Provinces

Gauteng

Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area.

Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large industrial areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark. As of 2015, it has a population of nearly 13.2 million, making it the most populous province in South Africa

Etymology

A snippet of text showing the Sesotho word “Gaudeng” (modern Gauteng) in Jacottet’s A practical method to learn Sesuto : with exercises and a short vocabulary, published in 1906.

The name Gauteng is derived from the Sotho name, “gauta” meaning “gold” with the locative suffix “-eng”. “Gauta” itself is derived from Dutch word for gold, “goud”. There was a thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. In Sesotho, the name “Gauteng” was used for Johannesburg and surrounding areas long before it was adopted in 1994 as the official name of a province.

History

Gauteng, formerly known as Pretoria–Witwatersrand–Vereeniging (PWV), was carved out of the old Transvaal province in 1994, although the terminology “PWV”, describing the region existed long before that.

The history of the area that is now Gauteng can be traced back to the early 1800s when settlers originating from the Cape Colony defeated chief Mzilikazi and started establishing villages in the area. After the discovery of gold in 1886, the region proceeded to become the single largest gold producer in the world and the city of Johannesburg was founded. The older city Pretoria was not subject to the same attention and development. Pretoria grew at a slower rate and was highly regarded due to its role in the Second Boer War. The Cullinan Diamond which is the largest diamond ever mined was mined near Pretoria in a nearby town called Cullinan in the year 1905.

Gauteng has only been properly documented since the 1800s and as a result, not much information regarding its history predating the 1800s is available. At the Sterkfontein caves, some of the oldest fossils of hominids have been discovered, such as Mrs. Ples and Little Foot.

Many crucial events happened in present-day Gauteng with regards to the anti-apartheid struggle, such as the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, the Rivonia Trial in 1963 and 1964 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976. Today, the Apartheid Museum stands testament to these struggles in Johannesburg.

Geography

The undulating hills that form part of the rural areas in the province just north of Johannesburg. Although Gauteng is a heavily urbanised province much of its area extensively cultivated for agriculture.

Gauteng’s southern border is the Vaal River, which separates it from the Free State. It also borders on North West to the west, Limpopo to the north, and Mpumalanga to the east. Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border. Most of Gauteng is on the Highveld, a high-altitude grassland (circa 1,500 m or 4,921 ft above sea level). Between Johannesburg and Pretoria there are low parallel ridges and undulating hills, some part of the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Witwatersrand. The north of the province is more subtropical, due to its lower altitude and is mostly dry savanna habitat.

Climate

The climate is mostly influenced by altitude. Even though the province is at a subtropical latitude, the climate is comparatively cooler, especially in Johannesburg, at 1,700 m (5,577 ft) above sea level (Pretoria is at 1,330 m or 4,364 ft). Most precipitation occurs as brief afternoon thunderstorms; however, relative humidity never becomes uncomfortable. Winters are crisp and dry with frost occurring often in the southern areas. Snow is rare, but it has occurred on some occasions in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.

Johannesburg averages: January maximum: 26 °C (78.8 °F) (min: 15 °C or 59 °F), June maximum: 16 °C (60.8 °F) (min: 4 °C or 39.2 °F), annual precipitation: 713 mm (28.1 in)

Pretoria averages: January maximum: 29 °C (84.2 °F) (min: 18 °C or 64.4 °F), June maximum: 19 °C (66.2 °F) (min: 5 °C or 41 °F), annual precipitation: 674 mm (26.5 in)

Economy

Gauteng is considered the economic hub of South Africa and contributes heavily in the financial, manufacturing, transport, technology, and telecommunications sectors, among others. It also plays host to a large number of overseas companies requiring a commercial base in and gateway to Africa.

Gauteng is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Africa. Some of the largest companies in Africa and abroad are based in Gauteng, or have offices and branches there, such as Vodacom, MTN, Neotel, Microsoft South Africa and the largest Porsche Centre in the world.

Although Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces—it covers a mere 1.5% of the country’s total land area, the province is responsible for a third of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). Gauteng generates about 10% of the total GDP of sub-Saharan Africa and about 7% of total African GDP.

