North West



North West lies in the north of South Africa on the Botswana border, fringed by the Kalahari Desert in the west, Gauteng Province to the east and the Free State Province to the south. It covers an area of 104 882 km² and has a population of over three million people. Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland. The Vaal River flows along the southern border of the province.

Mahikeng (previously Mafikeng) is the capital. The city lies near the Botswana border and forms a single urban area with its neighbouring town, Mmabatho. Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp are the biggest cities in the province. Other main towns are Brits, Rustenburg, Klerksdorp and Lichtenburg.

Most economic activity is concentrated in the southern region between Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp, as well as Rustenburg and the eastern region. Mining is the major contributor to the North West economy and represents almost a quarter of South Africa’s mining industry as a whole. The Rustenburg and Brits districts produce more platinum than any other single area in the world. North West also produces a quarter of South Africa’s gold, as well as granite, marble, fluorspar and diamonds. North West has a number of major tourist attractions, including the internationally famous Sun City, the Pilanesberg National Park, the Madikwe Game Reserve and the Rustenburg Nature Reserve.

North West is well known for cattle farming, while the areas around Rustenburg and Brits are fertile, mixed-crop farming land. Maize and sunflowers are the most important crops, and the province is the major producer of white maize in the country.

North West is divided into four district municipalities, which are further subdivided into 19 local municipalities.

Entrance to the Palace at Sun City – Author: DJ


Kgaswane Nature Reserve near to Rustenburg
Author: B. Saayman

Bojanala Platinum District Municipality: The district comprises of five local municipalities; the seat being the town of Rustenburg.

It is bordered by Waterberg District Municipality to the north, City of Tshwane to the east, West Rand District Municipality to the south-east, Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality to the south and Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality to the west.

Cities/Towns: Boekenhoutfontein • Boons • Boshoek • Brits • Derby • Hartbeesfontein-A • Hartbeespoort • Koster • Kroondal • Madikwe • Marikana • Mooinooi • Phatsima • Phokeng • Photsaneng • Rooiwal • Rustenburg • Sun City • Swartkrans • Swartruggens • Tlhabane

04_dam-landscapePanoramic view of the dam near Greyingsdrif – Author: DJ

Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality: The district is located 65 km south-west of Johannesburg and borders the Gauteng province on that side. The municipality consists of four local municipalities.

It is a region with a rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage, with the potential for sustained economic growth. The region is home to some of the most prominent gold mines in the world and one of the oldest meteor impact sites in the world.

The district is serviced by a number of primary roads, with the N12 Treasure Corridor forming the main development axis in the district and serving as a potential concentration point for future industrial, commercial and tourism development.

Cities/Towns: Greylingsdrif • Klerksdorp • Leeudoringstad • Lethabong (previously Hartbeesfontein) • Makwassie • Orkney • Potchefstroom • Stilfontein • Ventersdorp • Witpoort • Wolmaransstad

Monastery at Tierkloof in Vryburg – Author: DJ

Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality: The district was previously known as Bophirima District Municipality and is bordered by Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Kenneth Kaunda in the north. In the south it is bordered by John Taolo Gaetsewe (previously Kgalagadi), which is a cross-boundary within the Northern Cape.

The district has poor rural areas, situated in the former Bophuthatswana homeland. With the population situated in more than 470 villages and towns dispersed in a 250 km radius (approximately 50 km north to south and 200 km east to west), this district presents unique management and organisational challenges.

Amalia • Bloemhof • Christiana • Piet Plessis • Pomfret • Pudimoe • Reivilo • Schweizer-Reneke • Stella • Taung • Vryburg

Groot Marico Dam – Author: B. Saayman

Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality:  The district is centrally situated within the province with Mahikeng (previously Mafikeng) being the capital of the province. Aptly named, the capital is nicknamed ‘The City of Goodwill’, which is also the city’s slogan. It is a rapidly growing, modern, residential, administrative and commercial town that contrasts with its fascinating history.

It is comprised of the five local municipalities and shares an international border with Botswana.

Bakerville • Barberspan • Biesiesvlei • Coligny • Delareyville • Disaneng • Enselsrus • Groot Marico • Kraaipan • Lehurutshe • Lichtenburg • Madibogo • Mahikeng • Mareetsane • Mmabatho • Ottosdal • Ottoshoop • Rooigrond • Sannieshof • Setlagole • Slurry • Zeerust

Source: Information is extracted from