SA Provinces

General Information

There are 9 provinces in South Africa. Before you decide where to set up your business or make your investment, take a few minutes to read about each province, their statistics and what they have to offer.

Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

Geographic co-ordinates: 29 00 S, 24 00 E

Area: 1,219,912 sq. km

Land boundaries: 4,750 km

Border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 855 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

Coastline: 2,798 km

Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights

Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

Lowest point: sea level

Highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m

Main natural resources: gold, chromium, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, natural gas

Natural hazards: prolonged droughts

Environment: lacks important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures

Population: 43,586,200 approx. (census being taken, expected result in 2003)

Ethnic groups: black 75.2%, white 13.6%, Coloured 8.6%, Indian 2.6%

Religions: Christian 68% (includes most whites and Coloureds, about 60% of blacks and about 40% of Indians), Muslim 2%, Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians), indigenous beliefs and animist 28.5%

Languages: 11 official languages; Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Zulu, Xhosa

Country name: Republic of South Africa

Short form: South Africa

Abbreviation: RSA

Internet: ZA

Formerly: Union of South Africa

Independence date: 31 May 1961 from UK

Government type: Republic

Capital: Pretoria; Cape Town - legislative and Bloemfontein - judicial

Provinces (9); Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Northern Province, Western Cape

National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)

Constitution: 10 December 1996; this new constitution was certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996, was signed by then President MANDELA on 10 December 1996

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

Elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term;

GDP: purchasing power parity - $369 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,500 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5%

Industry: 30%

Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.3% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 17 million economically active (2000)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products

Exports: $30.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports: gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment

Exports - partners: UK, Italy, Japan, US, Germany

Imports: $27.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, foodstuffs and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments

Imports - partners: Germany, US, UK, Japan

Debt - external: $25.6 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $676.3 million

Currency: Rand (ZAR)

Currency code: ZAR

Exchange rates: Rand per US dollar - 9.24 (October 2001), 7.60 (March 2001), 6.93 (2000), 6.10 (1999), 5.52 (1998), 4.60 (1997), 4.29 (1996)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Telephones - main lines in use: 5.075 million (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular: over 2,000,000 (1999)

Mobile cellular service providers (3): Vodacom, MTN, C cell

Telephone system: the best developed and most modern in Africa

International: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 13.75 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 6.6 million

Internet country code: .za

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 50 approx.

Internet users: 2.1 million approx.

Railways: 21,431 km

Highways: total: 358,596 km

Pipelines: crude oil 931 km; petroleum products 1,748 km; natural gas 322 km

Ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mosselbaai, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay

Merchant marine: total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 271,650 GRT/268,604 DWT

Ships by type: container 6, petroleum tanker 2 (2000 est.)

Airports: 741 (2000 est.)

Military branches: South African National Defense Force or SANDF (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Medical Services)

Police: South African Police Services

Information not updated