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Port Alfred at a glance

Port Alfred lies at the heart of the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast. Its name, which has changed three

times since the arrival of the settlers in 1820, indicates that it did not initially come into existence as

a holiday resort, as did other villages along the Sunshine Coast such as Kenton on Sea (24 kms

south), Boknes and Cannon Rocks (15 kms beyond Kenton along the R72).

At the time when the 1820 settlers arrived, Port Alfred was a marshy area consisting of a few islands

and expansive reed beds at the mouth of the Kowie River. The settlers immediately saw the area’s

potential as a harbour. A small brig ― a sailing ship with two square masts ― was easily able to cross

the sand bar at the mouth of the river. The Cape Colonial Government appointed a harbour master

and drew up plans for the development of the harbour. The port changed its name to ‘Port Frances’,

after the wife of Colonel Henry Somerset, son of the Cape Governor (who had also moved the

location of the drostdy from Bathurst to Grahamstown).

However, the plans were not successful and after ten years the Colonial government abandoned the

development. In 1839 local residents William Cock and George Hodgkinson formed the Kowie

Harbour Improvement Company to divert the flow of the Kowie River into an open channel along the

West Bank, away from the marshy area, to the sea. When Queen Victoria’s second son, Alfred,

visited the town in 1860, the port changed its name again to ‘Port Alfred’ in commemoration of the

Prince’s visit. From 1864 over a period of 20 years some 100 vessels, including the mailships such as

the Union Castle Line (serviced by lighters in the roadstead) visited the harbour annually.

The advent of steam ships and the development of new harbour facilities on the Buffalo River in East

London, 137 kms north, as well as the opening of a rail link from Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth (130

kms south from Port Alfred) made the harbour redundant. However, the use of Port Alfred as a

harbour has not ceased completely. In 1988 local residents formed a private company to develop a

housing estate ― Royal Alfred Marina Waterfront Estate ― on five islands on the eastern bank of

the Kowie River mouth. The marshes were cleared and the development, which includes a harbour

for pleasure craft of all kinds, was completed in 1989. Around that time a second, arched, bridge,

was built across the Kowie River along the R72.

On either sides of the Kowie, seaside cottages, holiday homes and mansions old and new, cover the

hills and coastal dunes. There are three secure, gated, retirement complexes, several hotels, and

holiday accommodation such as flats, cottages and duplexes across the road from the main beach.

This community is well served by educational institutions and commercial enterprises:

 An air school was established in 1941 as a joint air forces training base during WWII. After a

period during which it was used jointly by civilians and then abandoned by the military it was

re-established in 1988 as a training school for pilots in 1988. In 2011 the school obtained

Boeing accreditation and in 2014 started a Jet Pilot programme (www.43airschool.com).

 Stenden South Africa is a Private Higher Education Institution which offers Bachelor of

Commerce degrees in Disaster Management and Hospitality Management. Both degrees are

accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee and registered by SAQA.

 In a report commissioned by the Christelijke Hogeschool Noord-Nederland (CHN) of the

Netherlands in 2002, Port Alfred High Schools (PAHS) was described as ‘the best resourced

and best managed school in Port Alfred, reflecting the affluent social and economic

environment in which it is situated. It is the oldest public school in Port Alfred as it was

declared a Government school in 1883.’ It remains highly-sort-after by all the communities

around because of its commitment to high standards and its range of innovative extra-mural

activities. Apart from this school there are several primary schools and other secondary

schools in the area.

 The NetCare Hospital, a public-private partnership, with the Dept of Health opened its doors

in 2009. Netcare Limited is the largest private hospital network in South Africa and the

United Kingdom (UK).

 As far as shopping is concerned, there are two shopping malls, one in town and the other on

its outskirts. There are several hotels and numerous restaurants. The wharf developed by

William Cock has been revamped to provide another quaint shopping area with a theatre

cafe which features local and national artists on a regular basis. There are numerous other

restaurants and coffee shops in and out of town.

In spite of all these formal urban amenities, Port Alfred remains as tranquil and easy-going as the

other resorts along the Sunshine Coast. Its beaches, one of which is a Blue Flag beach, are pristine.

They stretch for miles up and down the coast. That, combined with the Kowie River which is

navigable, provides holiday-makers and residents with excellent opportunities to be as energetic or

as relaxed as they wish. For the energetic the surfing is excellent, as is jet skiing, deep sea angling or

canoeing up the river. Regattas are frequently held on the river; with riverboat cruises at sundown.

The Dive and Adventure Centre located along the river offers outdoor activities for all ages. It has a

sheltered swimming which is ideal for families. For the less energetic, there are numerous hiking

trails and nature walks in all directions.

