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Did You Know That South Africa Has 3 Capitals? And Why Is That?

Did you know that South Africa has 3 capitals? Is it Cape Town or Pretoria capital of this country? And why is that? Let’s figure out this interesting African country through the article below.

South Africa Has 3 Capitals And More Than That


The three capital cities of South Africa, each of which houses a different branch of the national government, are strategically located throughout the country. Pretoria is typically mentioned as the answer when people are asked to name one capital.

  • The administrative center is in Pretoria. The President of the Cabinet and other members of the executive branch of the South African government reside there. Foreign embassies and numerous government agencies are also located in the city. Pretoria, which is in the province of Gauteng, is a city in northeastern South Africa that is close to Johannesburg.
  • The seat of government is in Cape Town. It serves as the location of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, the nation’s legislative assembly. Cape Town is the second-largest city in terms of population and is situated in the Western Cape province in southwest South Africa.
  • The seat of justice is regarded as being in Bloemfontein. The Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa’s second-highest court, is located there. The highest court, the Constitutional Court, is situated in Johannesburg. Bloemfontein, in the Free State province, is in the middle of South Africa.

The nation is divided into nine provinces, each with a capital city in addition to these three national capitals.

  • Eastern Cape: capital Bhisho
  • Free State: Bloemfontein
  • Gauteng: Johannesburg
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Pietermaritzburg
  • Limpopo – Polokwane
  • Mpumalanga: Nelspruit
  • Northern Cape: Kimberley
  • North West: Mahikeng (formerly Mafeking)
  • Western Cape: Cape Town

And Why Is That?


Because of its political and cultural struggles under the influence of colonialism from the Victorian era, South Africa has three capitals. Apartheid, a severe form of segregation, was just one of the many problems the nation has experienced since the 20th century.

When the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, there was a heated debate over where to locate the nation’s capital. The present capital cities are the result of a compromise to distribute a power balance across the nation.

The rationale for selecting these three cities is as follows:

Before the Union of South Africa, Pretoria and Bloemfontein both served as the provincial capitals of a traditional Boer province. Pretoria served as the capital of the Transvaal, while Bloemfontein served as the capital of the Orange Free State (now the Free State). There were a total of four traditional provinces; the other two were Natal and Cape of Good Hope.

It makes sense to locate the judicial branch of government in Bloemfontein since it is in the middle of South Africa.

Governmental agencies and foreign embassies have long called Pretoria home. Its proximity to Johannesburg, the largest city in the nation, also makes it an advantageous location.

Since the time of the colonies, Cape Town has been home to a parliament. This is the main reason why Cape Town is also the capital of South Africa.

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