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape (Afrikaans: Noord-Kaap; Tswana: Kapa Bokone) 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 the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, an international park shared with Botswana. It also includes the Augrabies Falls and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay. The Namaqualand region in the west is famous for its Namaqualand daisies. The southern towns of De Aar and Colesberg, in the Great Karoo, are major transport nodes between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. In the northeast, Kuruman is known as a mission station and also for its artesian spring, the Eye of Kuruman. The Orange River flows through the province, forming the borders with the Free State in the southeast and with Namibia to the northwest. The river is also used to irrigate the many vineyards in the arid region near Upington.

Native speakers of Afrikaans comprise a higher percentage of the population in the Northern Cape than in any other province. The Northern Cape’s four official languages are Afrikaans, Tswana, Xhosa, and English. Minorities speak the other official languages of South Africa, and a few people speak indigenous languages such as Nama and Khwe.

The provincial motto, Sa ǁa ǃaĩsi ‘uĩsi (“We go to a better life”), is in the Nǀu language of the Nǁnǂe (ǂKhomani) people. It was given in 1997 by one of the language’s last speakers, Ms. Elsie Vaalbooi of Rietfontein, who has since died. It was South Africa’s first officially registered motto in a Khoisan language. Subsequently, South Africa’s national motto, ǃKe e ǀxarra ǁke, was derived from the extinct Northern Cape ǀXam language.

The Northern Cape was one of three provinces carved out of the Cape Province in 1994, the others being Western Cape to the south and Eastern Cape to the southeast. Politically, it had been dominated since 1994 by the African National Congress (ANC).[3] Ethnic issues are important in the politics of the Northern Cape. For example, it is the site of the Orania settlement, whose leaders have called for a Volkstaat for the Afrikaner people in the province.

The Northern Cape is also the home of over 1,000 San who immigrated from Namibia following the independence of the country; they had served as trackers and scouts for the South African Defence Force during the South African Border War, and feared reprisals from their former foes. They were awarded a settlement in Platfontein in 1999 by the Mandela government.

The precolonial history of the Northern Cape is reflected in a rich, mainly Stone Age, archaeological heritage. Cave sites include Wonderwerk Cave near Kuruman, which has a uniquely long sequence stretching from the turn of the twentieth century at the surface to more than 1 million (and possibly nearly 2 million) years in its basal layer (where stone tools, occurring in very low density, may be Oldowan).[4] Many sites across the province, mostly in open air locales or in sediments alongside rivers or pans, document Earlier, Middle and Later Stone Age habitation. From Later Stone Age times, mainly, there is a wealth of rock art sites – most of which are in the form of rock engravings such as at Wildebeest Kuil and many sites in the area known as ǀXam -ka !kau, in the Karoo. They occur on hilltops, slopes, rock outcrops and occasionally (as in the case of Driekops Eiland near Kimberley), in a river bed.[5] In the north eastern part of the province there are sites attributable to the Iron Age such as Dithakong.[6] Environmental factors have meant that the spread of Iron Age farming westwards (from the 17th century – but dating from the early first millennium AD in the eastern part of South Africa) was constrained mainly to the area east of the Langeberg Mountains, but with evidence of influence as far as the Upington area in the eighteenth century. From that period the archaeological record also reflects the development of a complex colonial frontier when precolonial social formations were considerably disrupted and there is an increasing ‘fabric heavy’ imprint of built structures, ash-heaps, and so on. The copper mines of Namaqualand and the diamond rush to the Kimberley area resulted in industrial archaeological landscapes in those areas which herald the modern era in South African history.

The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, and distances between towns are enormous due to its sparse population. Its size is just shy of the size of the American state of Montana and slightly larger than that of Germany. The province is dominated by the Karoo Basin and consists mostly of sedimentary rocks and some Dolerite intrusions. The south and south-east of the province is high-lying, 1,200–1,900 metres (3,900–6,200 ft), in the Roggeveld and Nuweveld districts. The west coast is dominated by the Namaqualand region, famous for its spring flowers. This area is hilly to mountainous and consists of Granites and other metamorphic rocks. The central areas are generally flat with interspersed salt pans. Kimberlite intrusions punctuate the Karoo rocks, giving the province its most precious natural resource, Diamonds. The north is primarily Kalahari Desert, characterised by parallel red sand dunes and acacia tree dry savanna.

