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape
Municipality Nelson Mandela Bay
Established 1803
 • Total 36.62 km2 (14.14 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 182,012
 • Density 5,000/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 34.1%
 • Coloured 64.4%
 • Indian/Asian 0.6%
 • White 0.2%
 • Other 0.8%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 57.8%
 • Xhosa 28.7%
 • English 11.2%
 • Other 2.3%
Postal code (street) 6059
PO box 6003
Area code +27 (0)41

Bethelsdorp is a town in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, 20 km north-west of Port Elizabeth.


Established in 1803 by Rev. J. T. van der Kemp on the farm Roodepas of Theunis Botha as a mission station of the London Missionary Society. The name is derived from the Hebrew word Baitheel, meaning 'House of God'.[2]

Under the previous political dispensation, Bethelsdorp was a township almost exclusively inhabited by People of colour (Afrikaans: Kleurlinge). This changed somewhat with the end of Apartheid in South Africa in 1994, as living and trading in the township is now freely open to all races.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Bethelsdorp". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 78.