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The Northern Cape ( af, Noord-Kaap; xh, eMntla-Koloni; tn, Kapa Bokone) is the largest and most sparsely populated
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of South Africa. It was created in 1994 when the
Cape Province The Province of the Cape of Good Hope ( af, Provinsie Kaap die Goeie Hoop), commonly referred to as the Cape Province ( af, Kaapprovinsie) and colloquially as The Cape ( af, Die Kaap), was a province A province is almost always an administra ...
was split up. Its capital is
Kimberley Kimberly or Kimberley may refer to: Places and historical events Australia * Kimberley (Western Australia) ** Roman Catholic Diocese of Kimberley * Kimberley Warm Springs, Tasmania * Kimberley, Tasmania a small town * County of Kimberley, a c ...
. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, part of the
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a large wildlife A ground pangolin Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biol ...
and an
international park A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks. TBPAs exist in many ...
shared with
Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label=Setswana; Kalanga language, Kalanga: ''Hango yeBotswana''), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 ...

Botswana
. It also includes the
Augrabies Falls The Augrabies Falls is a waterfall A waterfall is a point in a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the groun ...

Augrabies Falls
and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay. The
Namaqualand The spring flowers in Namaqualand Namaqualand ( khoekhoe: "Nama-kwa" meaning Nama Khoe people's land) is an arid region of Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is ...
region in the west is famous for its Namaqualand daisies. The southern towns of
De Aar De Aar is a town in the Northern Cape The Northern Cape ( af, Noord-Kaap; xh, eMntla-Koloni; tn, Kapa Bokone) is the largest and most sparsely populated province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative ...
and
Colesberg Colesberg is a town with 17,354 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, located on the main N1 road from Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. ...
found within the
Great Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoe languages, !Orakobab or Khoemana word ''ǃ’Aukarob'' "Hardveld") is a semi-desert natural region of South Africa. No exact definition of what constitutes the Karoo is available, so its extent is also ...
are major transport nodes between
Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli ), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a Megacity#List of megacities, megacity, and is List of urban areas by ...

Johannesburg
,
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
and
Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth, officially renamed Gqeberha () and colloquially often referred to as PE, is a major seaport city and the most populous city in the Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one o ...

Port Elizabeth
.
Kuruman Kuruman is a small town with just over 13,000 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It is known for its scenic beauty and the Eye of Kuruman, a geological feature that brings water from deep underground. The abundance of water ...
can be found in the north-east and is known as a
mission Mission may refer to: Religion *Mission (station) A religious mission or mission station is a location for missionary work, in particular Christian missions. History Historically, missions have been religious communities used to spread ...
station. It is also well known for its
artesian spring :''See Great Artesian Basin bathing thermes supplied by artesian bore water Image:ThargomindahHydro.jpg, upright=1.2, Hot water bore hole into the Great Artesian Basin in Thargomindah, Queensland, Thargomindah The Great Artesian Basin (GAB), l ...
and
Eye of Kuruman The Eye of Kuruman ( af, Die Oog) is a Spring (hydrosphere), spring in the town of Kuruman (part of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality) in the province of Northern Cape, South Africa. One source states it is the largest known natural spring in the ...
. The
Orange River The Orange River (from Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. ...
flows through the province of Northern Cape, forming the borders with the
Free State #REDIRECT Free state The Free State ( af, Vrystaat; st, Freistata; xh, iFreyistata; tn, Foreistata; zu, iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, ...
in the southeast and with
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...

Namibia
to the northwest. The river is also used to irrigate the many vineyards in the arid region near
Upington Upington (Khoekhoe language, Nama: //Khara hais) is a city founded in 1873 and located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the banks of the Orange River. The city was originally called Olijvenhoutsdrift ('Olive wood drift'), due to ...