Northern Cape has a shoreline in the west on the South Atlantic Ocean. It borders the following areas of Namibia and Botswana:

Eastern Cape Province – South Africa

Eastern Cape Province – South Africa

Province Eastern Cape

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

 

The Eastern Cape is a Province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, yet its two biggest urban areas are Port Elizabeth and East London. It was shaped in 1994 out of the Xhosa countries of Transkei and Ciskei, together with the eastern bit of the Cape Province. Landing spot and home of the 1820 pilgrims, the focal and eastern piece of the area is the conventional home of the Xhosa individuals. This district is the origin of numerous conspicuous South African government officials, for example, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki, Steve Biko, Bantu Holomisa and Charles Coghlan.

History of the Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape as a South African Province came into existence in 1994 and incorporated areas from the former Xhosa homelands of the Transkei and Ciskei, together with what was previously part of the Cape Province. This resulted in several anomalies including the fact that the Province has four supreme courts (in Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Bhisho and Mthatha) and enclaves of KwaZulu-Natal in the province. The latter anomaly has fallen away with amendments to municipal and provincial boundaries.The province is also made of Mpondo clan, which primitively descended from Xhosa clan. Some of the Mpondo clan went to this province when they were running away from King Shaka’s war. Mpondo people are more closely related to Xhosa, as they use Xhosa as their main home language.

Geography

The Eastern Cape gets progressively wetter from west to east. The west is mostly semi-arid Karoo, except in the far south, which is temperate rainforest in the Tsitsikamma region. The coast is generally rugged with interspersed beaches. Most of the province is hilly to very mountainous between Graaff-Reinet and Rhodes including the Sneeuberge (English: Snow Mountains), Stormberge, Winterberge and Drakensberg (English: Dragon Mountains). The highest point in the province is Ben Macdhui at 3001m. The east from East London and Queenstown towards the KwaZulu-Natal border – a region known previously as Transkei – is lush grassland on rolling hills, punctuated by deep gorges with intermittent forest.

Eastern Cape has a shoreline on its east which lines southward, creating shores leading to the South Indian Ocean. In the northeast, it borders the following districts of Lesotho:

Mohale’s Hoek – west of Quthing

Quthing – between Mohale and Qacha’s Nek

Qacha’s Nek – east of Quthing

Domestically, it borders the following provinces:

Western Cape – west

Northern Cape – northwest

Free State – north

KwaZulu-Natal – far northeast

Tourism

The landscape is extremely diverse. The western interior is largely arid Karoo, while the east is well-watered and green. The Eastern Cape offers a wide array of attractions, including 800 km of untouched and pristine coastline along with some particularly splendid beaches, and “big-five” viewing in a malaria-free environment.

The Addo Elephant National Park, situated 73 km from Port Elizabeth, was proclaimed in 1931. Its 743 km² offers sanctuary to 170 elephants, 400 Cape buffalo and 21 black rhino of the very scarce Kenyan sub-species.

The province is the location of South Africa’s only Snow skiing resort, Tiffindell, which is situated near the hamlet of Rhodes in the Southern Drakensberg on the slopes of Ben Macdhui, the highest mountain peak in the Eastern Cape (3001 m).

The National Arts Festival, held annually in Grahamstown, is Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event, offering a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. Every year for 11 days the town’s population almost doubles, as over 50,000 people flock to the region for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment.

The Tsitsikamma National Park is an 80 km long coastal strip between Nature’s Valley and the mouth of the Storms River. In the park the visitor finds an almost untouched natural landscape. Near the park is the Bloukrans Bridge and Bloukrans Bridge Bungy which is the world’s third highest bungee jump,

Jeffreys Bay is an area with some of the country’s wildest coastline, which is backed by some of Africa’s most spectacular sub-tropical rainforest. Famous for its “supertubes”, probably South Africa’s longest and most consistently good wave, it’s charged with a surf vibe as relaxed as it is friendly, and this tends to soften the effect of the wealthy set who have made this part of the coast their own.

