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Mpumalanga () is a
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside ...
of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities: e ...
. The name means "east", or literally "the place where the sun rises" in the Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu languages. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, bordering
Eswatini Eswatini ( ; ss, eSwatini ), officially the Kingdom of Eswatini ( ss, Umbuso weSwatini, links=no), sometimes written in English as eSwatini, and formerly and still commonly known in English as Swaziland ( ; officially renamed in 2018), is a land ...
and
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and ...
. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa's land area. It shares borders with the South African provinces of
Limpopo Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. It is named after the Limpopo River, which forms the province's western and northern borders. The capital and largest city in the province is Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg). The province ...

Limpopo
to the north,
Gauteng Gauteng ( ; tn, Gauteng; Northern and Southern Sotho: ''Gauteng''; zu, eGoli; Tsonga: ''Gauteng/eXilungwini;'' Ndebele, xh, iRhawuti; nr, I-Gauteng; ve, Gauteng) is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The name in Sotho-Tswana languages mea ...
to the west, the
Free State The Free State ( af, Vrystaat; st, Freistata; xh, iFreyistata; tn, Foreistata; zu, iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its hi ...
to the southwest, and
KwaZulu-Natal KwaZulu-Natal (, also referred to as KZN and known as "the garden province"; zu, iKwaZulu-Natali; xh, KwaZulu-Natala; af, KwaZoeloe-Natal) is a province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu bantustan of KwaZulu ("Place of the Z ...
to the south. The capital is
Mbombela Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is a city in northeastern South Africa. It is the capital of the Mpumalanga province. Located on the Crocodile River, Mbombela lies about by road west of the Mozambique border, east of Johannesburg and about north ...
.


History

Before 1994, Mpumalanga was part of the now-defunct
Transvaal Province The Province of the Transvaal ( af, Provinsie Transvaal), commonly referred to as the Transvaal (; ), was a province of South Africa from 1910 until 1994, when a new constitution subdivided it following the end of apartheid. The name "Transvaal" r ...
. The province's name was ''Eastern Transvaal'', from its initial establishment in 1994 until 24 August 1995. Prior to the establishment of the province, the term "Eastern Transvaal" was used to refer to the eastern part of Transvaal Province, or to the scenic tourist area around the
Escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' are used interchangeably with ''escarpment''. S ...
and Mpumalanga Lowveld bordering the
Kruger National Park Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends from north to south and from east ...
. Mpumalanga has a rich
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological, ...
heritage. Dotting the landscape are distinctive Bokoni stone-walled sites, built by a precolonial agropastoral society between ~1500 and 1820 A.D.


Geography

The
Drakensberg The Drakensberg (Afrikaans: Drakensberge, Zulu: uKhahlamba, Sotho: Maluti) is the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation – within the b ...
escarpment divides Mpumalanga into a westerly half consisting mainly of high-altitude
grassland Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other herbs. Grasslands occur naturally ...
called the
Highveld The Highveld (Afrikaans: ''Hoëveld'', where ''veld'' means "field") is the portion of the South African inland plateau which has an altitude above roughly 1500 m, but below 2100 m, thus excluding the Lesotho mountain regions to the south-east of t ...
and an eastern half situated in low-altitude subtropical
Lowveld Veld ( or ), also spelled veldt, is a type of wide open rural landscape in :Southern Africa. Particularly, it is a flat area covered in grass or low scrub, especially in the countries of South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana. ...
/
Bushveld The Bushveld (from af, bosveld, af, bos 'bush' and af, veld) is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa. It encompasses most of Limpopo Province and a small part of the North West Province of South Africa, the Central and North-Eas ...