Other attractions include the Royal Port Alfred Gold Club with unimpeded sea views on an 18-hole

golf course. Alternatively, the Fish River Country Club, designed by Gary Player, is a leisurely 52 kms

further up the coast. For the less energetic there are drives up the coast, or inland to explore the

historic villages and sights of Frontier Country.

As with all the towns on the Sunshine Coast, Port Alfred is within easy reach of private games

reserves such as Sibuya, Kariega, Shamwari, Pumba, Amakala and others, all malaria free. And

because of its location Port Alfred is optimally placed to make it a base from which to explore the

surrounding areas and enjoy festivals such as the National Festival of Arts in Grahamstown.

In short, there is something for everyone in Port Alfred. Whether you are looking to develop land,

purchase a holiday home worthy of a celebrity lifestyle, or simply enjoy a slower pace of living on a

permanent basis, SEEFF is there to help you find what you are looking for.

(Wat was die eerste naam van Port Alfred? Port Alfred?)

Port Alfred lê in die hart van die Oos­Kaapse Sonskynkus. Die feit dat hy driekeer van naam

verwissel het sedert die Setlaars in 1820 daar aangekom het, dui daarop dat dit nie as 'n

vakansie­oord ontstaan het nie soos wat wel die geval was met ander dorpe langs die

Soonskynkus, dorpe soos Kenton­on­Sea (24km suid), Boknes en Cannon Rocks (15km

anderkant Kenton op die R72).

Met die aankoms van die 1820 Setlaars, was Port Alfred 'n moerasagtige gebied wat bestaan het

uit 'n paar eilande en uitgebreide rietstande by die die mond van die Kowierivier. Die setlaars het

dadelik die potensiaal vir 'n hawe gesien in die area. 'n Klein “brig” – 'n seilboot met twee

vierkantige maste­ sou maklik oor die sandbank by die mond van die rivier kon seil. Die Kaapse

Koloniale Regering het 'n hawemeester aangestel en het planne opgetrek vir die ontwikkeling van

die hawe. Die naam van die hawe het toe verander na 'Port Frances', vernoem na die vrou van

Kolonel Henry Somerset, seun van die Kaapse Goewerneur. (Hy het ook die drostdy van Bathurst

na Grahamstad verskuif)

Hul planne het egter nie geslaag nie en na 10 jaar het die Koloniale regering die ontwikkeling laat

vaar. In 1839 het lokale inwoners William Cock en George Hodgkinson die Kowie Hawe

Verbeteringsmaatskappy gestig, om die vloei van die Kowierivier na die see te kanaliseer na 'n

oop kanaal al langs die Westelike oewer weg van die moerasagtige gedeelte van die rivier.

Tydens die besoek van Alfred, die tweede seun van Koninging Victoria aan die dorp in 1860 het

die dorp sy naam weer na 'Port Alfred' verander, ter herdenking van die prins se besoek. Van

1864 oor 'n periode van 20 jaar het sowat 100 skepe, insluitende posbote soos die Union Castle

Redery die hawe jaarliks besoek .

Die koms van stoomskepe en die ontwikkeling van nuwe hawegeriewe op die Buffelsrivier in Oos-
Londen, 137km noordoos daarvandaan, sowel as die opening van 'n spoorverbinding van

Grahamstad na Port Elizabeth (130km suidwes van Port Alfred) het die hawe oorbodig gemaak.

Die gebruik van Port Alfred as 'n hawe is egter nie heeltemal gestaak nie. In 1988 het lokale

inwoners 'n privaatmaatskappy gestig vir 'n behuisingsontwikkeling ― Royal Alfred Marina

Waterfront Estate ― op vyf eilande aan die oostelike oewer van die mond van die Kowierivier.

Die moerasse is verwyder en die ontwikkeling wat insluit 'n hawe vir ligte bote van alle soorte is in

1989 voltooi. Terselfdetyd is 'n tweede boogbrug oor die Kowierivier gebou op die R72.

Aan beide kante van die Kowierivier strek daar strandhuise, vakansiehuise en woonhuise oud en

nuut oor die bulte en sandduine langs die kus. Daar is 3 veiligheidsomheinde aftree­oorde,

verskeie hotelle en vakansieverblyf soos woonstelle, strandhuise en duplekse oorkant die straat

van die hoofstrand.

Hierdie gemeenskap is goed bedeel met opvoedingsinstansies en sakeondernemings:

'n Lugskool is in 1941 gestig as 'n gesamentlike lugmagopleidingsbasis gedurende die

Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Daarna is dit ook vir 'n tydlank met burgerlike lugvaart gedeel en

toe deur militêre lugvaart laat vaar. Dit is in 1988 herstig vir die opleiding van loodse. In

2011 het die skool Boeing akkreditasie verwerf en in 2015 is daar begin met 'n program

om loodse vir spuitvliegtuie op te lei. (www.43airschool.com).

