Some of the largest cities in South Africa by population and size will amaze you. Next time you travel, you might want to check each of this places.

The world will not forget in hurry, there experience in the Rainbow country when the country hosted the FIFA world cup especially the electrifying noise of their traditional trumpet: VUVUZELA.  There is always something that makes the country tick from Nelson Mandela to Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the beautiful scenic scape of the land, there is more to the country than all of that and this I will be showing you as I bring to you the notable cities of South Africa by size and population.

But note the cities examined here, are cities with a population over a million inhabitants, under large cities exist but with population strength less than a million.


The country has a landmass of 1,221,037 sq. km and an estimated population of 57 million. South Africa is a country with many landmarks in Africa, as one of the very first to developed a nuclear weapon, never experienced military coup d’état, regular election since independence in 1910 but has a blight in the issue of apartheid in which the blacks were segregated from 1948 till it was repealed in 1994 and the blacks exercised their franchise for the first time. South Africa has some major cities by size and population and this will be examined below;

This list of largest cities in South Africa with their Cities, Province, Population size and area, will get you interested to know more.


    • Population: 4.47 Million
    • Area Size: 2,462 Sq. Km

Cape town city is the legislative capital of South Africa, the provincial capital of western cape, the oldest urban area in southern Africa. This city is a coastal city famed for its harbor, its scenic sites and multicultural diversity making it a major tourist and expatriate destination as even attested to in 2014 by the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph as the best place to visit in the world. The city government is a council-manager type with a mayor elected by the city council and the incumbent mayor is Patricia de Lille while the city manager is Lungelo Mbandazayo who is tasked with the administrative running of the city.

This is one of the largest cities in South Africa by population and size.

  •    Durban, Kwazulu-Natal

    • Population: 3.7 Million
    • Area Size: 2,292 Sq. Km

Durban is another beach city located on the eastern part of South Africa having the coastline of Indian ocean as a border.

The city is in the KwaZulu-Natal province and boasts of the busiest harbor in the country and the second most important industrial hub in the Republic of South Africa.

Johannesburg. The city was established in 1880 and named after Benjamin D’Urban who was a British general and colonial administrator of the Cape coast. The city had undergone a massive turn around that made it find her way into the prestigious list of the new 7 wonders cities in the world consisting cities such as Vigan, Doha, La Paz, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, and Beirut.Durban was the seat of the legendary Shaka, king of the Zulus. The government of the city is the council-manager type with a mayor elected by the council and the incumbent mayor is Zandile Gumede.

  •    Johannesburg, Gauteng

    • Population: 4.4 Million

    • Area Size: 1,645 Sq. Km

JOHANNESBURG is African Eldorado founded in 1860 in response to the gold rush fever that gripped the people as are the result of a gold accidentally discovered in a farm along the Witwatersrand. The city present-day prides itself as the economic, financial and cultural hub of South Africa and serves as the seat of the country’s constitutional court. It has no harbor neither does it have a coastline as it is situated on the Highveld plateau. It is the capital of the province of Gauteng and the largest city in South Africa by population.

The city administration is also by the council-manager setting with the present mayor in the person of Herman Mashaba. A UNESCO world heritage site, the cradle of humanity is situated in the city.

  • Soweto, Gauteng

    • Population: 1.7 Million
    • 200 Sq. Km

SOWETO, abbreviated from South Western Township in 1963 is the largest black urban complex in South Africa with over 1.3million blacks conglomerated there. The township grew as a result of the apartheid action of the South Africa government to separate the blacks living in Johannesburg from the white. The blacks were confined in the slums and shackles away from the city Johannesburg but came to international limelight due to the 1976 riots in which 176 striking students were massacred and thousands more injured due to their protest against the legislation for Afrikaans to be the language of communication in native schools. From then, SOWETO played the leading light in the struggle against apartheid till it fell in 1994.

  • Pretoria, Gauteng

    • Population: 1.6 Million

PRETORIA, nicknamed the Jacaranda City because of the Jacaranda trees that dote its landscape, was established in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius who named the city after his father Andres Pretorius who was a deceased leader of the Boers. Pretoria had the opportunity of serving as administrative capital at a different phase of the country’s evolution. Pretoria is now the seat of the executive arm of South Africa government and houses the foreign missions. Pretoria is also known as the academic capital of South Africa as it boasts of 3 universities and a research center. The present city Mayor is Solly Msimanger. Other cities include

  • Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

    • Population: 1 Million
    • Area Size: 261 Km Sq.

Port Elizabeth or simply the Bay is the southernmost point of the continent of Africa. It was founded in 1850 by the British settlers. This city is nicknamed the friendly city or the windy city. The city prides itself as the automotive capital of South Africa with major automobile assembly plants located here. The Windy city has an estimated population of over 1 million. The incumbent mayor is Mongameli Bobani.

NOTE: Other major cities exist and they include the Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal province, the Benoni, Tembisa but are not up to the population standard for a city as used in this article.


The Republic of South Africa is a peculiar country hanging on the southernmost point of the continent of Africa straddling the twin coastline of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. South Africa is geographically peculiar as it wholly surrounded a country, Lesotho and is externally bounded to the North and east by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

South Africa is a multicultural diverse country with 11 official languages used for her naming, no wonder the country is called the Rainbow country with Zulu, Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, Swazi, Northern and Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Southern Ndebele as the official language. It is also a multi-capital country with the different arms of government having a separate capital, Pretoria[executive]; Bloemfontein [Judicial] and Cape town [legislative].

The incumbent president of South Africa is Cyril Ramaphosa since 2018 and the country operates a parliamentary system of government with administration arranged into 9 provinces governed by a premier. The provinces are Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Free State, Mpumalanga.

I believed you have been acculturated with more information about the Rainbow country as I leave you with this Hamba Kahle, Uhamba Kakuhle and Totsiens.



All you need to know about this topic has been written up go through and read should in case you need clarity on any.