|Provinces of South Africa
South Africa has 9 respective provinces. Here they are with a snippet of information on each.
The Western Cape is a province in the south west of South Africa. The capital is Cape Town. Prior to 1994, the region that now forms the Western Cape was part of the huge (and now defunct) Cape Province. Prior to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, it was called the Cape Colony.
The Northern Cape is a large, sparsely populated province of South Africa, created in 1994 when the Cape Province was split up. Its capital is Kimberley. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, which is part of a trans-frontier park with Botswana. It also includes the Augrabies Falls and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay. The Namaqualand region (in the west) is famous for its Namaqualand daisies. The towns of De Aar and Colesburg (in the south) are part of the Great Karoo, and are major transport nodes between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The Orange River flows through the province, forming the borders with the Free State (in the south east) and with Namibia (to the northwest). It is also used to irrigate the many vineyards near Upington, which is very important in this mostly arid province. Kuruman, in the north-east of the province, is famous as a mission station and also for its 'eye'. Northern Cape has the largest percentage of native speakers of Afrikaans of any province of South Africa.
The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho. It was formed in 1994 out of the "independent" homelands of Transkei and Ciskei, as well as the eastern portion of the Cape Province. Landing place and home of the 1820 settlers. The Eastern Cape is partly the traditional home of the Xhosa, and the birthplace of many prominent South Africans, such as Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Steve Biko and Charles Coghlan.
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KwaZulu-Natal, often referred to as "KZN", is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994 the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and all pieces of territory that made up the homeland of KwaZulu.
In the 1830s the northern part was the kingdom of Zululand and southern part was briefly a Boer republic called Natalia. In the 1840s the latter became the British Colony of Natal, though Zululand (KwaZulu in Zulu) remained independent until 1879. It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation. Located in the southeast of the country, Kwazulu-Natal borders three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, along with a long shoreline on the Indian Ocean, providing several popular attractions including scuba diving, marine watching and fishing. KwaZulu Natal's population has been estimated at 9.3 million people.
The Free State is a province of South Africa. The name is a popular contraction of the previous name the Orange Free State. Its capital is Bloemfontein which is also South Africa's judicial capital. On 9 June 1995 its name was changed from Orange Free State to Free State. The current borders date from 1994 when the Bantustans were abolished and included into the provinces of South Africa.
North West is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mafikeng.
Gauteng is a province of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994. It was initially named Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (or PWV) and was renamed Gauteng in December 1994. Situated in the heart of the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, with only 1.4% of the land area, but it is highly urbanised and has a population of 8,837,178 (2001 South African National Census), the second-largest after KwaZulu-Natal. 2005 estimates as put forward by the CSIR Gauteng Spatial Development Perspective suggest, however, that Gauteng has overtaken KwaZulu Natal to become the most populous province in South Africa, with a total of 9.5 million people living there, growing at around 100,000 people every year.
Mpumalanga, name changed from Eastern Transvaal on 24 August 1995), is a province in South Africa. The name means "the place where the sun rises" in Swazi. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa's land area. In the north it borders on Limpopo, to the west Gauteng, to the southwest the Free State and to the south KwaZulu-Natal. The capital is Nelspruit. Prior to 1994, Mpumalanga was part of Transvaal Province.
Limpopo is the northern-most province of South Africa. The capital is Polokwane, former called Pietersburg. The province was formed from the northern region of the Transvaal province in 1994, and initially named Northern Transvaal. The following year, it was renamed Northern Province, which remained the name until 11 June 2003, when the name of the province was formally changed to the name of its most important river, on the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana, after deliberation by the provincial government. Another notable consideration for the name was Mapungubwe, the area where the most ancient gold-using civilisation of the province was discovered a few years earlier. 97.3% of the population is Black, 2.4% is White, 0.2% is Coloured, and 0.1% is Indian/Asian. The most common spoken languages in Limpopo are Tsonga, Northern Sotho (Sepedi), Venda and Afrikaans.