South Africa - Provinces

Provinces

At the end of apartheid in 1994, the "independent" and "semi-independent" Bantustans were abolished, as were the four original provinces (Cape, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal), and nine new provinces were created. Each province is governed by a unicameral legislature, which is elected every five years by party-list proportional representation. The legislature elects a Premier as head of government, and the Premier appoints an Executive Council as a provincial cabinet. The powers of provincial governments are limited to topics listed in the Constitution; these topics include such fields as health, education, public housing and transport.

Province Provincial capital Largest city Area (km2) Population (2011)
Eastern Cape Bhisho Port Elizabeth 168,966 6,562,053
Free State Bloemfontein Bloemfontein 129,825 2,745,590
Gauteng Johannesburg Johannesburg 18,178 12,272,263
KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg Durban 94,361 10,267,300
Limpopo Polokwane Polokwane 125,754 5,404,868
Mpumalanga Nelspruit Nelspruit 76,495 4,039,939
North West Mahikeng Rustenburg 104,882 3,509,953
Northern Cape Kimberley Kimberley 372,889 1,145,861
Western Cape Cape Town Cape Town 129,462 5,822,734

The provinces are in turn divided into 52 districts: 8 metropolitan and 44 district municipalities. The district municipalities are further subdivided into 226 local municipalities. The metropolitan municipalities, which govern the largest urban agglomerations, perform the functions of both district and local municipalities.

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