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Hamburg Profile

The small seaside town of Hamburg is situated in a unique location at the mouth of the Keiskamma River, on the Sunshine Coast in the Eastern Cape. It is embedded in a unique environment, with a number of noteworthy natural resources, including the tranquil Keiskamma River estuary, the pristine natural beach and the Salt Marsh. During the Apartheid regime, Hamburg was located in the former homelan d of the Ciskei. Today, the town still suffers from limited access to income generation opportunities, high levels of unemployment and a severe lack of social community facilities.

Hamburg is part of the R72 Corridor, which links Port Elizabeth with East London as an alternative route to the N2. Due to its unspoilt nature and close proximity to the coastline, the R72 has significant potential for further development in sustainable tourism with Hamburg to become an important node along the way.

Although it is a small rural town, it is the second largest settlement in the Ngqushwa Local Municipality, with an estimated population of some 1,170 residents in Hamburg – including KwaNdlambe (2001).

Hamburg has limited economic opportunities, and there is a high dependence on social grants and remittances from family members working in the urban centres. The latent potential of the Hamburg economy lies predominantly in the tourism sector, especially in eco- and arts tourism. The settlement is home to a large artistic community, which has a massive positive impact on the economy and the dynamics of the town and surrounding villages. The Keiskamma Trust has done a lot to benefit the local economy, through the introduction of new income streams and the attraction of national and international experts to Hamburg. The launching of the Hamburg Artists Retreat in 2012/2013 intends to spur the economic well-being of the town, attract the national and international arts community to the Eastern Cape and open up new employment and business opportunities for the local population.

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