Provinces of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa consists of 9 provinces.

On the eve of the 1994 elections, the regions known as Bantustan were abolished and the present four administrative structures were established.

Each province is governed by a unicameral legislature. The number of members of the legislative bodies varies from 30 in the Northern Cape, where the provinces are the least populated, to 80 in KwaZulu-Natal, the highest.

The members of the Assembly elect one of them as the head of the executive (Premier).

A color-coded map showing the provinces of South Africa, with a scale and a compass rose in the bottom right corner.
Provinces of South Africa Map

South Africa is divided into nine provinces as the highest administrative division. The provinces of South Africa are:

  1. Eastern Cape
  2. Western Cape
  3. Northern Cap
  4. North West
  5. Free State
  6. Gauteng
  7. KwaZulu-Natal
  8. Limpopo
  9. Mpumalanga

South Africa is further divided into 52 regions.

Nine Provinces of South Africa

Here is a brief description of each of the nine regions of South Africa:

1. Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, but the two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London.

According to 2018 forecasts, the population of the region is 6,522,700. The province has an area of 168,966 square kilometers and is the second-largest province in South Africa.

2. Free State

Free State is one of the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa, located in the south of the African continent. The borders of the province are the same as the independent Boer republic between 1854 and 1910, and the Free Orange State until 1995.

The province is located in the middle of the country and has a border with Lesotho.

The province has a surface area of 129,825 square kilometers and its population is 2,954,300 according to 2018 estimates. The center of the province is Bloemfontein.

As a result of the arrangements made in 1995, the name Orange in the province was removed and the name of the province was used only as Free State.

3. Gauteng

Gauteng is one of the nine provinces of the Republic of South Africa. It was formed on April 27, 1994, after the first-ever multiethnic elections in South Africa, as a part of the former Transvaal Province.

The first name given to this new region was “Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging”, which was changed to “Gauteng” in December 1994.

The population of the province with an area of 18,176 square kilometers is 14,717,000 according to 2018 estimates. The province is the smallest province in South Africa.

4. KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal is one of the important provinces in the Republic of South Africa, often referred to as KZN. Before 1994, the place known today as KwaZulu-Natal was originally composed of the province of Natal and the territory of KwaZulu, the home of the Zulu tribe.

The administrative center of the province is in Pietermaritzburg. The largest city is Durban, which has the fastest growing port in Africa today.

The province has a surface area of 94,361 square kilometers and the population of the province is 11,384,700 according to 2018 estimates.

5. Limpopo

Limpopo is the province in the northernmost part of the Republic of South Africa. Its capital is Polokwane. The Province of Limpopo was formed from the north of the Transvaal Province with the end of the apartheid in 1994.

When it was first created, it was called Northern Transvaal. From the following year to July 11, 2003, it was called the Northern Province. When this changed, the name of the province was changed to “Limpopo”.

The name Limpopo was taken from the most important river of the province. The area of the province is 125,754 square kilometers and the population of the province is 5,797,300 according to 2018 estimates.

6. Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga is a province in the northeast of the Republic of South Africa. The name “Mpumalanga” means “east” or, more specifically, “the place where the sun rises” in Swati, Xhosa and Zulu.

The province was formerly known as Eastern Transvaal, but on August 24, 1995 it was renamed. The province has a surface area of 76,495 square kilometers and a population of 4,523,900 according to 2018 estimates.

7. North West

North West is one of the provinces of South Africa. With a surface area of 104,882 square kilometers, the population of the province is 3,979,000 according to 2018 estimates. The center of the province is Mahikeng and the largest city is Rustenburg.

8. Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is the largest and the least populated province in the South African Republic. Its largest city and capital is Kimberley.

The famous Augrabies Waterfall is also located in the Northern Cape. The area of the city is 372,889 square kilometers and the population is 1,225,600 according to 2018 estimates.

9. Western Cape

The Western Cape is one of the provinces of South Africa. The Western Cape is located in the southwest of the country.

The area of the province is 129,462 square kilometers and the population is 6,621,100 according to 2018 estimates.

The center of the city is Cape Town. Western Cape was separated from the province of Kap in 1994.

Districts of South Africa

South Africa has 9 provinces and 52 districts.

A color-coded map of South Africa, bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and two oceans.
South Africa Political Map with Provinces and Districts

The 52 districts/regions of South Africa are:

  1. Alfred Nzo District Municipality
  2. Amajuba District Municipality
  3. Amatole
  4. Bohlabela District Municipality
  5. Bojanala District Municipality
  6. Boland District Municipality
  7. Bophirima District Municipality
  8. Cacadu District Municipality
  9. Capricorn District Municipality
  10. Central District Municipality
  11. Central Karoo District Municipality
  12. Chris Hani District Municipality
  13. City of Cape Town
  14. City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
  15. City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
  16. Eden District Municipality
  17. Ehlanzeni
  18. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality
  19. Ethekwini Municipality
  20. FRANCES BAARD District Municipality
  21. Govan Mbeki Municipality
  22. iLembe District Municipality
  23. KAROO District Municipality
  24. KGALAGADI District Municipality
  25. Lejweleputswa District Municipality
  26. Metsweding District Municipality
  27. Mopani District Municipality
  28. Motheo District Municipality
  29. NAMAKWA District Municipality
  30. Nelson Mandela
  31. Nkangala
  32. Northern Free State District Municipality
  33. O.R.Tambo
  34. Overberg District Municipality
  35. Sedibeng District Municipality
  36. Sekhukhune Cross Boundary District Municipality
  37. Sisonke District Municipality
  38. SIYANDA District Municipality
  39. Southern District Municipality
  40. Thabo Mofutsanyane District Municipality
  41. Ugu District Municipality
  42. Ukhahlamba District Municipality
  43. UMgungundlovu District Municipality
  44. Umkhanyakude District Municipality
  45. Umzinyathi District Municipality
  46. Uthukela District Municipality
  47. Uthungulu District Municipality
  48. Vhembe District Municipality
  49. Waterberg District Municipality
  50. West Coast District Municipality
  51. West Rand District Municipality
  52. Xhariep District Municipality
  53. Zululand District Municipality

South Africa Map with Rivers and Cities

A political map of South Africa showing provincial boundaries, major cities, and neighboring countries.
South Africa Political Map

South Africa Main Cities Map

A map highlights South Africa in yellow, marking main cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban. Surrounding areas are labeled.
Republic of South Africa Map with Cities

South Africa Road Map

An image of a road map of South Africa, showing major highways, some cities, and neighboring countries.
Road map of Southern Africa