South African citiesSouth Africa is one of Africa’s largest countries with a number of cities known worldwide for their rich cultural heritage, beauty and business districts. In the world, South Africa is the 25th largest country with a population of 53 million people.

It borders countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the north, while to the east, it borders Mozambique.

These are the largest cities and towns in South Africa.


Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. It is located in Gauteng province in Witwatersrand mineral rich hills and has a population of about 4.4 million people.

Johannesburg was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold deposits in the region. It is a major trade center in the country because of the gold and diamond businesses that has dominated that region.

To the east of Johannesburg city, there is Benoni town which is the largest town in Gauteng province with a population of about 605,000 people. The town started off in 1887 after it was discovered that it was also rich in gold reefs.


The city of Cape Town is a beautiful coastal city with a population of 3.7 million people by the last census in 2011. That number is believed to be around 4.5 million today. It hosts South Africa’s National Parliament hence is often referred to as the Legislative capital of the country.

The city was founded in 1652 and is a center of tourist attraction. Tourists flock Cape Town yearly to admire natural features such as the extensive coastal beach, and Table Mountain National parks.

On the Eastern Cape province is the East London town located within Buffalo municipality. Originally, the town was called Port Rex. It has a population of about 478 thousand people.


Durban is the largest city in KwaZulu Natal province with a population of 3.4 million people. It is also the third largest city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. Located on the east coast of the country, Durban has become famous for being a busiest port in the country.

In addition, the city’s warm subtropical weather has been a leading reason why people from different places flock the city.


Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of South Africa located in Gauteng province. It serves as the administrative capital of the country. In addition to this, it hosts South African Bureau of Standards and a number of leading universities in the country such as; University of Pretoria (UP) and the University of South Africa (UNISA).

The city was founded in 1855 by Marthinus, son of the Boer statesman, Andries Pretorius, whom the city is named after. It first became the capital of the Transavaal in 1860, then an administrative capital in 1910 and later a city in 1931. The population of people in the city is estimated to be 2.4 million.


Port Elizabeth is located on the south-eastern coast, 763 km east of Cape Town in the Eastern Cape Province. It is one of the major seaports in the country as it lies on Algoa Bay of the Indian Ocean. Moreover, it is part of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.

Port Elizabeth was established in 1820 as more British settled around Fort Frederick. It later became a city in 1913 following completion of the Kimberley Railroad in 1873. In addition, the city hosts the famous Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and has a population of 1.2 million people.

Also Read: All the Provinces of South Africa