Introduction

The Eastern Cape is a province that forms the southeast part of South Africa (Figure 1). Bhisho is the capital of the Province, while its two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London. Historically, it is the traditional home to the AmaXhosa people of South Africa.

It was formed in 1994 out of the "independent" homelands of Transkei and Ciskei, as well as the eastern portion of the old Cape Province (Figure 2).

The Eastern Cape Province in covers an area of around 168,992km², with a total population of 6,996,976 (2016 Community Survey - Population Group) and is divided into the following administrative areas (Click on a heading to show additional information):

2 Metropolitan Municipalities
  Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolis | Population = 1,263,051
  Buffalo City Metropolis | Population = 834,997
6 District Municipalities
  Alfred Nzo | Population = 867,864
  Amathole | Population = 880,790
  Chris Hani | Population = 840,055
  Joe Gqabi | Population = 372,912
  O.R. Tambo | Population = 1,457,384
  Sarah Baartman | Population = 479,923
31 Local Municipalities
  Alfred Nzo | Population = 867,864
    Matatiele | Population = 219,447
    Mbizana | Population = 319,948
    Ntabankulu | Population = 128,848
    Umzimvubu | Population = 199,620
 Amathole | Population = 880,790
    Amahlathi | Population = 101,826
    Great Kei | Population = 31,692
    Mbhashe | Population = 277,250
    Mnquma | Population = 246,813
    Ngqushwa | Population = 63,694
    Raymond Mhlaba | Population = 159,515
 Chris Hani | Population = 840,055
    Emalahleni | Population = 122,778
    Engcobo | Population = 38,991
    Enoch Mgijima | Population = 254,908
    Intsika Yethu | Population = 252,390
    Inxuba Yethemba | Population = 72,190
    Sakhisizwe | Population = 127,114
  Joe Gqabi | Population = 372,912
    Elundini | Population = 144,929
    Senqu | Population = 140,720
    Walter Sisulu | Population = 87,263

  O.R.Tambo | Population = 1,457,384
    King Sabata Dalindyebo | Population = 488,349
    Mhlontlo | Population = 189,176
    Ngquza Hill | Population = 303,379
    Nyandeni | Population = 309,702
    Port St Johns | Population = 166,779

 Sarah Baartman | Population = 479,923
   Blue Crane Route | Population = 36,063
    Dr Beyers Naudé | Population = 82,197
    Kouga | Population = 112,941
    Kou-Kamma | Population = 43,688
    Makana | Population = 82,060
    Ndlambe | Population = 63,180
    Sunday's River Valley | Population = 59,793


What Is 'GIS'?

Definition of 'GIS'?
GIS’ is an abbreviation for 'Geographic Information Systems'. Sometimes these days, regularly referred to as Location Intelligence.
Although there are many definitions of what a GIS is, the GIS Unit at the Office of the Premier has adopted the following definition: 'a computer-based tool used to store, overlay and distribute spatial data of the same geographical area to be able to apply manipulation, queries, analyse and presentation of the data to enhance the decision making process'

The five main aspects that make up a GIS:
- Hardware
- Software
- Data
- Personnel
- Processes

What is Spatial Information (Geographic Information)?
It is information that is location based (spatial) and can be mapped. This generally involves:
- 'WHAT' (features, facilities, objects, assets)
- 'WHERE' (addresses, coordinates)

What GIS is NOT...
- A GIS is not simply a computer system used only for making maps.
- A GIS is an analytical tool, used to identify and present relationships between map and attribute data.
- A GIS is not a tool that stores maps, images or views of a geographic area.
- A GIS is a tool that stores data from which maps, images and views can be displayed through analyses and processes.

Benefits of a GIS
- Better management of assets, utilisation and deployment of assets
- Shared access of spatial information, thus reducing duplication of data, systems, software, staff, and other related cost items
- Facilitation of interoperability between departmental systems and functions
- Ability to perform drill-down analyses using a variety of datasets

General Questions a GIS can answer
- Location - Where is an asset?
- Condition - What is the asset?
- Patterns - How are the assets distributed?
- Trends - What has changed since...?
- Modelling - What if...?