Aliwal North, lying on a splendid agricultural plateau on the southern bank of the Orange River, is one of the country’s most popular inland resorts and is famous for its hot springs.

The rugged and unspoilt Wild Coast is a place of spectacular scenery, and a graveyard for many vessels.

Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, situated in the beautiful Amatola Mountains,is now famous for the first wine estate in the province.

Climate

Climate is highly varied. The west is dry with sparse rain during winter or summer, with frosty winters and hot summers. The area Tsitsikamma to Grahamstown receives more precipitation, which is also relatively evenly distributed and temperatures are mild. Further east, rainfall becomes more plentiful and humidity increases, becoming more subtropical along the coast with summer rainfall. The interior can become very cold in winter, with heavy snowfalls occasionally occurring in the mountainous regions between Molteno and Rhodes.

Port Elizabeth: Jan Max: 25 °C, Min: 18 °C; Jul Max: 20 °C, Min: 9 °C

Molteno & Barkly East: Jan Max 28 °C, Min 11 °C; Jul Max: 14 °C, Min: -7 °C

The Eastern Cape is one of the poorest provinces in South Africa. This is largely due to the poverty found in the former homelands, where subsistence agriculture predominates.

Economy

Agriculture

There is much fertile land in the Eastern Cape, and agriculture remains important. The fertile Langkloof Valley in the southwest has enormous deciduous fruit orchards, while sheep farming predominates in the Karoo. The Alexandria-Grahamstown area produces pineapples, chicory and dairy products, while coffee and tea are cultivated at Magwa. People in the former Transkei region are dependent on cattle, maize and sorghum-farming. An olive nursery has been developed in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare to form a nucleus of olive production in the Eastern Cape.

Domestic stock farming is slowly giving way to game farming on large scale, fueled by the commercial benefits of eco-tourism and the lower risk needed to protect wild game against drought, the natural elements and poaching.

The basis of the province’s fishing industry is squid, some recreational and commercial fishing for line fish, the collection of marine resources, and access to line-catches of hake.

Industry

With three import/export harbours and three airports offering direct flights to the main centres, and an excellent road and rail infrastructure, the province has been earmarked as a key area for growth and economic development in modern South Africa.

The two major industrial centre’s, Port Elizabeth and East London have well-developed economies based on the automotive industry. General Motors and Volkswagen both have major assembly lines in the Port Elizabeth area, while East London is dominated by the large Daimler Chrysler plant, now known as Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

Environmental-friendly projects include the Fish River Spatial Development Initiative, the Wild Coast SDI, and two industrial development zones, the East London Industrial Development Zone and the Coega IDZ near Port Elizabeth. Coega is the largest infrastructure development in post-apartheid South Africa. The construction of the deepwater Port of Ngqura was completed and the first commercial ship anchored in October 2009. It is expected that this development will give the province a major economic boost.

Other important sectors include finance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, eco-tourism (nature reserves and game ranches) and hotels and restaurants.

Western Cape

The Western Cape (Afrikaans: Wes-Kaap, Xhosa: Ntshona Koloni) is a province of South Africa, situated in the south-western part of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces in terms of both area and population, with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi) and 6.2 million inhabitants. About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital. The Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province.

The Western Cape Province is roughly L-shaped, extending north and east from the Cape of Good Hope, in the southwestern corner of South Africa. It stretches about 400 kilometres (250 mi) northwards along the Atlantic coast and about 500 kilometres (300 mi) eastwards along the South African south coast (Southern Indian Ocean). It is bordered on the north by the Northern Cape and on the east by the Eastern Cape. The total land area of the province is 129,462 square kilometres (49,986 sq mi), :9 about 10.6% of the country’s total. It is roughly the size of England or the State of Louisiana. Its capital city and largest city is Cape Town, and some other major cities include Stellenbosch, Worcester, Paarl, and George. The Garden Route and the Overberg are popular coastal tourism areas.

