The North-West province is one of the nine provinces of South Africa.

Area: 116,320 Km2 (9.5% of South Africa)
Population at 2001 census: 3,669,350 (8.2% of South Africa)
Population density: 31.55 people per Km2.
Proportion of national GDP (2001): 6.4%
Per capita GDP (2001): R15 508
Capital: Mmabatho
Languages: Setswana 67%, Afrikaans 7.5%, isiXhosa 5.4%
Borders with provinces: Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo.
Borders with countries: Botswana
The North-West Province is one of the five landlocked provinces.
Before 1994 the North-west province was part of the Transvaal province.

One of the geographically named provinces, the North-west province may still rebrand itself with a catchy name, as Mpumalanga and Limpopo have done.

The North-West province is located in the interior of Africa, up against Botswana, from the highveldt of Gauteng to the edges of the Kalahari desert.

Most economic activity takes place in the south, around Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp, and in the east around Rustenburg.

Only 35% of the province's population is urban. Poverty and illiteracy are higher than the national average - Literacy is at 57%.

Mining is an important industry here - Diamonds at Lichtenburg, Koster, Christiana and Bloemhof; Gold at Orkney and Klerksdorp; Platinum near Rustenburg and Brits - this area is the largest producer of platinum in the world. Other industries are agriculture, and manufacturing the products of these two industries.

Maize and sunflowers are important crops. Cattle are raised on a large scale. Mixed farming also occurs.

Tourists to the North west province will want to head for the plastic-spectacular Las Vegas-style Sun City resort.

As an aside, some of my childhood memories are of the farm near Rustenburg where my maternal grandmother lived. With herds of dairy cows, orange and lemon orchards, and pecan trees. The thatched roof houses with wattle and daub walls, the red earth and it's omnipresent rich dusty smell, the dirt roads (always close the gate!) and the insects everywhere - the drone of crickets, ticks on the farm dogs, spiders behind the hanging portraits, nocturnal geckos and toads lurking around the lights at night bagging the lured flying critters. The dry hot Christmas summer holdays. The irrigation pipes.

During the great depression they apparently raised chickens on a large scale, and ate nothing but chicken every night for months on end.

The nine provinces of South Africa are Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, North-West Province, Mpumalanga, Limpopo


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