Port Elizabeth, city, now part and seat of Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality, Eastern Cape prov., SE South Africa, on Algoa Bay, an arm of the Indian Ocean. It is a tourist center and a major seaport that ships diamonds, wool, fruit, and other items. Automobile assembly is the chief industry; shoe manufacturing, metal and timber processing, and electrical engineering are also important. There is some food processing, tanning, and chemical production.
Port Elizabeth was founded by the British in 1820 near Fort Frederick (1799; now a monument). The city grew rapidly after 1873, when a railroad to Kimberley began. The main campus of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ. is in Port Elizabeth. Addo Elephant National Park is nearby.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.