Upington
. Native speakers of
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
comprise a higher percentage of the population in the Northern Cape than in any other province. The Northern Cape's four official languages are
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
,
Tswana Tswana may refer to: * Tswana people The Tswana ( tn, Batswana, singular ''Motswana'') are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group who are native to Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or comp ...
,
Xhosa Xhosa may refer to: * Xhosa people, a nation, and ethnic group, who live in south-central and southeasterly region of South Africa * Xhosa language, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, principally spoken by the Xhosa people See also ...
, and
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
. Minorities speak the other official languages of South Africa and a few people speak indigenous
languages A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communicatio ...

languages
such as Nama and
Khwe Khwe (also rendered ''Kxoe, Khoe'' ) is a dialect continuum of the Khoe languages, Khoe family of Namibia, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and parts of Zambia, with some 8,000 speakers. Classification Khwe is a member of the Khoe languages, ...
. The provincial motto, ''Sa ǁa ǃaĩsi 'uĩsi'' ("We go to a better life"), is in the Nǀu language of the Nǁnǂe (ǂKhomani) people. It was given in 1997 by one of the language's last speakers, Ms. Elsie Vaalbooi of Rietfontein, who has since died. It was South Africa's first officially registered motto in a
Khoisan language Khoisan , or (), according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab orthography, is a catch-all term for those Indigenous peoples of Africa, indigenous peoples of Southern Africa who do not speak one of the Bantu languages, combining the (formerly " ...
. Subsequently, South Africa's
national motto This article lists state and national mottos for the world's nations. The mottos for some List of unrecognized countries, states lacking general international recognition, List of extinct states, extinct states, non-sovereign nations, regions, an ...
, ''ǃKe e ǀxarra ǁke'', was derived from the extinct Northern Cape
ǀXam language ǀXam pronounced , in English ) is considered an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physic ...
.


History

The Northern Cape was one of three provinces made out of the
Cape Province The Province of the Cape of Good Hope ( af, Provinsie Kaap die Goeie Hoop), commonly referred to as the Cape Province ( af, Kaapprovinsie) and colloquially as The Cape ( af, Die Kaap), was a province A province is almost always an administra ...
in 1994, the others being
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
to the south and
Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one of the provinces of South Africa. Its capital is Bisho, but its two largest cities are East London, Eastern Cape, East London and Gqeberha. The second largest provinc ...
to the southeast. Politically, it had been dominated since 1994 by the
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populo ...
(ANC). Ethnic issues are important in the politics of the Northern Cape. For example, it is the site of the Orania settlement, whose leaders have called for a
Volkstaat The concept of a Volkstaat (, "people's-state"), also called a Boerestaat, is the set of proposals to establish self-determination for Afrikaners in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southe ...
for the
Afrikaner people Afrikaners () are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, m ...
in the province. The Northern Cape is also the home of over 1,000 San who immigrated from
Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east a ...

Namibia
following the independence of the country; they had served as trackers and scouts for the
South African Defence Force The South African Defence Force (SADF) comprised the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. Shortly before the state reconstituted itself as a republic in 1961, the former Union Defence Force (South Africa), Union Defence Force was ...
during the
South African Border War The South African Border War, also known as the Namibian War of Independence, and sometimes denoted in South Africa as the Angolan Bush War, was a largely Asymmetric warfare, asymmetric conflict that occurred in Namibia (then South West Africa) ...
, and feared reprisals from their former foes. They were awarded a settlement in Platfontein in 1999 by the Mandela government. The precolonial history of the Northern Cape is reflected in a rich, mainly Stone Age,
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...

archaeological
heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history, "heritage" refers to events or processes that have a special meaning in group memory * National heritage site, a site having a value that has been registered by a governmental agency as bei ...
. Cave sites include
Wonderwerk Cave Wonderwerk Cave is an archaeological site, formed originally as an ancient solution cavity in dolomiteDolomite may refer to: *Dolomite (mineral) Dolomite () is an anhydrous A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water. Many processes in ...
near Kuruman, which has a uniquely long sequence stretching from the turn of the twentieth century at the surface to more than 1 million (and possibly nearly 2 million) years in its basal layer (where
stone tools A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of sto ...

stone tools
, occurring in very low density, may be
Oldowan The Oldowan (or Mode I) was a widespread stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of Rock (geology), stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, ...

