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South Africa

Gauteng

Gauteng, in brief: This province only takes up 1.4% of South Africa’s total land area. Nevertheless, it is densely populated and contributes 33.3% to the gross domestic product. National, and also a great number of international, banks have their head offices here. The major insurance companies are located here, as is the JSE, and a great many stockbrokers. Technology and telecommunications, as well as all forms of media, are more highly developed in Gauteng than anywhere else in Africa.

Main City 1: Johannesburg (JHB): If Gauteng is the business centre of Africa, Johannesburg is the business centre of Gauteng. Most mining companies have their headquarters here; there are also many manufacturing plants, including such heavy ones as steel and cement; other industries include, banking, internet technology (IT), real estate, transport, broadcast, print media, private health care, transport, leisure and consumer retail.

Main City 2: Pretoria (PTA): Pretoria is the national administrative centre of South Africa, the main government departments all having their headquarters here. While being a major commercial centre, Pretoria is also an important industrial centre: there are iron and steel works here as well as copper casting; automobiles, railway carriages and heavy machinery are manufactured here too.


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KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal, in brief: Despite its many challenges, this province still contributes more to the GDP than the Western Cape. Its main city, Durban, is the third largest city in South Africa, its port, the busiest on the continent. North of Durban is Newcastle, a major industrial region.

Main City 1: Durban (DBN): The climate in Durban allows for the farming of fruit such as pineapples and bananas, as well as corn, sorghum and cotton. Livestock too are farmed here – both sheep and cattle, giving rise, also, to the production of dairy products. Sugar refining may be the largest industry in Durban but there are many others: food-processing plants and oil refineries, tanneries and the manufacture of rubber, fertilizer, textiles and paper. Two main parks here, together with the mild climate, warm marine tides and Durban’s cultural diversity, work to attract tourists.

Town: Newcastle: Newcastle, lying north of Durban, is an important industrial area. Both Mittal steel and the Karbochem synthetic rubber plant are located here. Newcastle, with its chrome-chemical plant, is also the largest producer of chrome chemicals. The whole of KwaZulu-Natal is rich in coal, and coal mining too is carried out in Newcastle. Other heavy engineering concerns are the cement factory, the diamond cutting works and the power station. The textile industry, with more than a hundred factories thrives here too.


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The Western Cape

The Western Cape, in brief: This province is the third highest contributor to South Africa’s GDP. It is well-known for its wine production and is South Africa’s leading tourist destination. There is a large clothing and textile industry here, and also a variety of growing niche industries: fashion design, advertising and T.V. production.

Main City 1: Cape Town (CPT): Cape Town, the seat of National Parliament, is second only to Johannesburg as a main economic hub. It is also South Africa’s most entrepreneurial city. The mining industry thrives here as do the four commercial nodes: the Central Business District, Century City, the TygerValley strip and Claremont. Located within the city are not only large insurance, shipping and petrochemical companies but also fashion houses, designers and retail groups. Architects, can be found here, as well as publishers and advertising agents.


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The Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape, in brief: This province incorporates some regions that were former homelands. As a result there is much subsistence farming, and the area is quite impoverished. Nevertheless, the fertile land allows for deciduous fruit orchards in the Langkloof Valley; pineapples, chicory and dairy products in the Alexandria-Grahamstown area and in Magwe, coffee and tea. Furthermore, there are two main industrial cities.

City 1: Port Elizabeth: This is one of South Africa’s most important seaports, well known for its ore loading facilities. It is also the very centre of South Africa’s motor vehicle industry with the following among its many assembly plants: General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford and Continental Tyres.

City 2: East London: Also known for its motor industry, a Daimler plant here manufactures Mercedes-Benz which are sold locally and also exported. Clothing, textiles, and pharmaceuticals are produced here, and there are also food processing plants.


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