South African Provinces

South Africa has 9 provinces, each one has its own legislature, premier as well as executive council – and unique scenery, population, financial state and environment.

The 9 provinces include:

The Eastern Cape
The Free State
The Northern Cape
North West
The Western Cape

Just before 1994, South Africa only had 4 provinces: the Transvaal and Orange Free State, formerly Boer republics, as well as Natal and the Cape, at that time was in British colonies. Within South Africa’s new democratic constitution, South Africa was split up right into 9 provinces.

Land area

You can find huge differences in the dimensions of the provinces, coming from little and congested Gauteng into the huge, dry and bare Northern Cape. Mpumalanga is the 2nd- smallest province right after Gauteng, along with the rest all acquiring in between 8% and 14% of South Africa’s overall land area.

Eastern Cape – 168 966km2
Free State – 129 825km2
Gauteng – 16 548km2
KwaZulu-Natal – 94 361km2
Limpopo – 125 755km2
Mpumalanga – 76 495km2
Northern Cape – 372 889km2
North West – 106 512km2
Western Cape – 129 462km2


The quantity of people residing in the provinces likewise differs significantly. Gauteng, the tiniest province, has got the majority of people residing there – almost 1 / 4 of South Africa’s population. The Northern Cape, that takes up almost 1 / 3 of the country’s land area, has got the smallest inhabitants: just 2% of the oveall total.

Eastern Cape: 6.56-million
Free State: 2.74-million
Gauteng: 12.27-million
KwaZulu-Natal: 10.27-million
Limpopo: 5.4-million
Mpumalanga: 4.04-million
Northern Cape: 1.15-million
North West: 3.5-million
Western Cape: 5.82-million

Source: Census 2011, Statistics South Africa

This particular variation can mean massive differences in population density. Gauteng has got an average of 675 people for each square kilometre, whilst the Northern Cape merely has 3 people for every square kilometre.


Even though English is the lingua franca of South Africa, there’s major difference in home languages in between the provinces.

IsiXhosa, for example, is used by nearly 80% of individuals in the Eastern Cape, while about 78% of people on KwaZulu-Natal talk isiZulu. IsiZulu is likewise the most frequent home language in Gauteng, however at a smaller proportion. Around the Western Cape as well as Northern Cape, Afrikaans has its very own.

Major languages by province:

Eastern Cape: isiXhosa (78.8%), Afrikaans (10.6%)
Free State: Sesotho (64.2%), Afrikaans (12.7%)
Gauteng: isiZulu (19.8%), English (13.3%), Afrikaans (12.4%), Sesotho (11.6%)
KwaZulu-Natal:: isiZulu (77.8%), English (13.2%)
Limpopo: Sesotho (52.9%), Xitsonga (17%), Tshivenda (16.7%)
Mpumalanga: siSwati (27.7%), isiZulu (24.1%), Xitsonga (10.4%), isiNdebele (10.1%)
Northern Cape: Afrikaans (53.8%), Setswana (33.1%)
North West: Setswana (63.4%), Afrikaans (9%)
Western Cape: Afrikaans (49.7%), isiXhosa (24.7%), English (20.3%)
Source: Census 2011, Statistics South Africa


Each and every province features its own provincial government, with legislative power vested within a provincial legislature and executive power vested within a provincial premier and practiced alongside the other members of the provincial executive council.

The provincial legislature has got in between 30 and 80 members chosen to get a five- year term depending on the province’s percentage of national voters’ roll. The legislature is strengthened to pass through legislation in its functional aspects.

The premier is chosen by the legislature and, just like the President in national level, is restricted to 2 five-year terms at work. The premier appoints other members of the executive council (MECs), that performs like a cabinet in provincial level. The members of the executive council are liable on their own and with each other into the legislature.

Economic System

Population density correlates with the provinces’ portion of South Africa’s economic system, having Gauteng being the largest. The little province strikes way above the weight, giving 33.9% into the national gdp and about 7% on the GDP of Africa in general. Following that is KwaZulu-Natal having 16.1%, and then the Western Cape having 14%. These 3 provinces jointly add almost 2/3 of the economy.