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Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga
Province of South Africa
Flag of Mpumalanga
Flag
Coat of arms of Mpumalanga
Coat of arms
Motto: Omnia labor vincit (Labour will conquer all)
Map showing the location of Mpumalanga in the eastern part of South Africa
Location of Mpumalanga in South Africa
Country South Africa
Established 27 April 1994
Capital Nelspruit (Mbombela)
Districts
Government
 • Type Parliamentary system
 • Premier David Mabuza (ANC)
Area[1]:9
 • Total 76,495 km2 (29,535 sq mi)
Area rank 8th in South Africa
Highest elevation 2,331 m (7,648 ft)
Population (2011)[1]:18[2]
 • Total 4,039,939
 • Estimate (2015) 4,283,900
 • Rank 6th in South Africa
 • Density 53/km2 (140/sq mi)
 • Density rank 3rd in South Africa
Population groups[1]:21
 • Black African 90.7%
 • White 7.5%
 • Coloured 0.9%
 • Indian or Asian 0.7%
Languages[1]:25
 • Swati 27.7%
 • Zulu 24.1%
 • Tsonga 10.4%
 • Ndebele 10.1%
 • Northern Sotho 9.3%
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code ZA-MP
Website www.mpumalanga.gov.za

Mpumalanga (name changed from Eastern Transvaal on 24 August 1995), is a province of South Africa. The name means east or literally "the place where the sun rises" in Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa's land area. In the north it borders on Limpopo, to the west Gauteng, to the southwest the Free State and to the south KwaZulu-Natal. The capital is Nelspruit. Before 1994, Mpumalanga was part of Transvaal Province.

Contents

  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
    • Fauna and flora 1.2
  • Law and government 2
  • Municipalities 3
  • Economy 4
    • Agriculture 4.1
    • Mining 4.2
    • Tourism 4.3
  • Demographics 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Geography

The Drakensberg Escarpment divides Mpumalanga into a westerly half consisting mainly of high-altitude grassland called the Highveld and an eastern half situated in low altitude subtropical Lowveld/Bushveld, mostly savanna habitat. The southern half of the Kruger National Park is in the latter region. The Drakensberg exceeds heights of 2000m in most places with this central region of Mpumalanga being very mountainous. These regions have alpine grasslands and small pockets of Afromontane Forest. The Lowveld is relatively flat with interspersed rocky outcrops. The Lebombo Mountains form a low range in the far east forming the border with Mozambique.

Some of the oldest rocks on earth are to be found in the Barberton area and these ancient greenstones and metamorphosed granites form the Crocodile River Mountains in the southeast of the province. The Lowveld is underlaid by African Cratonic Basement rocks of ages in excess of 2 billion years. The Highveld is mostly Karoo Sequence sedimentary rocks of a younger, Carboniferous to Permian age.

Mpumalanga is the only province of South Africa to border two provinces of Mozambique or to border all four districts of Swaziland.

Climate

The Lowveld is subtropical, due to its proximity to the warm Indian Ocean and latitude. The Highveld is comparatively much cooler, due to its altitude of 2300m to 1700m above sea level. The Drakensberg Escarpment receives the most precipitation, with all other areas being moderately well-watered by mostly summer thunderstorms. The Highveld often experiences severe frost, whilst the Lowveld is mostly frost-free. Winter rainfall is rare, except for some drizzle on the escarpment. The differences in climate are demonstrated below by the capital, Nelspruit, which is in the Lowveld, an hour from Belfast on the Highveld.

  • Nelspruit averages: January maximum: 29 °C (min: 19 °C), July maximum: 23 °C (min: 6 °C), annual precipitation: 767 mm
  • Belfast averages: January maximum: 23 °C (min: 12 °C), June maximum: 15 °C (min: 1 °C), annual precipitation: 878 mm

Fauna and flora

The diverse and special flora and fauna of the province enjoys protection in a range of nature reserves, including:

Flag of Mpumalanga

Law and government

The Mpumalanga Province's legislation is an amalgam of national and regional legislation promulgated before the establishment of the province on 27 April 1994 and legislation which it has itself promulgated since it came into existence. Lists of and the original texts of this legislation are available through South African governmental websites. Amended and updated versions of the legislation is available through commercial vendors on subscription and at a price. See External links for more information.

