Once the scene of forced removals during apartheid, Fairview/Overbaakens is one of PE’s fastest growing mixed-used suburbs.
About the area
Now a hive of activity as one of Port Elizabeth’s fastest growing mixed-use suburbs, the Fairview/Overbaakens area was once the scene of apartheid’s forced removals. For years, after many homes were first bulldozed under the Group Areas Act, the land stood vacant.
But that has since changed, and in 1990 one of the area’s original residents, from before the forced removals era, became the first to move back into the renamed Overbaakens, sparking a revival in the area. Soon other houses and businesses started sprouting all around.
Nestled between William Moffett Expressway and Circular Drive (also known by some as Linger Longer), the large expanse of land has become sought-after as businesses move away from traditional trading hubs to set up shop here.
This included the development of the Moffett Retail Park – a retail centre with a major national chain store as its anchor tenant. Several car dealerships including Honda Auto Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Motors and Tavcor Volkswagen are also based along William Moffett Expressway.
Other ongoing developments include the establishment of the 120,000m² Fairview Business Park which already accommodates several businesses and, upon completion, will offer more office and warehouse space.
Properties here are a mix of houses built in the 1990s, many of those facebrick, as well as newer accommodation and security complexes as the suburb develops. There is also a social housing development, Fairview Link, which caters for families with a joint monthly income of between R2,500 and R7,500 a month as well as another Department of Human Settlements project, Willowdene Village.
There are several shopping complexes and restaurants surrounding the suburb and a new hospital, OriginHealth Fairview Hospital, is being built just on the border.
“I started living here in 1992; it was my parents’ house. It was a quiet place; there were only a few houses. As time went by, the area grew, shops came up and as more people moved in it became multiracial, very diverse. The nice thing about living here is that it’s easily accessible – there’s transport and the crime rate is low. It’s very central here.” Mandisi Mzi, resident.
Best in food:
Shanna’s Portuguese Restaurant: for hearty, tasty Portuguese food served in generous portions head over to this cosy restaurant which easily serves the best peri-peri chicken in the Bay.
The Rose Garden Tea House (Floradale Nurseries): a perfect way to end a morning spent plant shopping (although you can pop in without going to the nursery). This coffee shop offers a homely atmosphere, traditional teas and coffee, home-made cakes, locally sourced food and a quirky menu served by welcoming staff.
Top shopping destinations:
- Lorraine Gardens Shopping Centre
- Moffett Retail Park
- Willow Road Shopping Centre
- Brylin Independent Learning Centre
- Willow Academy
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.