THE number of foreigners living in Nelson Mandela Bay has increased by more than 2 000, the latest census figures indicate.

According to Statistics South Africa the number of foreigners from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rest of Africa was 5 182 in 2001 and had increased to 7 581 in the 2011 census.

The number of foreigners from the SADC who live in the metro has increased from 4 398 in 2001 to 5 642 in 2011.

The number of women from the SADC who lived in the Bay in 2001 was 2 192 and decreased to 2 162.

The number of men from the SADC who lived in the Bay in 2001 was 2 206 and increased to 3 306.

There has also been an increase of foreigners from the rest of Africa. In 2001 there were 784 of these foreigners in the Bay and this number increased to 1 488.

A larger number of men from the rest of Africa than women have arrived in the Bay. In 2011 there were 1 412 men in the metro and only 458 women.

DA provincial spokeswoman Veliswa Mvenya said the main attraction to the Bay for foreigners was job creation.

“Even though Port Elizabeth is not as big as Johannesburg or Cape Town, it is the biggest city in the province and people will perceive it to have job opportunities,” Mvenya said.

She said if run properly the metro should be the “economic heart of the province . . . there should be more jobs in the Bay”.