Districts of South Africa

Districts of South Africa
South Africa

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South Africa is divided into 52 districts (Metropolitan and District municipalities). The 12th amendment to the Constitution (December 2005) reduced this number from 53. Another effect of this amendment is that each district is now completely contained within a province, thus eliminating cross-border districts. The districts also cover the entire area of the continental republic. South Africa's districts are analogous to counties in Great Britain and the United States.


Types of district

There are two types of municipality at the district level. Most of the country is covered by the 44 district municipalities, which are divided into local municipalities and share responsibilities with them. The eight largest urban agglomerations are governed by metropolitan municipalities, which act as both local and district municipalities.


The following map depicts the provinces and districts of South Africa. The district municipalities are labelled with numbers that correspond to their district code, while the metropolitan municipalities are labelled with letters that correspond to their names. Further details of the districts are listed in the table that follows the image.

Map of South Africa with provinces shaded and districts numbered (2011).svg

Name Code Province Seat Area (km²) Population (2007) Pop. density (per km²)
Alfred Nzo District Municipality DC44 Eastern Cape Mount Ayliff 6,859 479,390 69.9
Amajuba District Municipality DC25 KwaZulu-Natal Newcastle 6,911 442,266 64.0
Amathole District Municipality DC12 Eastern Cape East London 21,043 940,441 44.7
Bojanala Platinum District Municipality DC37 North West Rustenburg 18,333 1,268,618 69.2
Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality BUF Eastern Cape East London 2,536 724,312 285.6
Cacadu District Municipality DC10 Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth 58,194 363,496 6.2
Cape Winelands District Municipality DC2 Western Cape Worcester 22,309 712,413 31.9
Capricorn District Municipality DC35 Limpopo Polokwane 16,988 1,243,167 73.2
Central Karoo District Municipality DC5 Western Cape Beaufort West 38,854 56,230 1.4
Chris Hani District Municipality DC13 Eastern Cape Queenstown 36,695 798,597 21.8
City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality CPT Western Cape Cape Town 2,460 3,497,097 1,421.6
City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality JHB Gauteng Johannesburg 1,645 3,888,180 2,363.6
City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality TSH Gauteng Pretoria 6,345 2,499,447 393.9
Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality DC40 North West Klerksdorp 14,642 634,127 43.3
Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality DC39 North West Vryburg 44,017 354,554 8.1
Eden District Municipality DC4 Western Cape George 23,331 513,307 22.0
Ehlanzeni District Municipality DC32 Mpumalanga Nelspruit 27,896 1,526,236 54.7
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality EKU Gauteng Germiston 1,924 2,724,229 1,415.9
eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality ETH KwaZulu-Natal Durban 2,292 3,468,086 1,513.1
Fezile Dabi District Municipality DC20 Free State Sasolburg 21,301 474,089 22.3
Frances Baard District Municipality DC9 Northern Cape Kimberley 13,518 353,200 26.1
Gert Sibande District Municipality DC30 Mpumalanga Secunda 31,841 890,699 28.0
iLembe District Municipality DC29 KwaZulu-Natal KwaDukuza 3,269 528,198 161.6
John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality DC45 Northern Cape Kuruman 27,283 173,454 6.4
Lejweleputswa District Municipality DC18 Free State Welkom 31,930 639,651 20.0
Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality MAN Free State Bloemfontein 6,284 752,906 119.8
Mopani District Municipality DC33 Limpopo Giyani 24,489 1,068,568 43.6
Namakwa District Municipality DC6 Northern Cape Springbok 126,836 126,494 1.0
Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality NMA Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth 1,959 1,050,930 536.5
Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality DC38 North West Mafikeng 27,889 798,783 28.6
Nkangala District Municipality DC31 Mpumalanga Middelburg 16,758 1,226,500 73.2
OR Tambo District Municipality DC15 Eastern Cape Mthatha 15,968 1,862,218 116.6
Overberg District Municipality DC3 Western Cape Bredasdorp 11,405 212,787 18.7
Pixley ka Seme District Municipality DC7 Northern Cape De Aar 102,727 166,849 1.6
Sedibeng District Municipality DC42 Gauteng Vereeniging 4,177 800,819 191.7
Sekhukhune District Municipality DC47 Limpopo Groblersdal 13,426 1,090,424 81.2
Sisonke District Municipality DC43 KwaZulu-Natal Ixopo 11,127 500,082 44.9
Siyanda District Municipality DC8 Northern Cape Upington 102,524 238,063 2.3
Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality DC19 Free State Phuthaditjhaba 32,637 753,344 23.1
Ugu District Municipality DC21 KwaZulu-Natal Port Shepstone 5,047 709,918 140.7
Ukhahlamba District Municipality DC14 Eastern Cape Barkly East 25,663 308,365 12.0
uMgungundlovu District Municipality DC22 KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg 8,934 988,837 110.7
uMkhanyakude District Municipality DC27 KwaZulu-Natal Mkuze 12,821 614,046 47.9
uMzinyathi District Municipality DC24 KwaZulu-Natal Dundee 8,589 495,737 57.7
uThukela District Municipality DC23 KwaZulu-Natal Ladysmith 11,326 714,908 63.1
uThungulu District Municipality DC28 KwaZulu-Natal Richards Bay 8,213 894,260 108.9
Vhembe District Municipality DC34 Limpopo Thohoyandou 21,349 1,240,035 58.1
Waterberg District Municipality DC36 Limpopo Modimolle 49,504 596,092 12.0
West Coast District Municipality DC1 Western Cape Moorreesburg 31,104 286,751 9.2
West Rand District Municipality DC48 Gauteng Randfontein 4,087 754,903 184.7
Xhariep District Municipality DC16 Free State Trompsburg 37,674 153,069 4.1
Zululand District Municipality DC26 KwaZulu-Natal Ulundi 14,799 902,890 61.0

Boundary alignment

Several projects are underway to align various services with the district boundaries.[1] These include:

  • Magisterial districts
  • Police wards


South Africa's official opposition, the Democratic Alliance, believes that the districts add an unnecessary fourth layer of government (between provinces and municipalities) and has called for them to be eliminated.[2]

See also



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