Municipalities

Mpumalanga Province is divided into three municipal districts, which are further subdivided into 18 local municipalities:

Economy

Agriculture

The climatic contrasts between the drier barley, sunflower seed, soybeans, macadamia's, groundnuts, sugar cane, vegetables, coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, citrus, subtropical and deciduous fruit.

Forestry is extensive around Sabie in the far north east of the province. Located near the forests, Ngodwana is the site of one of South Africa's largest paper mills (Sappi).[4]

Natural grazing covers approximately 14% of Mpumalanga. The main products are beef, mutton, wool, poultry and dairy.

Mining

Extensive mining is done and the minerals found include gold, platinum group metals, silica, chromite, vanadiferous magnetite, argentiferous zinc, antimony, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, tin, coal, andalusite, chrysotile asbestos, kieselguhr, limestone, magnesite, talc and shale.

Gold was first discovered in Mpumalanga province in 1883 by Auguste Roberts in the mountains surrounding what is now Barberton. Gold is still mined in the Barberton area today.[5]

Mpumalanga accounts for 83% of South Africa's coal production. 90% of South Africa's coal consumption is used for electricity generation and the synthetic fuel industry. Coal power stations are in proximity to the coal deposits. A coal liquefaction plant in Secunda (Secunda CTL) is one of the country's two petroleum-from-coal extraction plants, which is operated by the synthetic fuel company Sasol.[6]

Tourism

Mpumalanga is popular with tourists. Kruger National Park, established in 1898 for the protection of Lowveld wildlife, covering 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi), is a popular destination.[7] The other major tourist attractions include the Sudwala Caves and the Blyde River Canyon.

The towns in the region have much to offer, like the African silk farm near Graskop and the coffee farm nearby. Many activities including the big jump, mountain and quad biking, horse trails, river rafting and big game viewing are endemic to the region. This is "big five" territory. The towns in the Lowveld are Barberton, Mbombela, White River, Sabie, Graskop. Hazyview, Malelane, Pilgrim's Rest, Lydenburg and Nkomazi.[8]

In 2008 a Haute Cuisine route was formed, trickling from Nelspruit down to Hazyview. The Lowveld Gourmet Route covers the four top fine dining restaurants the area has to offer. The restaurants include Summerfields Kitchen, Oliver’s Restaurant, Orange and Salt.[9]

The Wakkerstroom area in the Southern Mpumalanga highlands is a world-renowned birding hot spot. The special birds that tourists travel to see are Rudd's lark, Botha's lark, wattled crane and yellow-breasted pipit, among over 300 grassland species.

Demographics

Population density in Mpumalanga
Dominant home languages in Mpumalanga

Some 30% of the people speak siSwati, the language of neighbouring Swaziland, with 26% speaking isiZulu, 10.3% isiNdebele, 10,2% Northern Sotho and 11,6% Xitsonga.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012.  
  2. ^ "Mid-year population estimates, 2015" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Private Safari Lodge". nottens.co.za. 
  4. ^ Mpumalanga in brief: The economy of the province (URL accessed 30 April 2006)
  5. ^ "Barberton", Mpumalanga South Africa, ExploreSouthAfrica.net. (URL accessed 30 April 2006)
  6. ^ "Coal", South Africa Country Analysis Brief, Energy Information Administration. (URL accessed 30 April 2006)
  7. ^ "Kruger National Park", South Africa Explored.
  8. ^ "Mpumalanga news". mpumalanga.co.za. 
  9. ^ Mpumalanga Haute Cuisine

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Mpumalanga Provincial Government
  • Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

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