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The Nine Provinces

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South Africa is currently divided into nine provinces. On the eve of the 1994 general election, South Africa's former homelands, also known as Bantustans, were reintegrated and the four existing provinces were divided into nine. The twelfth, thirteenth and sixteenth amendments to the constitution changed the borders of seven of the provinces. The provinces are as follows.



The Union of South Africa was established in 1910 by combining four British colonies: the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony. (The latter two were, before the Second Boer War, independent republics known as the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.) These colonies became the four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province.





Segregation of the black population started as early as 1913, with ownership of land by the black majority being restricted to certain areas totalling about 13% of the country. From the late 1950s, these areas were gradually consolidated into "homelands" or "bantustans," which served as the de jure national states of the black population during the apartheid era. In 1976, the homeland of Transkei was the first to accept independence from South Africa, and although this independence was never acknowledged by any other country, three other homelands — Bophuthatswana (1977), Venda (1979) and Ciskei (1981) — followed suit.





        
Thumbnail for version as of 22:24, 2 November 2011  Western Cape
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 much larger (and now defunct) Cape Province. Prior to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, it was called the Cape Colony (see the History of Cape Colony).


 
       
 Northern Cape
The Northern Cape (Afrikaans: Noord-Kaap) is the largest and most sparsely populated province of South Africa. It was created in 1994 when the Cape Province was split up. Its capital is Kimberley. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, part of an international park shared with Botswana.



  
File:Coat of arms of the Eastern Cape.svg
 Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape is one of South Africa's leading nature and conservation based tourism destinations, offering a wealth of game viewing, diverse scenic beauty.The nature reserves managed by Eastern Cape Parks cover an area of some 438,000 hectares. A commitment to protecting bio-diversity and conservation of the biomes, will see a total increase of this area by 10,000 hectares annually; the eradication of non-indigenous flora and fauna; mutually beneficial relationships with neighbouring communities and the preservation of cultural resources.



     
File:Coat of arms of Mpumalanga.svg Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga (name changed from Eastern Transvaal on 24 August 1995),is a province of South Africa.The name means east or literally "the place where the sun rises" in Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu. 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 (recently renamed to Mbombela). Prior to 1994, Mpumalanga was part of Transvaal Province.



     
 North West
North West is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mafikeng. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.North West was created after the end of Apartheid in 1994, and includes parts of the former Transvaal Province and Cape Province, as well as most of the former Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. It was recently the scene of political violence in Khutsong, Merafong City Local Municipality.(Merafong has since been transferred to Gauteng province.)



    
File:Coat of arms of the Free State.svg Free State
The Free State  Afrikaans: Vrystaat, Sotho: Foreistata; before 1995, the Orange Free State is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Orange Free State Boer republic and later Orange Free State Province. The current borders of the province date from 1994 when the Bantustans were abolished and included into the provinces of South Africa. It is also the only one of the former provinces of South Africa not to undergo border changes, excluding the incorporation of Bantustans



      
File:Coat of arms of Limpopo.svg   Limpopo
Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. The capital is Polokwane, formerly named Pietersburg. The province was formed from the northern region of Transvaal Province in 1994, and initially named Northern Transvaal. The following year, it was renamed Northern Province, which remained the name until 11 July 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 and amendment of the Constitution. 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.


           
      
File:Coat of arms of KwaZulu-Natal.svg   Kwa Zulu Natal
KwaZulu-Natal  also referred to as KZN or Natal) 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 the homeland of KwaZulu.In the 1830s, the northern part was the Zulu Kingdom and southern part was briefly a Boer republic called Natalia (1839–1843). In 1843, the latter became the British Colony of Natal; Zululand (KwaZulu in Zulu) remained independent until 1879.



  
File:Coat of arms of Gauteng.svg    Gauteng
Gauteng (English pronunciation: /ɡaʊˈtɛŋ/ or /xaʊˈtɛŋ/; Sotho pronunciation [xɑ́.ú.ˈtʼè.ŋ̀]) is one of the nine provinces 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, containing the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. As of 2007, it had a population of nearly 10.5 million, making it the most populous province in South Africa

















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