The Western Cape is the southernmost region of the African continent with Cape Agulhas as its southernmost point, only 3800 km from the Antarctic coastline. The coastline varies from sandy between capes, to rocky to steep and mountainous in places. The only natural harbour is Saldanha Bay on the west coast, about 140 km north of Cape Town. However a lack of fresh water in the region meant that it has only recently been used as a harbour. The province’s principle harbour was built in Table Bay, which in its natural state was fully exposed to the northwesterly storms that bring rain to the province in winter, as well as the almost uninterrupted dry southeasterly winds in summer. But fresh water coming off Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak allowed the early European settlers to build Cape Town on the shores of this less than satisfactory anchorage.

The province is topographically exceptionally diverse. Most of the province falls within the Cape Fold Belt, a set of nearly parallel ranges of sandstone folded mountains of Cambrian-Ordovician age (the age of the rocks is from 510 to about 330 million years ago; their folding into mountains occurred about 350 to about 270 million years ago). The height of the mountain peaks in the different ranges vary from 1000m to 2300m. The valleys between ranges are generally very fertile as they contain the weathered loamy soils of the Bokkeveld mudstones The far interior forms part of the Karoo. This region of the Province is generally arid and hilly with a prominent escarpment that runs close to the Province’s most inland boundary.

The Escarpment marks the southwestern edge of South Africa’s central plateau It runs parallel to the entire South African coastline except in the very far northeast, where it is interrupted by the Limpopo River valley, and the far northwest, where it is interrupted by the Orange River valley. The 1000 km-long northeastern stretch of the escarpment is called the Drakensberg, which is geographically and geologically quite distinct from the Cape Fold Mountains, which originated much earlier and totally independently of the origin of the escarpment

The principal rivers of the province are the Berg and Olifants which drain into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Breede and Gourits which drain into the Indian Ocean.

The vegetation is also extremely diverse, with one of the world’s seven floral kingdoms almost exclusively endemic to the province, namely the Cape Floral Kingdom, most of which is covered by Fynbos (from the Afrikaans meaning “Fine Bush” (Dutch: Fijnbosch), though precisely how it came to be referred to as such, is uncertain.). These evergreen heathlands are extremely rich in species diversity, with at least as many plant species occurring on Table Mountain as in the entire United Kingdom. It is characterised by various types of shrubs, thousands of flowering plant species and some grasses.[9] With the exception of the Silver tree, Leucadendron argenteum, which only grows on the granite and clay soils of the Cape Peninsula, open fynbos is generally treeless except in the wetter mountain ravines where patches of Afromontane forest persist.

The arid interior is dominated by Karoo drought-resistant shrubbery. The West Coast and Little Karoo are semi-arid regions and are typified by many species of succulents and drought-resistant shrubs and acacia trees. The Garden Route on the south coast (between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Southern Indian Ocean) is extremely lush, with temperate rainforest (or Afromontane Forest) covering many areas adjacent to the coast, in the deep river valleys and along the southern slopes of the Outeniqua mountain range. Typical species are hardwoods of exceptional height, such as Yellowwood, Stinkwood and Ironwood trees.

Climate

The Western Cape is also climatologically diverse, with many distinct micro- and macroclimates created by the varied topography and the influence of the surrounding ocean currents. These are the warm Agulhas Current which flows southwards along South Africa’s east coast, and the cold Benguela Current which is an upwelling current from the depths of the South Atlantic Ocean along South Africa’s west coast. Thus climatic statistics can vary greatly over short distances. Most of the province is considered to have a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Both the Great Karoo and Little Karoo, in the interior, have an arid to semi-arid climate with cold, frosty winters and hot summers with occasional thunderstorms. The Garden Route and the Overberg on the south coast have a maritime climate with cool, moist winters and mild, moist summers. Mossel Bay in the Garden Route is considered to have the second mildest climate worldwide after Hawaii.

Thunderstorms are generally rare in the province (except in the Karoo) with most precipitation being of a frontal or orographic nature. Extremes of heat and cold are common inland, but rare near the coast. Snow is a common winter occurrence on the Western Cape Mountains occasionally reaching down into the more inland valleys. Otherwise, frost is relatively rare in coastal areas and many of the heavily cultivated valleys.

