North West (South African province)

North West (South African province)
North West Province redirects here. For other similarly named provinces, see Northwestern Province.
North West
Bokone Bophirima (Tswana)
Noordwes (Afrikaans)
—  Province of South Africa  —
The Province of North West

Coat of arms
Motto: Kagiso le Tswelelopele (Peace and Prosperity)
Map showing the location of the North West province in South Africa
Location of North West in South Africa
Country  South Africa
Established 27 April 1994
Capital Mafikeng
 – Type Parliamentary system
 – Premier Thandi Modise (ANC)
 – Total 104,882 km2 (40,495.2 sq mi)
Area rank 6th in South Africa
Highest elevation 1,805 m (5,922 ft)
Population (2007)[2][3][4]
 – Total 3,056,083
 – Estimate (2010) 3,200,900
 – Rank 7th in South Africa
 – Density 29.1/km2 (75.5/sq mi)
 – Density rank 7th in South Africa
Population groups[5]
 – Black African 90.8%
 – White 7.2%
 – Coloured 1.6%
 – Indian or Asian 0.4%
 – Tswana 64.8%
 – Afrikaans 9.2%
 – Xhosa 7.6%
 – Sotho 6.8%
 – Tsonga 3.4%
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code ZA-NW

North West is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mafikeng. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.



North West was created after the end of Apartheid in 1994, and includes parts of the former Transvaal Province and Cape Province, as well as most of the former Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. It was recently the scene of political violence in Khutsong, Merafong City Local Municipality.[when?] (Merafong has since been transferred to Gauteng province.)[when?]

Law and government

The provincial government consists of a premier, an executive council of ten ministers, and a legislature. The provincial assembly and premier are elected for five-year terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of votes each party receives in the province during the national elections. The assembly elects a premier, who then appoints the members of the executive council.

The premier of North West Province as of 2011 is Thandi Modise[7] of the African National Congress. In 2010 she replaced Maureen Modiselle who had only served one year before being removed from office.


Hamerkop Kloof between Rustenburg and Pretoria on north-facing slopes of Magaliesberg

Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 km (about 80 miles) from Pretoria to Rustenburg. The Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province.


Temperatures range from 17° to 31 °C (62° to 88 °F) in the summer and from 3° to 21 °C (37° to 70 °F) in the winter. Annual rainfall totals about 360 mm (about 14 in), with almost all of it falling during the summer months, between October and April.


North West borders the following districts of Botswana:

Domestically, it borders the following provinces:

North West Province is traversed by the northwesterly line of equal latitude and longitude.


The North West province has 4 district municipalities and 20 local municipalities, listed below.

Cities and towns

Population 50,000+

Population 10,000+

  • Vryburg
  • Wolmaranstad
  • Pampierstad

Population < 10,000


The Bridge of Time facing the Entertainment Centre

The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province's gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; uranium, mined at Klerksdorp; platinum, mined at Rustenburg and Brits; and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg, Christiana, and Bloemhof. The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton, and citrus fruits. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.


Population density in the North West
  <1 /km²
  1–3 /km²
  3–10 /km²
  10–30 /km²
  30–100 /km²
  100–300 /km²
  300–1000 /km²
  1000–3000 /km²
  >3000 /km²
Dominant home languages in the North West
  No language dominant

The majority of the province's residents are the Tswana people who speak Setswana. Smaller groups include Afrikaans, Sotho, and Xhosa speaking people. English is spoken primarily as a second language. Most of the population belong to Christian denominations. (Figures according to Census 2001 released in July 2003).

The province has the lowest number of people aged 20 years and older (5,9%) who have received higher education. The literacy rate is in the region of 57%.


The province has two universities: the University of North West, which was formerly called the University of Bophuthatswana (founded in 1979), in Mmabatho; and Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (founded in 1869; became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1921 and an independent university in 1951). These universities have now merged with the University of North West as name.

There is also a private university found in Klerksdorp: Centurion Akademie Klerksdorp, which cater mainly to Afrikaans students. Because it its a private institution classes may be in Afrikaans and the foundation of education gained at Centurion Akademie is based on the Christian faith. It is also the largest institution of its kind in existence.

As part of the Department of Education's proposed plans for higher education, the existing four higher learning institutions will be merged to form two. During 2003, as part of the Year of Further Education and Training project, three mega institutions, Taletso, ORBIT and Vuselela, were established to provide technical and vocational training to the youth. These institutions have been incorporated into many of the former education and technical colleges and manpower centres.


See also


  1. ^ Stats in Brief, 2010. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2010. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-621-39563-1. 
  2. ^ "Community Survey 2007: Basic results" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. p. 2. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  3. ^ 2007 population figure adjusted to account for the transfer of Merafong City from North West to Gauteng.
  4. ^ Mid-year population estimates, 2010 (Report). Statistics South Africa. 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Statistical release P0301: Community Survey, 2007 (Revised version)" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. p. 25. Retrieved 7 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Table: Census 2001 by province, language, population group and gender.". Census 2001 Interactive Tables. Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  7. ^ North West Provincial Government Official Website
  8. ^ SkyDive Rustenburg, SkyDive Rustenburg website link retrieved 14 March 2010
  9. ^ Parachute Association of South Africa, Parachute Association of South Africa website link retrieved 14 March 2010
  10. ^ SkyDive Rustenburg, SkyDive Rustenburg website link retrieved 14 March 2010

External links

Coordinates: 27°S 26°E / 27°S 26°E / -27; 26

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