The Highveld is a high
plateauregion of South Africawhich is largely home to the largest metropolitan area in the country, the Gauteng City Region, which accounts for one-third of South Africa's population. The Highveld constitutes parts of the Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West, and Limpopoprovinces, and virtually all of Gautengand the northern Free State. The Highveld is bordered by the Bushveldand the Lowveldin the north, northeast, and northwest, the Drakensbergmountains to the east and southeast, the Kalaharidesert in the west, and the Great Karooto the southwest. The Highveld covers an area of almost 400,000km2, or roughly thirty percent of South Africa's land area.
Cities located on the Highveld include
Johannesburg Tshwane, Bloemfontein, Vereeniging, Welkom, Carletonville, and the cities of the West Randand East Rand. The diamond-mining city of Kimberleylies on the border of the Highveld and the southeastern Kalahari.
Approximately half the
goldever produced in the world has been mined on the Highveld since 1880. The largest deposits are located in the Witwatersrand, which centres on Johannesburg, with smaller deposits in the northern Free State near Welkom and Virginia. The Highveld is also exceedingly rich in Vanadium, Diamonds, Coal, and Manganese. Agriculturein the Highveld is generally dominated by extensive grainproduction and the grazing of beefCattle, with more intensive production of maize, wheat, sorghum, citrus fruits, groundnuts, sunflowers, and vegetables, occurring in irrigated areas and farmland closer to urban areas.
Naturally occurring vegetation in the Highveld consists of subtropical and temperate
grassland, with true savannahnot dominating the ecosystem until more tropical latitudes. The Highveld rainy seasonoccurs in summer, with substantial afternoon thunderstorms being typical occurrences in November, December, and January.
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