It was not that the bus was not available for use by 1913 in Port Elizabeth, but probably that the Tramways were myopically fixated on the tram as the primary mode of transport. The buses that they did possess, were instead used for excursions and not as an extension of their tram business.
This was about to change. Given the buses flexibility regarding routes, they gave the Tramways a run for their money. Then the inevitable occurred. The Tramways adopted the motto, “If we cannot beat, join them.”
Main picture: Trams at Humewood
In his thesis on the development of the Port Elizabeth Harbour, Mr E.J. Inggs raises some interesting facts not only about the convoluted path to the ultimate construction of a harbour but also the operation and importance of Port Elizabeth’s harbour to the Cape Colony.
Apart from these aspects, what really piqued my interest was the issue of the wage levels of the Mfengu Beach Labour, as he calls the cargo loaders and unloaders. Their remuneration perfectly reflects what Economics 101 identifies as a fundamental factor in economics viz supply and demand.
Main picture: Mfengu unloading cargo from surfboats