Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.


The township of Mdantsane, situated between East London and King William's Town, has its roots in the apartheid era and is the second largest township in South Africa after Soweto, and is now home to about 400 000 people.
Established in 1962 as part of the government's racist apartheid policies to provide living space for cheap African labour, the original inhabitants are people who were forcibly removed from the East Bank a multiracial residential area in East London. The aim was to create a fully-fledged town, semi-autonomous but economically integrated into white urban areas and originally 300 low cost homes were built just west of the East London suburbs and in 1963 its first inhabitants moved in. 

This was the birth of the Mdantsane township. Between 1964 and 1970, thousands of families were resettled in Mdantsane, but the envisaged growth into a city never materialised. In its place there was instead a growth in unemployment and poverty, along with violence and crime.
The Department of Bantu Administration & Development saw Mdantsane as a homeland city to house East London’s labour needs. Transport links into East London were to be improved but the development of a solid infrastructure for the township, such as industries, schools and hospitals, was not considered.

Mdantsane lacks an adequate economic and social infrastructure for an urban area of its size and faces major challenges in regard to supply of potable water, accessibility of public transport, road and pedestrian access-way networks, safety of residents and poor storm-water management
There are also insufficient quality primary health facilities to deal with the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and related health diseases.Mdantsane formed part of the Ciskei, an apartheid structure and an independent province, before being re-incorporated into the Eastern Cape. Mdantsane is divided into eighteen zones but is still undergoing expansion.There is formal trading which is housed in the recently built shopping malls. 

The opening of the multimillion-rand Mdantsane City mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the Eastern Cape, in April 2008, heralded a new era for the township, transforming the area from a dormitory housing development to a self-contained suburb with its own amenities and entertainment facilities. 

In the sporting arena Mdantsane is known as the home of boxing, with boxing world champions like Happyboy Mgxaji, Welcome Ncita and Vuyani Bungu, to mention just a few, hailing from the area. 

The population of the area is predominantly Xhosa and the language spoken in Mdantsane is isiXhosa and there is a vibrant social life with many church denominations and other social activities.

The majority of people living in Mdantsane live below the bread-line according to government economic classifications and there is still a very high unemployment rate in the area. 

The growth and development of the area is however seeing a growing middle class and the advent of the Mdantsane Urban Renewal initiative is set to see the middle class grow rapidly.The establishment of the Urban Renewal Programme, launched by Buffalo City Municipality in 2003 is set to bring change and correct the imbalances which have existed in this area. 

This Government initiative is aimed at speeding up service delivery and improving the quality of life, fight poverty and under-development of communities living in eight identified townships through job creation, infrastructure development and the stimulation of growth – creating a living and working environment where the basic needs of all are met in a safe, healthy and sustainable manner.


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