Mpumalanga is one of the nine provinces of South Africa
Area: 79,490 Km2 (6.5% of South Africa) Mpumalanga is the second-smallest province.
Population at 2001 census: 3,122,994 (7% of South Africa)
Population density: 39.29 people per Km2.
Proportion of national GDP (2001): 7.3%
Per capita GDP (2001): R21 331
Languages: SiSwati, xiTsonga, seSotho, isiZulu, Afrikaans and English.
Borders with provinces: Limpopo, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal
Borders with countries: Swaziland, Mozambique.
Mpumalanga is one of the five landlocked provinces.
Before 1994 Mpumalanga was the eastern part of the Transvaal province, plus the Bantustans of KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, and parts of Gazankulu, Lebowa and Bophuthatswana.
Mpumalanga is located in the north-east of the country. Though landlocked, the port of Maputo in Mozambique is just 200km away, and economic development is taking place along this corridor. Mpumalanga straddles southern Africa's Drakensberg escarpment, with highveld grasslands and bushveld in the north, and sub-tropical forests in the lowveldt in the south.
It was known as "Eastern Transvaal" from 1994 to 1995 before a change to the more colourful name of Mpumalanga, which means "land of the rising sun" in the local siSwati language. (Mpuma means "east" and ilanga means "sun").
Manufacturing and mining are the main economic activities. Most of South Africa's coal is mined here, and much of it is used in power stations that provide electricity to nearby parts of the country, notably the Gauteng metropolis. Other products are citrus fruit, as well as other fruit and produce; timber, paper and stainless steel.
Gold was panned here prior to the Witwatersrand gold rush in 1886, particularly at Pilgrim's Rest, but this has ceased in most places, an exception being the mine at Barberton.
The province is a gateway to the Kruger National Park - the southern part of the park is here. Tourists will also find other wildlife sanctuaries and places for safari or other outdoor activities, for instance at the Blyde River Canyon (700m deep, the third-largest canyon on earth), which hosts hiking trails, hang-gliding and paragliding; and Sabie, which hosts mountain-biking. There is also fishing for trout and other kinds of fish. Hunting for small and big game is allowed, but is regulated.
There are cave paintings made in the province 25 000 years ago by the San people, and evidence of human habitation 100 000 years ago.
The nine provinces of South Africa are Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, North-West Province, Mpumalanga, Limpopo
How do I pronounce Mpumalanga?
In general the Bantu languages use a simple phonetic spelling, since they were only set into the Latin alphabet in the last several hundred years. "Mpumalanga" is not a difficult word; it contains no clicks or other tricky sounds like in the place "Hluhluwe". What you may not be familiar with is the "mpu". The closed-mouth "mmm" sound is used as an interjection in English, but not as a syllable.