Oldowan
). Many sites across the province, mostly in open air locales or in sediments alongside rivers or pans, document Earlier, Middle and
Later Stone Age The Later Stone Age (LSA) is a period in African prehistory that follows the Middle Stone Age. The Later Stone Age is associated with the advent of modern human behavior in Africa, although definitions of this concept and means of studying it ar ...
habitation. From Later Stone Age times, mainly, there is a wealth of
rock art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to g ...
sites – most of which are in the form of
rock engravings
rock engravings
such as at Wildebeest Kuil and many sites in the area known as ǀXam -ka !kau, in the Karoo. They occur on hilltops, slopes, rock outcrops and occasionally (as in the case of
Driekops Eiland Driekops Eiland (also called Driekopseiland) is a petroglyphs, rock engraving or petroglyph site in the bed of the Riet River close to the town of Plooysburg, near Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa. The engravings There are more than 3500 indi ...
near Kimberley), in a river bed. In the north eastern part of the province there are sites attributable to the Iron Age such as Dithakong. Environmental factors have meant that the spread of Iron Age farming westwards (from the 17th century – but dating from the early first millennium AD in the eastern part of South Africa) was constrained mainly to the area east of the Langeberg Mountains, but with evidence of influence as far as the Upington area in the eighteenth century. From that period the archaeological record also reflects the development of a complex colonial frontier when precolonial social formations were considerably disrupted and there is an increasing 'fabric heavy' imprint of built structures, ash-heaps, and so on. The copper mines of
Namaqualand Namaqualand (Khoekhoe language, khoekhoe: "Nama-kwa" meaning Nama people, Nama Khoekhoe, Khoe people's land) is an arid region of Namibia and South Africa, extending along the west coast over and covering a total area of . It is divided by th ...
and the
diamond rush A diamond rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area where diamond Diamond is a Allotropes of carbon, solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At Standard conditi ...
to the Kimberley area resulted in industrial archaeological landscapes in those areas which herald the modern era in South African history.


Government

The provincial government consists of a premier, an executive council of ten ministers, and a legislature. The provincial assembly and premier are elected for five-year terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of votes each party receives in the province during the national elections. The assembly elects a premier, who then appoints the members of the executive council. The premier of the Northern Cape as of 2019 is
Zamani Saul Zamani Saul (born 7 March 1972) is a South African politician who is the 5th and current Premier of the Northern Cape and a Member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. He has also been serving as the Provincial Chairperson of the African Na ...

Zamani Saul
of the African National Congress.


Political history

The politics of the Northern Cape are dominated by the
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is the Republic of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populo ...
(ANC), but their position has not been as strong as in the other provinces. Initially, no party had an absolute majority. In 1994 the ANC's Manne Dipico became the first Premier of the Northern Cape after Ethne Papenfus, the sole elected representative of the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
(DP), voted with the ANC. In return, she was elected speaker of the legislature. The ANC increased its voter share in later elections and has remained firmly in charge of the province after 1999.
Dipuo Peters
Dipuo Peters
replaced Dipico as Premier in 2004. The official opposition in the Northern Cape after the 2004 elections was the
Democratic AllianceDemocratic Alliance may refer to: Current political parties *Democratic Alliance (South Africa) *DEMOS (Montenegro) *Democratic Alliance (Hong Kong) *Democratic Alliance (Ukraine) *Democratic Alliance List *Democratic Alliance Party (Haiti) *Singap ...
, receiving 11% of the vote in the provincial ballot. The opposition's hopes of unseating the ANC has not had any success, even with the Congress of the People (COPE), a splinter party from the ANC, helping to split the vote in the election of 22 April 2009.
Hazel Jenkins Hazel Gertrude Jenkins is a South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries ...
became Premier following the election, and COPE became the official opposition. Jenkins was later replaced by Sylvia Lucas in 2013. The 2014 election saw the ANC returned to power once again with an increased mandate, while DA once again became the official opposition, after the collapse of COPE. The newly formed
Economic Freedom Fighters The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a South African Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left Pan-Africanism, pan-Africanist political party. It was founded by expelled former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL ...
(EFF) also entered the legislature for the first time. Sylvia Lucas was re-elected to her first full term. In the 2019 election, the Northern Cape was considered competitive. The opposition DA planned on taking over the province. The ANC returned as the majority party but the party's support had dropped. The DA was once again the official opposition with an increased seat total. The EFF made gains, while the
Freedom Front Plus The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus; af, Vryheidsfront Plus, ''VF Plus'') is a right-wing political party in South Africa that was formed (as the Freedom Front) in 1994. It is led by Pieter Groenewald. Its current stated policy positions include ab ...
(FF+) won a seat in the legislature for the first time since 2004.


