From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Reformed Church in Indwe
Reformed Church in Indwe
Indwe is located in Eastern Cape
Indwe is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 31°27′58″S 27°19′59″E / 31.466°S 27.333°E / -31.466; 27.333Coordinates: 31°27′58″S 27°19′59″E / 31.466°S 27.333°E / -31.466; 27.333
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
DistrictChris Hani
 • Total20.8 km2 (8.0 sq mi)
 • Total17,534
 • Density840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African95.7%
 • Coloured3.0%
 • Indian/Asian0.2%
 • White0.8%
 • Other0.4%
First languages (2011)
 • Xhosa91.8%
 • Afrikaans3.6%
 • English1.8%
 • Other2.8%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code045

Indwe is a town in Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

The town is situated between Dordrecht and Elliot on the R56 road. It was founded in 1896 as a centre for coal-mining activities which started in 1867, and attained municipal status in 1898. It takes its name from the Indwe River, named after the blue crane (Anthropoides paradiseus, Xhosa: iNdwe), which occurred there in great numbers.[2]


Indwe was the fourth town after Johannesburg, Cape Town and Kimberley to have electricity. The “Indwe Railway Collieries and Land Company” was formed in Kimberley in late 1894. De Beers played a big part in it. The railway line was completed in March 1896. By 1899 the mine produced well over 100 000 tons of coal a year. By 1917 the coal mine closed down because meanwhile better quality coal had been discovered in the Transvaal. Indwe Railway station was one of the busiest stations in South Africa offering people from the rural Transkei a port of entry to Johannesburg and Cape Town up until 1994. Indwe compromises five townships Mavuya,Manyano,Mzamomhle,Phumlani and Sonwabile township. Mavuya township in Indwe is one of the oldest townships in South Africa and is considered to be older than Langa (Cape Town) and Alexandra (Johannesburg).


  1. ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Indwe A, Mzamomhle, Indwe B, Indwe C and Indwe from Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 222.