In the Eastern Cape you’ll find the Wild Coast, the Valley of Desolation, the coastal cities of Port Elizabeth and East London, the visionary art of the Owl House of Nieu-Bethesda, Nelson Mandela’s birthplace in the Transkei, and more.
South Africa has nine provinces, each with its own history, landscape, population, languages, economy, cities and government.
Key facts on South Africa’s currency, time, geography, population, languages, provinces, government and education.
South Africa is a climate patchwork of warm coastal subtropics, hot deserts, humid highlands, snow-topped mountains and an enclave of Mediterranean weather in the southwest.
Finance is the biggest industry in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Mining dominates in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape. KwaZulu-Natal’s major industry is manufacturing. In the Eastern Cape and Free State, it’s government services.
Before South Africa’s 1996 constitution, the country was divided into four provinces set aside for white people, and 10 “homelands”, tiny states designated for black people.
South Africa is twice the size of France and five times as big as the UK. With an area of 1.2-million square kilometres, it dwarfs the nations of Europe – except Russia – but doesn’t stand up to the giants of Asia and the Americas.
South Africa has nine provinces, which vary in size from the small city region of Gauteng – home to more than a quarter of the population – to the great Northern Cape, by far the largest province but with the smallest population.
In South Africa’s provinces, the size of the land and the number of people living there mean very different population densities. Gauteng, small but crowded, has an average of 785 people per square kilometre. The empty but enormous Northern Cape has a population density of only three people for each square kilometre.