Geography

The Northern Cape is South Africa's largest province, and distances between towns are enormous due to its sparse population. Its size is just shy of the size of the American state of
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
and slightly larger than that of Germany. The province is dominated by the
Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoekhoen (singular Khoekhoe) (or Khoikhoi in the former orthography; formerly also '' Hottentots''"Hottentot, n. and adj." ''OED Online'', Oxford University Press, March 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/ ...

Karoo
Basin and consists mostly of sedimentary rocks and some
dolerite Diabase (), also called dolerite () or microgabbro, is a mafic A mafic mineral or rock is a silicate mineral Silicate minerals are rock-forming mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a so ...

dolerite
intrusions. The south and south-east of the province is high-lying, , in the Roggeveld and Nuweveld districts. The west coast is dominated by the
Namaqualand The spring flowers in Namaqualand Namaqualand ( khoekhoe: "Nama-kwa" meaning Nama Khoe people's land) is an arid region of Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is ...
region, famous for its spring flowers. This area is hilly to mountainous and consists of Granites and other
metamorphic rocks Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the mineral ...
. The central areas are generally flat with interspersed salt pans.
Kimberlite Kimberlite is an igneous rock Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word ''ignis'' meaning fire), or magmatic rock, is one of the three main The three types of rocks, rock types, the others being Sedimentary rock, sedimentary and metamorphic ...

Kimberlite
intrusions punctuate the Karoo rocks, giving the province its most precious natural resource,
diamonds Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure In crystallography Crystallography is the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids (see crystal structu ...

diamonds
. The north is primarily
Kalahari The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the ...

Kalahari
Desert, characterised by parallel red sand dunes and acacia tree dry savanna. Northern Cape has a shoreline in the west on the South Atlantic Ocean. It borders the following areas of Namibia and Botswana: *
ǁKaras Region The ǁKaras Region (pronounced , with a lateral click The lateral clicks are a family of click consonants found only in African languages. The clicking sound used by equestrianism, equestrians to urge on their horses is a lateral click, although ...
, Namibia – northwest * Hardap Region, Namibia – far northwest * Kgalagadi District, Botswana – north Domestically, it borders the following provinces: * North West – northeast *
Free State #REDIRECT Free state The Free State ( af, Vrystaat; st, Freistata; xh, iFreyistata; tn, Foreistata; zu, iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a Provinces of South Africa, province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, ...
– east *
Eastern Cape The Eastern Cape ( xh, eMpuma-Kapa, af, Oos-Kaap, st, Kapa Botjhabela) is one of the provinces of South Africa. Its capital is Bisho, but its two largest cities are East London, Eastern Cape, East London and Gqeberha. The second largest provinc ...
– southeast *
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
– south and southwest


Rivers

The major river system is the
Orange Orange most often refers to: *Orange (colour), occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum *Orange (fruit), the fruit of the tree species '' Citrus'' × ''sinensis'' ** Orange blossom, its fragrant flower *Some other citrus or citrus-li ...
(or
Gariep The Orange River (from Afrikaans/Dutch language, Dutch: ''Oranjerivier'') is a river in Southern Africa. It is the longest river within the borders of South Africa and the Orange River Basin extends extensively from Lesotho into South Africa a ...
) River Basin, draining the interior of South Africa westwards into the Atlantic Ocean. (The political philosopher
Neville Alexander Neville Edward Alexander (22 October 1936 – 27 August 2012) was a proponent of a multilingual Multilingualism is the use of more than one language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Lat ...

Neville Alexander
has used the idea of the 'Garieb' as a metaphor for nationhood in South Africa, a flowing together, in preference to the rainbow metaphor where the diverse colours remain distinct). The principal tributary of the Orange is the
Vaal River The Vaal River ( ; Khoemana ǃOrakobab or ''Khoemana'', also known as Korana, ǃOra, or Griqua, is a Moribund language, moribund Khoe languages, Khoe language of South Africa. Names "Khoemana" (from ''khoe'' 'person' + ''mana'' 'language') i ...