Bushveld
, mostly
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland-grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herb ...
habitat. The southern half of the
Kruger National Park Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends from north to south and from east ...
is in the latter region. The Drakensberg exceeds heights of 2000 m 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 The Lebombo Mountains, also called Lubombo Mountains ( pt, 'Montes Libombos'), are an , narrow range of mountains in Southern Africa. They stretch from Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal in the south to Punda Maria in the Limpopo Province in South Africa in t ...
form a low range in the far east, on the border with
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and ...
. Some of the oldest rocks on earth have been found in the Barberton area; these ancient greenstones and
metamorphosed#REDIRECT Metamorphic rock {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
granites Granite () is a coarse-grained igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cools and solidifies underground. It is common in the E ...
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 rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic particles at the Earth's surface, followed by cementation. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to ...
of a younger,
Carboniferous The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, Mya. The name ''Carboniferous'' means "coal-b ...
to
Permian The Permian ( ) is a geologic period and stratigraphic system which spans 47 million years from the end of the Carboniferous period million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Triassic period 251.902 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozo ...
age. Mpumalanga is the only South African province to border two
provinces of Mozambique Mozambique is divided into 10 provinces (''províncias'') and 1 capital city (''cidade'') with provincial status: See also *List of provinces of Mozambique by Human Development Index *Districts of Mozambique *ISO 3166-2:MZ External links Provin ...
(
Gaza Province Gaza is a province of Mozambique. It has an area of 75,709 km2 and a population of 1,422,460 (2017 census). Xai-Xai is the capital of the province. Inhambane Province is to the east, Manica Province to the north, Maputo Province to the sout ...
to the northeast and
Maputo Province Maputo Province is a province of Mozambique; the province excludes the city of Maputo (which comprises a separate province). The province has an area of and a population of 1,968,906 (2017 census). Its capital is the city of Matola. Geography M ...
to the east), as well as all four
regions of Eswatini Eswatini (formerly ''Swaziland'') is divided into four regions: Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, and Shiselweni. Each region is further divided into tinkhundla. There are 55 tinkhundla in Swaziland and each elects one representative to the House of Assem ...
( Lubombo,
Hhohho Hhohho () is a region of Eswatini, located in the north western part of the country. Hhohho was named after the capital of King Mswati II, who expanded the Swazi territory to the north and west, taking in the districts of Barberton, Nelspruit, Car ...
, Manzini, and
Shiselweni Shiselweni is a region of Eswatini, located in the south of the country. It has an area of 3,786.71 km² and a population of 204,111 (2017). Its administrative center is Nhlangano. It borders Lubombo in the northeast and Manzini Region in the ...
Districts).


Climate

The Lowveld is
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographic and climate zones located to the north and south of the tropical zone. Geographically part of the north and south temperate zones, they cover the latitudes between 23°26′11.6″ and approxim ...

subtropical
, due to its latitude and proximity to the warm
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia to the east. To the south it is bounded by the Sou ...

Indian Ocean
. The Highveld is comparatively much cooler, due to its altitude of 2300 m to 1700 m above sea level. The Drakensberg escarpment receives the most
precipitation In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravitational pull from clouds. The main forms of precipitation include drizzling, rain, sleet, snow, ice pellets, graupel and hail. ...
, with all other areas being moderately well-watered by mostly summer
thunderstorms A thunderstorm, (also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm) is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder. (There are relativitly weak thunderstorms,some ...
. The Highveld often experiences severe frost, while the Lowveld is mostly frost-free. Winter rainfall is rare, except for some drizzle on the
escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' are used interchangeably with ''escarpment''. S ...
. The differences in climate are demonstrated below by the capital,
Mbombela Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is a city in northeastern South Africa. It is the capital of the Mpumalanga province. Located on the Crocodile River, Mbombela lies about by road west of the Mozambique border, east of Johannesburg and about north ...
, which is in the Lowveld, an hour from
Belfast Belfast ( ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a popula ...
on the Highveld. * Mbombela 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: *
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve (or Motlatse Canyon Provincial Nature Reserve) is situated in the Drakensberg escarpment region of eastern Mpumalanga, South Africa. The reserve protects the Blyde River Canyon, including sections of the Ohrigst ...
* Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, previously known as Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park. This international game park brings together some of the best and most established wildlife areas in southern Africa. The park is managed as an integrated unit across an unprecedented three international boundaries which includes the
Kruger National Park Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends from north to south and from east ...
(South Africa), Limpopo National Park (
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and ...
) and Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe). * Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is built up of numerous private reserves: Nottens Bush Camp, Idube Safari Lodge, Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge, Djuma Game Reserve, Exeter Game Lodge, Inyati Private Game Reserve, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, Londolozi Game Reserve, Mala Mala Game Reserve, Savanna Private Game Reserve and Ulusaba Game Lodge. Many species of plants there are unique to the different geological formations within Mpumalanga. Some examples of these formations include serpentines of Barberton Mountains, norites of Sekhukhuneland, quartzites of Blyde River Canyon, and the Dolomite (rock), dolomites in the northern plateaus.


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 Mpumalanga Province#External links, subscription and at a price.


