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Biggest Cities In South Africa

Greater Johannesburg houses South Africa’s Constitutional court, a major banking and finance district, and almost 8 million residents.

South Africa is an autonomous state in Africa located near the southern tip of the world map, and it stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world with a population of around 53 million people. Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe border it to the north, while Mozambique and Swaziland border it on the east and northeast, respectively. South Africa has several cities and ethnic groups each with their unique culture, language, and religion and it is classified as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank. Sadly, poverty, inequality, and unemployment remain high in South Africa.


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. It is located in Gauteng Province with 7,860,781 people living in its metropolitan area. It houses South Africa’s constitutional court, and it is a major finance center in the country. With the discovery of an outcrop of a gold reef on the farm Langlaagte in 1886 by George Harrison, Johannesburg was established and controlled by a Health Committee. Although Johannesburg has not celebrated its second centenary, it holds an unbelievably rich history. It had structured mining and manufacturing industries that did bolster the city’s growth. In times between 1948 and 1990, racial segregation, forced labor, unfair taxation, and unskilled jobs were rampant. Systematic racism known as Apartheid led to the creation of Soweto town in the outskirts of Johannesburg where nonwhites were relocated. These problems caused over congestion in the city with the oppressed searching for a better living, protesting and heating up violence was widespread from the 1960s until the late 1980s. This dark moment continued until 1990 when the National Government abandoned Apartheid after independence. Today, Johannesburg has a fully established metropolitan municipality which has transitioned the country although crime rates are still high in some parts of the city.

Cape Town

Cape Town is a beautiful coastal city in South Africa that is full of life and energy, and has a population of 3,740,026 people. Cape Town is the seat of the National Parliament or the Legislative capital of the country. The residents are of the different racial makeup of Black African, colored, Indians, and whites, all across the city and the suburbs. It was developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships. Cape Town is the surrogate mother of recreation. Tourists flock to admire and give an account of this town’s valuables natural and man-made features such as Table Mountain National Park, Cliffton Beach, Boulders Beach, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden which has contributed to the country’s foreign exchange. Due to its warm-summer Mediterranean climate and diverse biodiversity, Cape Town has been attracting tourists from all over the world. Cape Town has a formal type of education, running from primary, secondary and tertiary levels, both public and private sectors monitoring the institutions. Transport serving the city include air, sea, rail, and road all working for the betterment of lives of residents.


Durban is the largest city in the kwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, and has a population of 3,442,361 people, making it almost the same size as Cape Town, though with a different collection of ethnic groups living in the city. Durban is well known for its busiest port in South Africa. Durban is known for its warm subtropical climate, extensive beaches, and the Golden Mile making it a popular destination for tourist from all over the world. Most parts of Durban and its suburbs are mostly hilly, and the city is notorious reporting the highest percentage of murder rates in South Africa. However, there are safe areas such as Westville and Berea. Just as in the case of Cape Town, Durban is served well by air, rail, sea, buses, taxis, rickshaws for transport.

Biggest Cities In South Africa

Rank  Major Metropolitan Areas in South Africa  Metropolitan Area Population
1 Johannesburg 7,860,781
2 Cape Town 3,740,026
3 Durban 3,442,361
4 Germiston-Ekurhuleni 3,178,470
5 Pretoria 2,921,488
6 Nelspruit-Ehlanzeni 1,688,615
7 Rustenburg 1,507,505
8 Mthatha-OR Tambo 1,364,943
9 Middelburg-Nkangala 1,308,129
10 Thohoyandou-Vhembe 1,294,722