Vaal River
, which flows through part of the Northern Cape from the vicinity of Warrenton. The Vaal, in turn, has tributaries within the province: the
Harts River The Harts River ( af, Hartsrivier) is a northern tributary of the Vaal River, which in turn is the largest tributary of the Orange River (also known as the Gariep River, the largest river in South Africa). Its source is in the North West Province (S ...
and the
Riet River The Riet River is a westward-flowing tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: ...
, which has its own major tributary, the
Modder River The Modder River is a river in South Africa. It is a tributary of the Riet River that forms part of the border between the Northern Cape Province, Northern Cape and the Free State (South African province), Free State provinces. The river's banks ...
. Above the Orange-Vaal confluence, the Seekoei River drains part of the northeastern Karoo into the Orange River above the
Vanderkloof Dam The Vanderkloof Dam (originally the P. K. Le Roux Dam) is situated approximately downstream from Gariep Dam The Gariep Dam is located in South Africa, near the town of Norvalspont, bordering the Free State (province), Free State and Eastern Ca ...

Vanderkloof Dam
. Next downstream from the Orange-Vaal confluence is the Brak River, which flows nonperennially from the south and is in turn fed by the Ongers River, rising in the vicinities of
Hanover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in Germa ...
and
Richmond Richmond most commonly refers to: * Richmond, Virginia, the US state's capital * Richmond, London, a part of south-west London Richmond may also refer to: People * Richmond (surname) * Earl of Richmond * Duke of Richmond * Richmond C. Beatty ( ...
respectively. Along the Orange River near the town of
Kakamas Kakamas is a town founded in 1898 and located in the Northern Cape The Northern Cape ( af, Noord-Kaap; xh, eMntla-Koloni; tn, Kapa Bokone) is the largest and most sparsely populated province A province is almost always an administrative ...

Kakamas
, the Hartebeest River drains the central
Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoekhoen (singular Khoekhoe) (or Khoikhoi in the former orthography; formerly also '' Hottentots''"Hottentot, n. and adj." ''OED Online'', Oxford University Press, March 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/ ...

Karoo
. Above
Kenhardt Kenhardt (founded 1868) is a small town in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. This little town is about 120 km from Upington, Northern Cape, Upington, the largest town in the area. History On 27 December 1868, special magistrate Maxi ...
the Hartebeest is known as the Sak River, which has its source on the northern side of the escarpment, southeast of Williston, Northern Cape, Williston. Further downstream from Kakamas, below the
Augrabies Falls The Augrabies Falls is a waterfall A waterfall is a point in a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the groun ...

Augrabies Falls
, and seldom actually flowing into the Orange River, is the Molopo River, which comes down from the
Kalahari The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the ...

Kalahari
in the north. With its tributary, the Nossob River, it defines part of the international boundary between South Africa and
Botswana Botswana (, also ), officially the Republic of Botswana ( tn, Lefatshe la Botswana, label=Setswana; Kalanga language, Kalanga: ''Hango yeBotswana''), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 ...

Botswana
. Further tributaries of the Molopo River include the Kuruman River, fed by the Moshaweng River and Kgokgole River, and the Matlhwaring River. Flowing west into the Atlantic, in
Namaqualand The spring flowers in Namaqualand Namaqualand ( khoekhoe: "Nama-kwa" meaning Nama Khoe people's land) is an arid region of Namibia Namibia (, ), officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is ...
, is the Buffels River (Northern Cape), Buffels River and, further south, the Groen River.


Climate

Mostly arid to semiarid, few areas in the province receive more than of rainfall per annum and the average annual rainfall over the province is . Rainfall generally increases from west to east from a minimum average of to a maximum of per year. The west experiences most rainfall in winter, while the east receives most of its moisture from late summer thunderstorms. Many areas experience extreme heat, with the hottest temperatures in South Africa measured along the Namibian border. Summers maximums are generally or higher, sometimes higher than . Winters are usually frosty and clear, with southern areas sometimes becoming bitterly cold, such as Sutherland, Northern Cape, Sutherland, which often receives snow and temperatures occasionally drop below the mark. * Kimberley, Northern Cape, Kimberley averages: January maximum: (min: ), June maximum: (min: ), annual precipitation: * Springbok, Northern Cape, Springbok averages: January maximum: (min: ), July maximum: (min: ), annual precipitation: * Sutherland, Northern Cape, Sutherland averages: January maximum: (min: ), July maximum: (min: ), annual precipitation:


