Whittlesea, Eastern Cape

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Whittlesea is located in Eastern Cape
Whittlesea is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 32°10′S 26°49′E / 32.167°S 26.817°E / -32.167; 26.817Coordinates: 32°10′S 26°49′E / 32.167°S 26.817°E / -32.167; 26.817
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
DistrictChris Hani
MunicipalityEnoch Mgijima
 • Total15.37 km2 (5.93 sq mi)
 • Total14,756
 • Density960/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African99.1%
 • Coloured0.2%
 • Indian/Asian0.2%
 • White0.1%
 • Other0.4%
First languages (2011)
 • Xhosa93.3%
 • English2.5%
 • Other4.2%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box

Whittlesea is a semi-rural town situated in the Hewu district, 37 km south of Queenstown, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The town is made up townships of Ekuphumleni, Bhede, Extension 4, Extension 5 and Sada. The town falls under the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality which is under the Chris Hani District Municipality. Surrounding Whittlesea are 36 villages which make up the Hewu (meaning "flat land' in Xhosa) district.


Founded in 1849, Whittlesea was as a military outpost created to protect white settlers during the Frontier War of 1850-1853. The town was named after Whittlesea in Cambridgeshire, birthplace of Sir Harry Smith (1787-1860), Governor of the Cape Colony from 1847 to 1852.[2] A British officer fortified five houses during the War of Mlanjeni (1850 to 1853), when the Xhosas besieged the settlement. One of these, which now forms part of the Post Office Complex,is still standing.[3] Between 1948- 1994, at the height of the apartheid regime in South Africa, Whittlesea belonged to the former Ciskei, a bantustan/ homeland established in 1961 under the Promotion of Self-Government Act of 1959. Until 1994, there was no formal political organisation in Whittlesea. The Department of Internal Affairs facilitated decisions around land use, services and rates in the townships through township managers. After South Africa's first democratic election, Whittlesea became governed by a council.[4] Nowadays the town is under the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality which covers areas such as Tarkastad & Queenstown


  • Hewu Hospital (formerly operated by Lifecare, but provincialized since 2010) is to be found only 4 km on the road to Ekuphumleni Township.
  • Whittlesea Library- Located at the municipality offices, the library caters for the town and the surrounding villages.
  • Walter Sisulu University Whittlesea campus
  • Whittlesea Police Station
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Harrison Hope- Opened in 2009, The wine estate located on Harrison Farm outside of Whittlesea is the first wine estate in the Eastern Cape.[5]
  • Inkosi Wine- Inkosi Wine is housed at the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme and was launched on 19 April 2017.[6]


Whittlesea functions as a central town, providing services and shopping facilities to the surrounding villages. The inhabitants of the town rely on the neighbouring town of Queenstown for their economic needs. Due to the failure of the factories built by the Taiwanese in Sada in the 1990s, the underutilisation of small business complexes, a lack of funding and a lack of natural resources, Whittlesea has become a source of migrant labour.[7] However, projects started by The South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL)[8] and Expanded Public Works Programmes [9] have brought hope to the area.


The following statistics describing Whittlesea are from the 2011 census.[10]

  • Area: 15.37 square kilometres (5.93 sq mi)
  • Population: 14756 : 1,960.04 inhabitants per square kilometre (5,076.5/sq mi)
  • Households: 9,473: 263.56 per square kilometre (682.6/sq mi)
Gender Population %
Male 6,774 45.91
Female 7,982 54.09
Race Population %
Coloured 27 0.18
Black African 14,621 99.09
White 16 0.11
Indian or Asian 35 0.24
Other 57 0.39
First language Population %
Afrikaans 64 0.44
isiXhosa 13666 93.27
English 369 2.52
Sesotho 80 0.55
Setswana 19 0.13
Sign language 118 0.81
isiZulu 53 0.36
isiNdebele 49 0.33
Xitsonga 17 0.12
Sepedi 31 0.21
Tshivenda 19 0.13
siSwati 6 0.04
Other 162 1.11
Not applicable 104


Some of the villages surrounding Whittlesea include;

  • Oxton village
  • Nyana
  • Lower Didimana
  • Upper Didimana
  • Kamastone
  • Romanslaagte
  • Tsitsikama
  • KuzaNgqokwe
  • Phelandaba
  • McBright
  • Mcewula
  • KwaSemi
  • Ensaam
  • Thornhill
  • EZola
  • Lower Hukuwa
  • Upper Hukuwa
  • Ekuphumleni (Dongwe)
  • Sada
  • Thambo
  • Cimezile
  • Ngcamnga
  • Mtha
  • KuNdlambe
  • Bede
  • Nkwankwankwa
  • Muswa
  • Mthwakazi
  • Hekeni (Hackney)
  • Zweledinga
  • Yonda
  • Dyamala
  • eMabheleni
  • Mbekweni
  • Gallawater
  • Long dry
  • Ngojini
  • Qawukeni
  • Upper Lahlangubo
  • eChibini
  • Sihlabeni
  • Zangqokhwe
  • Lower Lahlangubo

External links[edit]

Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council

Fani ( Bradloof)


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Whittlesea". Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 474.
  3. ^ "Eastern Cape" (PDF). In A Bus Tours. p. 104.
  4. ^ "Whittlesea: A socio economic profile and LED strategy" (PDF). Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Whittlesea wine farm defies odds". Show Me.
  6. ^ "Quality wine now made in Whittlesea". Daily Dispatch.
  7. ^ "Whittlesea: A socio economic profile and LED strategy" (PDF). Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council. p. 12.
  8. ^ "SANRAL celebrates Whittlesea SMMEs during Women's Month". SANRAL.
  9. ^ "Plans afoot to get country out of junk status: Ramaphosa". SABC.
  10. ^ "Whittlesea census". Adrian Firth.