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Bisho Massacre Memorial Site
|• Total||8.08 km2 (3.12 sq mi)|
|Elevation||435 m (1,427 ft)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||98.3%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||SAST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code (street)||5605|
Bhisho (formerly Bisho) is the capital of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. The Office of the Premier, Provincial Legislature and many other government departments are headquartered in the town. The town situated 3 kilometres away from King Williams Town and 70 kilometres away from East London is part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality of the Eastern Cape.
Bhisho derives its name from the Xhosa word for buffalo, which is also the name of the river (Buffalo River) that runs through this town. Bhisho was named after the song by Ben Tyazashe, who wrote of his longing for his home, Bisho, his name for King Williams Town. The department of Arts and Culture published a correction of spelling of Bisho to Bhisho in their government notice No. 830 of Gazette No. 26552 on 16 July 2004. When the bantustan of Ciskei was nominally granted independence in 1981, although this was never recognised outside South Africa, Bhisho served as its capital city. During the early 1980s under the leadership of Lennox Sebe Bhisho underwent a period of intense development. In describing the rise of Bhisho, Franco Frescura and Stephanie Volpe must be[according to whom?] viewed in context of the fact that the town lies some six kilometres north of King William's Town on the main road linking the Cape to the Transkei and Natal. Its location was dictated by a wish on the part of the Ciskei to place an economic stranglehold upon the white community of King William's Town who, Prog, Nat and HNP, stand united against incorporation into the homeland." In 1983, at the height Ciskei government, Bhisho signed a sister-city agreement with the settlement of Ariel in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This saw the construction of two hospitals including Bhisho Hospital and up to 10 firms around the capital by Israeli entrepreneurs and technicians. In 1985, when Bhisho ended its relationship with the West Bank, there were 200 Israelis in the Ciskei.
On 7 September 1992, Bhisho became the scene of what is known as the Bisho massacre, when about 80–100,000 people marched on Bisho calling for the dismantling of Ciskei, which still maintained a measure of independence, and removal of the homeland's leader Brigadier Oupa Gqozo. The Ciskei Defence Force opened fire, shooting dead 28 or 29 people, and wounding 100. The massacre came at a critical time when negotiations towards democracy were underway. Bhisho was reincorporated into South Africa on 12 August 1994, after the first democratic elections in the country earlier that year. In October 1994, the then Eastern Cape Premier Raymond Mhlaba announced that Bhisho had been selected as the capital city of the Eastern Cape due to its infrastructure, accessibility to major roads and space for further development. 
Bhisho's major structures include the Eastern Cape government offices (including office of the Premier), a branch of the University of Fort Hare, Bhisho Hospital, Bisho massacre Memorial, Bhisho Stadium and an SABC radio station known as trufm. Bhisho is dependant on the nearby King Williams Town and East London. The majority of the town's population is either employed by or servicing the government. The town of Bhisho is surrounded by residential areas; Bhisho Central, Tyutyu North, Bhisho Gardens, Balasi and Amatola View.
|Climate data for Bhisho|
|Average high °C (°F)||26.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.1
|Average low °C (°F)||15.8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||65
- "Main Place Bhisho". Census 2011.
- Jenkins, Elwyn (2007), Falling into place: the story of modern South African place names, David Philip Publishers, p. 75
- "Bisho and King Williams Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa". southafrica.co.za. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "BISHO: A Post-mordernist Mirage". South African History Online. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- Sasha Polakow-Suransky, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, (New York: Pantheon Books), 2010, p. 157.
- Jane Haapiseva-Hunter. "Israel and Africa: The Problematic Friendship". British Academic Press. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- Siyongwana, Pakima (January 2002). The selection of the capital city of the Eastern Cape province & The fall of a former capital city : Umtata. Benoˆıt Antheaume, Fr´ed´eric Giraut et Brij Maharaj. Rencontres scientifiques franco-Sud-Africaines de l’innovation territoriale,. Grenoble-Avignon, France. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
- "Climate: Bhisho – Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 23 August 2013.