Cape Town International Airport averages: January maximum: 26 °C (min: 16 °C), July maximum: 18 °C (min: 7 °C), annual rainfall: 515mm

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town annual rainfall: 1395mm

George averages: January maximum: 25 °C (min: 15 °C), July maximum: 19 °C (min: 7 °C), annual rainfall: 715mm

Laingsburg, on the N1 highway in the Great Karoo (coordinates: Lat: S33.20°, Long: E20.85°) annual rainfall: 150 mm, summer daytime temperatures exceeding 30 °C.

In 1994, at the introduction of the Interim Constitution and the first non-racial election, South Africa’s original provinces and bantustans were abolished and nine new provinces were established. The former Cape Province was divided into the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and part of North West.

In the 1994 election the Western Cape was one of two provinces that did not elect an African National Congress (ANC) provincial government (the other being KwaZulu-Natal). The National Party (NP) won 53% of the votes and 23 seats in the 42-seat provincial legislature, and Hernus Kriel, a former Minister of Law and Order, was elected Premier. He resigned in 1998 and was replaced by Gerald Morkel.

The 1999 election marked the beginning of a period of great turbulence in Western Cape politics. No party achieved an absolute majority in the provincial parliament, as the ANC won 18 seats while the New National Party (NNP), successor to the NP, won 17. The NNP went into coalition with the Democratic Party (DP), which won 5 seats, to form a government, and Morkel remained Premier. In 2000 the DP and the NNP formalised their coalition by forming the Democratic Alliance (DA).

In 2001, however, the NNP broke with the DA over the removal of Peter Marais from office as Mayor of Cape Town by DA leader Tony Leon. The NNP instead went into coalition with the ANC; Gerald Morkel, who was opposed to the split, resigned as Premier and was replaced by Peter Marais. In 2002 Marais resigned as Premier due to a sexual harassment scandal, and was replaced by NNP leader Marthinus van Schalkwyk. During the 2003 floor-crossing period four members of the provincial parliament crossed to the ANC, giving it an absolute majority of 22 seats in the 42-seat house. However, the ANC remained in coalition with the NNP and van Schalkwyk remained as Premier.

In the 2004 election there was again no absolute winner in the provincial parliament; this time the ANC won 19 seats, the DA won 12, and the NNP won 5. The ANC-NNP coalition continued in power, but van Schalkwyk took up a ministerial post in the national cabinet and was replaced as Premier by the ANC’s Ebrahim Rasool. The NNP was finally dissolved after the 2005 floor-crossing period and its members joined the ANC, again giving that party an absolute majority of 24 seats. In the 2007 floor-crossing period the ANC gained a further three members of the provincial parliament. In 2008 Rasool resigned as Premier due to internal party politics, and was replaced by Lynne Brown.

The 2009 election marked a significant change in Western Cape politics, as the Democratic Alliance won 51% of the votes and an absolute majority of 22 seats in the provincial parliament, while the ANC won 14 seats with 31% of the vote. The DA leader Helen Zille was elected Premier. In 2010 the Independent Democrats, which had won 3 seats with 5% of the vote, merged with the DA. In the 2014 election the DA won 59% of the votes and an absolute majority of 26 seats in the provincial parliament, while the ANC won 14 seats with 32% of the vote.

Economy

The Western Cape’s total GDP for 2008 was R268bn, making the province the joint 2nd largest contributor to the country’s total GDP, at 14%. It also has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, growing at 4% in 2008 and is expected to grow by 3.2% in 2011. At 20% the province has a substantially lower unemployment rate than the national average standing at 23% in 2009. The province’s Gini coefficient of 0.63 is lower than South Africa’s Gini coefficient of 0.7 making it more equal then the rest of the country whilst still being extremely high and unequal by international standards. The Western Cape’s Human Development Index is the highest in South Africa at 0.7708 compared to the South African average of 0.6675 in 2003.

