Bhisho (formerly Bisho) is the capital of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. The Office of the Premier, Provincial Legislature and many other government departments are headquartered in the town. The town situated less than 10 km’s away from King Williams Town and just less than 70 km’s away from East London is part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape.

Bisho was originally the capital of the bantustan of Ciskei, but was incorporated into South Africa during 1994 when the homelands policy was dissolved. It was the scene of what is now known as the Bisho massacre: on 7 September 1992 the Ciskei Defence Force opened fire on protesters, killing about 30 people. In July 2004 its name was officially changed to Bhisho. (correcting the etymology). The name is taken from the Buffalo River and is Xhosa for ‘buffalo’.

The spelling of 25 towns and rivers were corrected in March 2003 to reflect the original spelling.

Most of these are located in the former Transkei and Ciskei. In this way, Bisho became Bhisho, Umtata became Mthatha and the river mouth Cintsa became Chintsa.

Return to the Eastern Cape Towns/Cities page HERE.

Key Statistics 2011

Total population 11,192
Young (0-14) 26%
Working Age (15-64) 70,7%
Elderly (65+) 3,3%
Dependency ratio 41,4
Sex ratio 86,8
Population density 1385 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+ 2,8%
Higher education aged 20+ 34%
Matric aged 20+ 27,7%
Number of households 3,166
Average household size 3,2
Female headed households 52,9%
Formal dwellings 87,2%
Housing owned/paying off 64,6%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage 82,2%
Weekly refuse removal 57,4%
Piped water inside dwelling 69,2%
Electricity for lighting 94,3%