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East London

East London is a city on the southeast coast of South Africa, forming part of the Buffalo City Local Municipality, along with King William's Town, Mdantsane and Bhisho, in the Amatole District of the Eastern Cape Province.

The city was originally known as Port Rex, and was formed around the only river port in South Africa. In 1914 the town of East London on the West Bank was elevated to city status, and currently has a population of over 400 000, with over 1.4 million in the metropolitan area.

East London is the second largest industrial centre in the province, with the motor industry being the dominant employer. A major Daimler plant is located near the harbour and manufactures Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the local market, as well as for export to the United States. Other industries in East London include clothing, textiles, pharmaceuticals and food processing.

The IDZ, or East London Industrial Development Zone, has been established on the West Bank - close to both the port and the harbour in an attempt to encourage investment in the area. The site is one of four duty-free development areas in South Africa, and 1500 hectares of land have been made available for this project.

The tourism industry in East London has grown greatly over the past few years, as the area boasts a temperate climate, golden sandy beaches and warm oceans, as well as numerous heritage sites, the East London Zoo and the Aquarium. East London is also home to the Inkwenkwezi and Mpgongo Private Game Reserves, as well as the East London Museum.

The ABSA Stadium, with a capacity of 15 000 people is located in East London and is generally used for rugby matches, while the Buffalo Park Stadium, seating 28 000, has hosted various One Day International cricket matches and hosted a Test match in 2002.

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