East London was established as the location for the ELIDZ's STP due to the biodiversity of the region and the fact that there are three institutions of higher learning a short distance away: University of Fort Hare, Rhodes University and Walter Sisulu University.
There already exists a strong automotive economy and the potential exists to extend this even further into an automotive hub. The area has a comparative advantage in terms of its electronics, electro mechanical equipment and machinery production and battery technology.
The Eastern Cape government already has policies in place to promote innovation and research and development funding. There exists an emerging regional innovation system and the ELIDZ's STP lends itself to this perfectly.
Buffalo City acquired status as a metropolitan municipality in 2011. It is the second largest urban centre in the Eastern Cape and is comprised of East London, Mdantsane, King William's Town and Bhisho.
The district economy is largely driven by finance, government, manufacturing and trade. Employment is generated largely by government, trade and manufacturing sectors.
The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality's IDP focuses on delivering basic needs and housing, economic growth and job creation, public and integrated transport, equitable provision of services, financial and environmental sustainability.
Current initiatives focus on agriculture and rural development, support to a fresh produce market, tourism development and promotion, SMME development and trade and investment.
Infrastructure development is providing stimulus for growth and employment creation. Major infrastructure investments that are currently underway in Buffalo City are Transnet's expansion of East London Port, inner-city broadband roll-out and improvement of urban roads infrastructure.