Stenden South Africa is 'n private hoër­opvoedingsinstansie wat BCom­grade aanbied in ramp­ en

gasvryheidsbestuur, beide erken deur die Hoër Opvoedingskwaliteitskomitee en geregistreer by

SAQA.

In 'n verslag aangevra deur die Christelijke Hogeschool Noord­Nederland (CHN) van Nederland in

2002, is Port Alfred Hoërskool (PAHS) beskryf as die beste toegeruste en besbestuurde skool in

Port Alfred wat die gegoede maatskaplike en ekonomiese omgewing waarbinne dit geleë is,

weerspieël . Dit is die oudste openbare skool in Port Alfred, gestig in 1883 toe dit 'n

regeringsskool verklaar is. Dit is 'n gesogte skool in die omgewing as gevolg van sy verbintenis

tot hoë standaarde en die reeks innoverende buitemuurse aktiwiteite wat dit aanbied. Daar is ook

verskeie laer­ en sekondêre skole in die area.

Die NetCare Hospitaal is 'n privaathospitaal wat in vennootskap met die Departement van

Gesondheid bedryf word en het in 2009 sy deure ge­open. Netcare Limited is die grootste

privaathospitaalnetwerk in Suid Afrika en die Verenigde Koningkryk van Brittanje.

Sover dit inkopies aangaan is daar twee inkopiesentrums, een in die dorp en die ander op die

buitewyke van die dorp. Daar is verskeie hotelle en baie restaurante. Die waterfront ontwikkel

deur William Cock is onlangs opgeknap om nog 'n sonderlinge verkoopsentrum te bied met 'n

teaterkafee waar lokale en nasionale kunstenaars op 'n gereelde basis optree. Daar is vele ander

restaurante en koffiewinkels in en om die dorp.

Ten spyte van al hierdie formele stadsgeriewe bly Port Alfred so rustig en ontspanne soos die

ander oorde langs die Sonskynkus. Die strande is ongerep, een daarvan het Blouvlagstatus en

strek vir myle in beide rigtings langs die kus. Dit, tesame met die feit dat die Kowierivier

bevaarbaar is, bied aan vakansiegangers en inwoners uitstekende geleenthede om so bedrywig

of rustig te wees soos hulle wil. Vir die energiekes is daar uitstekende branderplank geleenthede,

so ook jet­ski, diepseehengel of kanovaart in die rivier op. Regattas word dikwels op die rivier

gehou en teen sonsondergang is daar bootritte beskikbaar op die rivier. Die Duik­ en

Avontuursentrum wat langs die rivier geleë is, bied buitemuurse aktiwiteite aan alle ouderdome.

Daar is 'n onderdak swembad wat ideaal is vir families. Vir die minder energiekes is daar talle

staproetes en natuurwandelpaaie.

Ander aantreklikhede sluit in die Royal Port Alfred Golf Club met onbelemmerde see­uitsigte op 'n

18­putjie gholfbaan. Of anders is daar die Fish River Country Club wat deur Gary Player ontwerp

is slegs 52km verder langs die kus op. Vir die minder energiekes is daar besigtigingsritte langs die

kus of binnelands om die geskiedkundige dorpies en besienswaardighede van die Grensgebied te

ontdek.

Soos in die geval van al die dorpe langs die Sonskynkus is Port Alfred binne maklike trefafstand

van private wildreservate soos Sibuya, Kariega, Shamwari, Pumba, Amakala en ander, almal

malariavry. En as gevolg van sy ligging is Port Alfred die plek om as basis te gebruik om die

omliggende gebied te ontdek en om feeste soos die National Festival of Arts in Grahamstad te

geniet.

Om op te som, daar is iets vir almal in Port Alfred. Of jy nou op die uitkyk is om grond te

ontwikkel, om 'n vakansiehuis te koop waardig van 'n glanspersoon­leefstyl of om sommer net die

stadiger pas van lewe te geniet , SEEFF is daar om jou te help om dit waarna jy soek te vind.

213 Residential Homes For Sale in Port Alfred

FROM R150,000 to R20,000,000

3 Residential Homes To Let in Port Alfred

FROM R5,000 to R9,500

7 Commercial Properties For Sale in Port Alfred

FROM R2,200,000 to R18,400,000

Port Alfred in the news

What is happening in the Eastern Cape property market?
The Bureau for Economic Research and Lightstone Properties have recently brought out research on business in general and on the property market, which makes interesting reading.   Although I am not an economist I am...

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