This small town is the Eastern Cape, offers residents a peaceful country lifestyle and affordable homes on large plots.
Madeleine Blom has lived in Despatch with her family for 13 years. “Our family came from Cape Town and we have five children. Charl, my husband, has his own electrical business and I work as a bookkeeper in Uitenhage, a stone’s throw away from home. We sadly only have our youngest daughter, who’s in Grade 9, still at home with us,” she says.
When Madeleine and her husband relocated, they had three children living with them and needed a home big enough to accommodate everyone. She says they found a reasonably priced home in Despatch that was the right size for the family. The town also o¬ffered a choice between two primary schools with excellent academic reputations.
Madeleine says their home holds many memories. “We’re so fortunate to have a big property; we’ve been able to host many family celebrations, like Christmas and four 21st birthdays. We even accommodated our daughter’s wedding reception in our backyard earlier this year,” she says.
Madeleine’s home is among the oldest in Despatch. Most houses are on large erven and many have been modernised or extended. “There are also a few new developments which o¬ffer smaller properties,” says Madeleine.
Although there has been some development in the area, the town has managed to retain its small-town feel. “It’s typical of a small town and not much has changed. I don’t think there’s even been a new tra¬ffic light erected in the last 13 years,” Madeleine says with a chuckle.
Another drawcard for Madeleine and her family was the town’s tranquillity. “Despatch is a quiet town, unless, of course, the Bulls are playing,” she says. “This is a lovely town to live in and raise a family. I would happily recommend Despatch. It’s ideal for a family with young children, it’s safe and you can even find children walking or riding their bikes to school.”
Despatch does hold sport and music festivals, but you can be assured that it’s all quiet at a respectable time
-Madeleine Blom, resident.
Things to do near Despatch, Eastern Cape
- Addo Elephant National Park is 46,8km away.
- Bayworld aquarium and museum is 28,4km away.
- The closest beach is Bluewater Bay, 16,9km away.
- Baywest Mall is 30,8km away.
Interesting facts about Despatch:
- There are many different birds in the area, with fish eagles often seen flying over the town.
- The town was founded on the brick-making industry, and the chimney from the original factory still stands.
- Several national sports stars are from Despatch, among them former Springbok rugby players Danie Gerber, Rassie Erasmus and Willie Meyer.
- Rudi Koertzen, international cricket umpire, is also from Despatch.
- Despatch started out as a railway siding from which bricks were dispatched. As more houses were built near the siding, the resulting town was named Despatch.
Schools in Despatch:
- Despatch High School
- Frans Conradie Primary School
- Susannah Fourie Primary School
- Despatch Primary School
- Sonop Primary School
- Nomathamsanqa Primary School
- Zanolwazi Senior Secondary School
- Despatch Preparatory School
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.