Municipalities

Mpumalanga Province is divided into three district municipality (South Africa), district municipalities. The district municipalities are in turn divided into 18 local municipality (South Africa), local municipalities:


District municipalities

* Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Ehlanzeni District ** Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Bushbruckridge ** Mbombela Local Municipality, Mbombela ** Nkomazi Local Municipality, Nkomazi ** Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Thaba Chweu ** Umjindi Local Municipality, Umjindi * Gert Sibande District Municipality, Gert Sibande District ** Albert Luthuli Local Municipality, Albert Luthuli ** Dipaleseng Local Municipality, Dipaleseng ** Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, Govan Mbeki ** Lekwa Local Municipality, Lekwa ** Mkhondo Local Municipality, Mkhondo ** Msukaligwa Local Municipality, Msukaligwa ** Pixley ka Seme Local Municipality, Pixley ka Seme * Nkangala District Municipality, Nkangala District ** Delmas Local Municipality, Delmas ** Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality, Dr JS Moroka ** Emalahleni Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, Emalahleni ** Highlands Local Municipality, Highlands ** Steve Tshwete Local Municipality, Steve Tshwete ** Thembisile Local Municipality, Thembisile


Economy


Farming

The climatic contrasts between the drier
Highveld The Highveld (Afrikaans: ''Hoëveld'', where ''veld'' means "field") is the portion of the South African inland plateau which has an altitude above roughly 1500 m, but below 2100 m, thus excluding the Lesotho mountain regions to the south-east of t ...
region, with its cold winters, and the hot, humid Lowveld allow for a variety of agricultural activities. 68% of Mpumalanga is used by agriculture. Crops include maize, wheat, sorghum, 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). 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. 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, Mpumalanga, Secunda (Secunda CTL) is one of the country's two petroleum-from-coal extraction plants, which is operated by the synthetic fuel company Sasol. The highveld region is the most polluted of the world due to the mine industry and plant power stations and the lowveld near the famous Kruger Park is under threat of new mines as well


Attractions

Mpumalanga is popular with tourists.
Kruger National Park Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends from north to south and from east ...
, established in 1898 for the protection of Lowveld wildlife, covering , is a popular destination. The other major tourist attractions include the Sudwala Caves and the Blyde River Canyon. 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 game, Big Five" territory. Towns in the
Lowveld Veld ( or ), also spelled veldt, is a type of wide open rural landscape in :Southern Africa. Particularly, it is a flat area covered in grass or low scrub, especially in the countries of South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana. ...
are Barberton,
Mbombela Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is a city in northeastern South Africa. It is the capital of the Mpumalanga province. Located on the Crocodile River, Mbombela lies about by road west of the Mozambique border, east of Johannesburg and about north ...
, White River, Mpumalanga, White River, Sabie, Graskop, Hazyview, Malelane, Pilgrim's Rest, South Africa, Pilgrim's Rest, Lydenburg and Nkomazi. In 2008, a Haute Cuisine route was formed, trickling from
Mbombela Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is a city in northeastern South Africa. It is the capital of the Mpumalanga province. Located on the Crocodile River, Mbombela lies about by road west of the Mozambique border, east of Johannesburg and about north ...
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.Mpumalanga Haute Cuisine
/ref>


Gallery

File:Landscape kruger-park.jpg,
Kruger National Park Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends from north to south and from east ...
. File:Motlatse Canyon Bourke's Luck Potholes bridge (2).jpg, Bourke's Luck Potholes. File:Three Rondavels Blyde River Canyon.jpg, ''Three Rondavels'' of the Blyde River Canyon. File:Eastern Transvaal.jpg, Escarpment. File:Lisbon Falls - Tvl.jpg, ''Lisbon Falls''. File:Pilgrim Rest.jpg, ''Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga, Pilgrim's Rest''.


Demographics

Some 30% of the people speak siSwati, the language of neighbouring
Eswatini Eswatini ( ; ss, eSwatini ), officially the Kingdom of Eswatini ( ss, Umbuso weSwatini, links=no), sometimes written in English as eSwatini, and formerly and still commonly known in English as Swaziland ( ; officially renamed in 2018), is a land ...
, with 26% speaking isiZulu, 10.3% Southern Ndebele language, isiNdebele, 10.2% Northern Sotho and 11.6% Xitsonga.


See also

* List of Speakers of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature * List of heritage sites in Mpumalanga


References


External links


Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency
{{Authority control Mpumalanga, Provinces of South Africa States and territories established in 1994 1994 establishments in South Africa