Municipalities

The Northern Cape Province is divided into five district municipality (South Africa), district municipalities. The district municipalities are in turn divided into 27 local municipality (South Africa), local municipalities:


District municipalities

*Frances Baard District Municipality, Frances Baard District **Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, Sol Plaatje **Dikgatlong Local Municipality, Dikgatlong **Magareng Local Municipality, Magareng **Phokwane Local Municipality, Phokwane *John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, John Taolo Gaetsewe District **Moshaweng Local Municipality, Moshaweng **Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality, Ga-Segonyana **Gamagara Local Municipality, Gamagara *Namakwa District Municipality, Namakwa District **Richtersveld Local Municipality, Richtersveld **Nama Khoi Local Municipality, Nama Khoi **Kamiesberg Local Municipality, Kamiesberg **Hantam Local Municipality, Hantam **Karoo Hoogland Local Municipality, Karoo Hoogland **Khâi-Ma Local Municipality, Khâi-Ma *Pixley ka Seme District Municipality, Pixley ka Seme District **Ubuntu Local Municipality, Ubuntu **Umsobomvu Local Municipality, Umsobomvu **Emthanjeni Local Municipality, Emthanjeni **Kareeberg Local Municipality, Kareeberg **Renosterberg Local Municipality, Renosterberg **Thembelihle Local Municipality, Thembelihle **Siyathemba Local Municipality, Siyathemba **Siyancuma Local Municipality, Siyancuma *ZF Mgcawu District Municipality, ZF Mgcawu District (formerly Siyanda) **Kai !Garib Local Municipality, Kai !Garib **Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality, Dawid Kruiper **!Kheis Local Municipality, !Kheis **Tsantsabane Local Municipality, Tsantsabane **Kgatelopele Local Municipality, Kgatelopele


Cities and towns

Population 50,000+ *Kimberley, Northern Cape, Kimberley *Upington, Northern Cape, Upington Population 10,000+ Population < 10,000


Economy of the Northern Cape

As reported by the Northern Cape Provincial Government, unemployment still remains a big issue in the province. Unemployment was reported to be at 24.9% during Q4, 2013. Unemployment also declined from 119,000 in Q4, 2012 to 109,000 in Q4, 2013. The Northern Cape is also home to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), which is located 75 km North-West of Carnarvon, Northern Cape, Carnarvon. The economy of the Northern Cape relies heavily on two sectors, mining and agriculture, which employ 57% (Tertiary Sector) of all employees in the province. Most famous for the diamond mines around Kimberley, Northern Cape, Kimberley, it also has mining activities for Manganese and iron ore. The Northern Cape also has a substantial agricultural area around the
Orange River The Orange River (from Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. ...
, including most of South Africa's sultana (grape), sultana vineyards. Some Wine of Origin areas have been demarcated. The Orange River also attracts visitors who enjoy rafting tours around Vioolsdrif. Extensive sheep raising is the basis of the economy in the southern
Karoo The Karoo ( ; from the South Khoekhoe Khoekhoen (singular Khoekhoe) (or Khoikhoi in the former orthography; formerly also '' Hottentots''"Hottentot, n. and adj." ''OED Online'', Oxford University Press, March 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/ ...

Karoo
areas of the province.


Demographics

About 68% of the population are first-language
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
speakers, other primary languages being Setswana language, Setswana,
Xhosa Xhosa may refer to: * Xhosa people, a nation, and ethnic group, who live in south-central and southeasterly region of South Africa * Xhosa language, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, principally spoken by the Xhosa people See also ...
and
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
. To the extent that apartheid-era population classification persists, the majority of the Northern Cape population is characterised as Coloured. People who self-identify as San people, some of whom retain distinct indigenous cultural elements such as Khoisan languages, but no longer subsist by hunting and gathering, live in the Northern Cape.


See also

*Northern Cape Provincial Legislature *Griqualand West *List of Speakers of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature


References


External links


Northern Cape TourismNC Provincial Government
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