With a total of 471,445 square miles, South Africa is the most southerly country in Africa. Nine provinces, or administrative areas, comprise South Africa, each with a provincial government.
The vast bulk of the provinces was created following the nation’s independence in 1994. The Northern Cape is the largest province with a minor population, whereas Gauteng is the smallest province with the highest population. The areas vary in size and population.
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1. Cape Verde
Africa’s southernmost region is the province of the Western Cape, which is situated on South Africa’s southwestern border. Based on the area, the Western Cape is the fourth biggest province in the nation; it has a total land area of 49,986 square miles.
With a population of more than 6.2 million, the Western Cape is the fourth most populous province in South Africa. Approximately two-thirds of the province’s residents live in Cape Town, the province’s most significant metropolis and capital.
2. The Northern Cape
Western South Africa’s Northern Cape Province has boundaries with the North West, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Free State provinces, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, Namibia, and Botswana.
With a total size of 143,973 square miles, Northern Cape is the biggest province in South Africa. However, with 1.1 million residents, the area has the lowest population density, with only 8 people per square mile.
The country’s two largest economic sectors, mining and agriculture, employ around 57% of all workers. Kimberley, which has a population of 225,160 and serves as the Northern Cape’s provincial capital, is the biggest city in the region.
3. North West
The country’s northernmost province, North West Province, has boundaries with many Botswana districts and the areas of Gauteng, Limpopo, the Free State, and the Northern Cape.
Tswana is the province’s most common language, with a population of approximately 3.7 million people and a 40,495 square mile land area. 63.4% of the population speaks Tswana.
Half of the province’s GDP is accounted for by mining, which is the main economic force in the region. The largest city in the area is Rustenburg, which has 104,612 people. The provincial seat of the North West is Mahikeng.
In northeastern South Africa, there is a province called Mpumalanga. The location where the sun rises is how the Xhosa, Zulu, and Swazi languages interpret the word Mpumalanga. Over 4.2 million people live in the province, with a surface area of 29,535 square miles.
The Eastern Transvaal was the region’s name when it was founded on April 27, 1994. Mpumalanga was given to the section on August 24, 1995.
The Premier, who serves as the province’s head of government, has an office in Nelspruit, the largest city and the province’s capital. With Mpumalanga being the country’s largest coal producer, accounting for up to 83% of the nation’s total output, mining is one of the province’s key economic activities.
The province of Limpopo, in the country’s north, has the name the Limpopo River. Limpopo is the fifth-largest province in the region, with a total size of 48,554 square miles.
With 5.7 million inhabitants, Limpopo has a population density of 110 inhabitants per square mile. Polokwane, the largest city in the province with a population of 130,028 people, serves as the administrative centre for the area of Limpopo.
Located in the east of South Africa, the province of KwaZulu-Natal has borders with Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean.
In 1994, the area was created via the union of the KwaZulu region and the Natal Province. With a 36,433 square mile territory and an estimated 11 million inhabitants, KwaZulu-Natal is the second most populated province in South Africa.
With 77.8% of the population speaking it, Zulu is the most often spoken language. The Premier’s office is located in Pietermaritzburg, the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban is the biggest city in the province, nonetheless.
Gauteng, which translates roughly to place of gold, is a Sotho term. The country’s capital, Johannesburg, is found in the province of Gauteng, which lies in the middle of the country.
With a total size of 7,018 square miles, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa. A population of almost 13 million people makes Gauteng the most populated area in the nation, with the most excellent population density of 1,700 people per square mile among all the regions.
As its name indicates, Gauteng is home to one of the world’s most significant gold reserves. Johannesburg is the largest city in the area and the entire nation, which also serves as the province’s capital.
8. The State of Free
South Africa’s Free State province is in the middle of the nation. With a total size of 50,126 square miles, the Free State is the third-largest province in the country.
Free State is the seventh most populated province in South Africa, with a population of roughly 2.8 million. On April 27, 1994, the area became a legal entity.
Agriculture and mining are the main economic drivers of the Free State Province, one of the richest in South Africa. Bloemfontein, which has a population of 256,185, is the biggest city in the province and the capital of the Free State.
9. Eastern Cape
In the southeast of South Africa, there is an Eastern Cape province. The Eastern Cape is South Africa’s second biggest province by area, with a total area of 65,238 square miles.
On April 27, 1994, the former colonial Cape Province, the Ciskei area, and the Transkei region were combined to establish the Eastern Cape Province.
The fact that the province has a high concentration of subsistence farming is what makes it one of the poorest in the nation. The province’s capital, Bhisho, is where the Premier’s office is. Despite a population of 312,392, Port Elizabeth is the biggest city in the area.