The biggest sector in the Western Cape’s economy is the financial, business services and real estate sectors contributing approximately R77 billion in 2008. Manufacturing was the second largest contributor valued at R43.7 billion in 2008 with the agricultural sector being the fastest growing at 10.6% in the same year. High-tech industries, international call centres, fashion design, advertising and TV production are niche industries rapidly gaining in importance. The city of Cape Town is ranked as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa with Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity being 190% greater than South Africa’s national average.

The Western Cape has an excellent network of highways comparable with any first-world country. The primary highways are the N1 (from Cape Town to Three Sisters, continuing outside the province towards Bloemfontein and Johannesburg), N2 (from Cape Town to Bloukrans River, towards Port Elizabeth), N7 (from Cape Town to Bitterfontein, continuing towards Springbok and Namibia) and N12 (from George to Three Sisters, continuing towards Kimberley and Johannesburg). Other routes are the “R” roads which connect the smaller towns. All major roads are tarred with major rural gravel roads well maintained. Limited access motorways are limited to the Cape Metropolitan Area, Winelands and Garden Route, however due to the low population density of the remainder of the province, the highways remain efficient and high-speed, except during peak holiday travel seasons, when travel can be slow-going in places due to heavy traffic

Telecommunications in the province are highly sophisticated. Landline telephones are available extensively, and the majority of large urban nodes have access to ADSL and other high-speed internet services Mobile cellular networks are world-class, with reception extending from cities to highways and many remote rural areas. Mobile networks also play an important role in the internet space due to their speed and widespread availability. Major cities and towns have access to mobile internet speeds in excess of 21 Mbit/s (HSDPA+). In areas where HSDPA+ is not available, networks make provisions for HSDPA, 3G, EDGE or finally GPRS if demand does not warrant higher speed

Iinvestment Demographics

The 2011 Census recorded the population of the Western Cape as 5,822,734 people living in 1,634,000 households. As the province covers an area of 129,462 square kilometres (49,986 sq mi), the population density was 45.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (117/sq mi) and the household density 12.6 per square kilometre (33/sq mi).

49% of the people of the Western Cape described themselves as “Coloured”, while 33% described themselves as “Black African”, 17% as “White”, and 1% as “Indian or Asian”. Afrikaans is the plurality language, spoken as the first language of 50% of the province’s population. IsiXhosa is the first language of 25% of the population, while English is the first language of 20%.

Roughly 16% (894,289 people) of the Western Cape’s population in 2011 were born in the Eastern Cape, 3% (167,524) in Gauteng and 1% (61,945) in KwaZulu-Natal. People born outside of South Africa amounted to 4% of the province’s population or 260,952 people.

The age distribution of the province was as follows: 25.1% were under the age of 15, 18.3% from 15 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 28 years.[24]:20 For every 100 women there are 96 men.

2.7% of residents aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 10.7% have had only some primary, 5.6% have completed primary school but gone no further, 38% have had some secondary education without finishing Grade 12, 28% have finished Grade 12 but gone no further, and 14% have higher education beyond the secondary level. Overall, 43% of residents have completed high school.

90% of households in the province have a flush toilet and 90% have refuse removed by the local council at least once a week. 75% of households have piped tap water inside the dwelling, while a further 13% have piped water on their property; 11% receive piped water at a community tap, while 1% have no access to piped water. One in seven people live in an informal dwelling.

86.9% of households use electricity for cooking, and 93% use it for lighting. 93 89% of households have a cellphone and 31% have a landline telephone, while 86% own a television, 81% own a refrigerator, and 34% own a computer. 44% of households have access to the Internet.

The average annual household income was R143,460, the second-highest in the country after Gauteng. As of September 2012, 69% of the population aged 15–64 are economically active, and of these 25% are unemployed. Overall, 52% of the working-age population are employed. Around 2 million people in the Western Cape labour market (those aged 16 to 64) are employed, 1.3 million are not economically active, 552,733 are unemployed with an additional 122,753 who are discouraged work seekers who want to work but have given up looking for it.

According to research conducted by Plus94, the Western Cape is the least racist province in South Africa.