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The Province of the Transvaal (Afrikaans: Provinsie van die Transvaal), commonly referred to as the Transvaal Province (Afrikaans: Transvaal Provinsie, Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈtransfɑːl]) was a province of South Africa from 1910 until the end of apartheid in 1994, when a new constitution subdivided it. The name "Transvaal" refers to the province's geographical location to the north of the Vaal River. Its capital was Pretoria, which was also the country's executive capital.

Province of the Transvaal
Provinsie van die Transvaal
Colony of the Transvaal.png
Map of the provinces of South Africa 1976-1994 with the Transvaal highlighted.svg
 • 1904[1] 288,000 km2 (111,196 sq mi)
 • 1904 1,268,716[1]
 • 1991 9,491,265[2]
 • Origin  Transvaal Colony
 • Created 31 May 1910
 • Abolished 27 April 1994
 • Succeeded by Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and eastern part of North West
Status Province of  South Africa
Government Transvaal Provincial Council
 • HQ  Pretoria



In 1910, four British colonies united to form the Union of South Africa. The Transvaal Colony, which had been formed out of the bulk of the old South African Republic after the Second Boer War, became the Transvaal Province in the new union. Half a century later, in 1961, the union ceased to be part of the Commonwealth of Nations and became the Republic of South Africa. The PWV (Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging) conurbation in the Transvaal, centered on Pretoria and Johannesburg, became South Africa's economic powerhouse, a position it still holds today as Gauteng province.

In 1994, after the fall of apartheid, the former provinces were restructured, and a cohesive Transvaal ceased to exist. The south-central portion (including the PWV) became Gauteng, the northern portion became Limpopo and the southeastern portion became Mpumalanga. Most of the North West came from the southwestern portion of the old Transvaal, and tiny segment of the Transvaal joined KwaZulu-Natal. However, even before 1994 the Transvaal Province was subdivided into regions for a number of purposes (such as municipal and district courts, and sporting divisions). These divisions included Northern Transvaal (present-day Limpopo and Pretoria), Eastern Transvaal (currently Mpumalanga), Western Transvaal (currently part of North West province) and Southern Transvaal (now Gauteng province).


The Transvaal province lay between the Vaal River in the south, and the Limpopo River in the north, roughly between ​22 12 and ​27 12 S, and 25 and 32 E. To its south it bordered with the Orange Free State and Natal provinces, to its west were the Cape Province and the Bechuanaland Protectorate (later Botswana), to its north Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), and to its east Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique) and Swaziland. Except on the south-west, these borders were mostly well defined by natural features.

Several Bantustans were entirely inside the Transvaal: Venda, KwaNdebele, Gazankulu, KaNgwane and Lebowa. Parts of Bophuthatswana were also in the Transvaal, with other parts in Cape Province and Orange Free State.

Within the Transvaal lies the Waterberg Massif, a prominent ancient geological feature of the South African landscape.

Districts in 1991Edit

Districts of the province and population at the 1991 census.[2]


See alsoEdit