Discover the beauty, history and community spirit of Uitenhage, a family-oriented town.
Uitenhage lies 38km northwest of Port Elizabeth and was founded in 1804.
The town has grown from a small community into a thriving component of Nelson Mandela Bay and is the home of the well-established Volkswagen factory, which provides employment for many people in the town.
Uitenhage is distinguished by its many pretty parks and a climate that allows gardens to flourish with minimal effort. The area also contains many well-maintained historical buildings.
Allan Douglas, who was born in Uitenhage, says he has lived in all the suburbs around town.
“We’ve been in our current house in Mosel for about 14 years. I got a great deal in the area and thought it would be a good neighbourhood to raise kids in,” he says.
Allan, who has three children and three grandchildren, says he has seen many different businesses pop up in the town over the years.
Many families have also renovated houses that were previously old and outdated.
“The houses are starting to look more modern,” he says.
Properties in the area are generally spacious.
“There are some very big plots. The homes are large and many of them are pretty old and remodelled,” he says.
“Our house is a bit different from others in the area. Ours is a fairly newly built double-storey home, while the rest in the area tends to be older, single-storey houses.”
Even with renovated properties and an increased number of businesses in the area, Allan says Uitenhage has managed to retain its peaceful atmosphere.
Like all areas, Uitenhage has had some problems with crime, but Allan says the residents are always willing to support each other.
“Every area has it dangers and that’s no different here. We’ve our fair share of breakiins, but with a good security system, the good far outweighs the bad.”
Uitenhage has many good schools.
“Our home, in particular, is close to Riebeek College Girls’ High School, HTS Daniel Pienaar, Marymount Convent High School, Muir College, Hoërskool Brandwag and my former high school, Uitenhage High School, all schools which do very well academically,” Allan says.
Other schools in Uitenhage include Convent Pre-Primary School, Strelitzia High School, College Hill Preparatory School, Gamble Street Secondary School, Dower Practising School, Limekhaya High School, Fountain of Life Christian School, Laerskool Handhaaf, Laerskool Innes, Little Flower Primary School, McCarthy Secondary and Comprehensive schools, as well as Molly Blackburn Senior Secondary School.
The Uitenhage Street Carnival has been going for two decades and is celebrated annually in late November. The town all but shuts down for the event.
There’s a street parade, live entertainment on the street stage, a market with more than 120 stalls, a play area for children and a Miss Carnival Queen pageant (the winner of which goes on to serve as a community environmental ambassador).
Uitenhage has a rich history and several historical sites. The area started out as a farm but became a town to accommodate the growing automotive industry.
“We have museums and parks, but it’s quite quiet on this side.
We got our first official casino just last year,” says Allan. “Uitenhage is a very family-focused town. The pace is a little slower here but it means we can focus on what’s important.”
The median asking price for a typical property in Uitenhage, such as a three-bedroom house, is R780 000. You can expect to pay rental of around R6 000 a month for a three-bedroom house.
Most of the residential stock is in houses, with only a few properties in either a townhouse complex or blocks of flats.
- Nelson Mandela Bay Science & Technology Centre: a place where young and old can explore the marvel of science and technology through interactive displays;
- VW AutoPavilion: an interactive car museum where you can also book informative factory tours;
- The monthly market at Willow Dam: a good spot to hang out as a family;
- Cuyler Manor Museum: a Cape Dutch manor house offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. There’s also a collection of animals, which the youngsters adore.
- Penford Shopping Centre: a 230m2 retail space with anchor tenants such as Pick n Pay, Mr Price, Wimpy and Pick n Pay Liquors;
- Binnehof Shopping Centre: for all your basic retail needs, from groceries and medication to cellphones and clothing;
- Levyvale Shopping Centre: for a number of conveniently located shops and a Spar outlet.
- Galaxy Grill: for a variety of delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner meals;
- Agape Coffee Shop: for light meals and live entertainment;
- Topiary Lane Coffee Shop: for coffee and boutique shopping;
- Pork Bellies: for wine and tapas;
- Bella’s Coffee Shop: for kids’ parties and play dates;
- Caledon Kitchen: for great coffee and local cuisine.