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Largest Cities in South Africa (2020)

Largest Cities in South Africa (2020)

Photo: TUX85 / Shutterstock.com

Want to know more about the Largest Cities in South Africa? Here’s an updated list, ranked by population and size in 2020. The Republic of South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa.

It is ranked as the 24th most populous country of the world with a total population of over 58,775,022. The country is also ranked 24th in terms of a total area covering 471,445 square miles, making it one of the largest countries in the world.

South Africa is a multiethnic country with various cultures and religions. The executive capital of the country is Pretoria whereas Cape Town is referred to as the legislative capital of South Africa.

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with a total population of 5,782,747. The Johannesburg Metropolitan Area covers a total area of 1,296 square miles. Johannesburg is one of the 50 largest urban cities in the world.

The city is home to several of the tallest structures in Africa. A few notable ones are the Sentech Tower, the Hillbrow Tower, and the Carlton Centre. Johannesburg is the economic hub of South Africa and the gateway for many tourism destinations within South Africa.

Johannesburg

Photo: Shutterstock

Cape Town

Cape Town is the legislative capital of South Africa. It is the second-most populous city of the country with a total population of 4,617,560. It covers a total area of 950 square miles making it the largest city in the Western Cape Province.

The city has been named the “World Design Capital” by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design in 2014. It was termed as the best place to visit in the world by The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph in the same year.

Cape Town is considered the main economic hub of the province and is the second-most economic hub of the country after Johannesburg. Moreover, it is also a famous tourist destination particularly famous for its culture where you can find the Cape Dutch Style buildings that are part of the rich architectural heritage.

Cape Town

Photo: Shutterstock

Ekurhuleni

The City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is located in the East Rand part of the Gauteng Province. With a population of 3,894,262, it has recently usurped Durban and become the outright third-largest metropolis of the country.

IsiZulu is the common language spoken by over 3.17 million people living in the region. Germiston is the seat of Ekurhuleni whereas Benoni, Katlehong, Vosloorus, and Kempton Park are the other major areas.

Ekurhuleni is also notable for having over 200 wetlands and lakes. It is also home to the annual Ekurhuleni International Film Festival.

Durban

Durban is located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal on the eastern coast of South Africa. It is the third-most populous city in the country with a total population of 3,158,313.

The city is renowned for its numerous beaches and the comfortable tropical climate which makes it an ideal holiday and tourist destination. Durban is part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality.

Alongside Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban is an important economic hub of the country. The city is easily accessible through various air and sea routes. Durban is home to several international sports venues such as the Kingsmead Cricket Ground, the Kings Park Stadium, and Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Durban

Photo: Shutterstock

Pretoria

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. The total population of the city is 2,565,660 which makes it the fifth-most populous city of the country. The city covers a total area of 265.46 square miles and is considered as the education hub of the country.

It has three main universities namely the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Pretoria, and the University of South Africa. The city is named after Andries Pretorius, father of Marthinus Pretorius who was a Voortrekker’s Leader.

Due to the presence of extensive Jacaranda trees, the city is also known as the Jacaranda City. A few notable places of interest for the tourists are the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, the Church Square, the Menlyn Park, the Freedom Park, and the Pretoria Forts.   

Pretoria

Photo: Elizabeth van Tonder/Shutterstock

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is one of the important and major cities of South Africa with a total population of 1,253,742. It is part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and covers the total area of 756 square miles. Port Elizabeth is the seaport of the country located in the southern tip of the country and the African Continent.

British colonists were the first inhabitants of the city in the early 19th century. Being a port city contributes significantly to the economy of South Africa. It has the most notable car loading facilities in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Some notable attractions are King’s Beach and Hobie Beach. Whale watching in the bay is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city.

Port Elizabeth

Photo: Shutterstock

West Rand

West Rand District Municipality is one of the newest metropolitan areas in the western region of the province of Gauteng. Randfontein is the seat of the district which also comprises other urban centers called Mogale, Rand West, and Merafong.

With a population of 897,609, it is now officially the seventh-most population region in South Africa, as of January 2020 data released. African National Congress is the major political party of the region controlling as much as 73.5% of the vote in the recent South African general elections.

Soshanguve

Soshanguve is located in the north of Pretoria in the province of Gauteng and has a total population of 853,347. The name shows the multiethnic composition of the city. The city covers a total area of 48.95 square miles. Soshanguve is notable for its large concentration of multilingual people.

Soshanguve is home to the main campus of the Tshwane University of Technology. Other places of interest in this city are the Tswaing Crater site and the Giant Stadium.

Most Populated Cities in South Africa

Here’s a list of the largest cities in South Africa, ranked by their total population. 

1 Johannesburg 5,782,747
2 Cape Town 4,617,560
3 Ekurhuleni 3,894,262
4 Durban 3,158,313
5 Pretoria 2,565,660
6 Port Elizabeth 1,253,742
7 West Rand 897,609
8 Soshanguve 853,347
9 Vereeniging 774,031
10 East London 708,559
11 Bloemfontein 567,029
12 Pietermaritzburg 526,912
13 Rustenburg 509,368
14 Witbank 454,301
15 Polokwane 425,613

How many of the largest cities in South Africa did you know about? Leave a comment below!

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