Indeed, South Africa is the only country in the world that has 3 capitals, 11 different names, and the hometown of the new Miss Universe 2017.
Are you finding it interesting? In contrast to Nauru country, which has no capital, there are up to 3 capitals that coexist in South Africa. They are Pretoria – the administrative capital, Cape Town – the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein – the judicial capital. In addition to these three capital cities, South Africa also has another city that many consider being the capital. It is Johannesburg – the economic capital.
The 3 Capitals of South Africa
1. Pretoria – The Administrative Capital
Pretoria is located in the northernmost part of the country, in a valley surrounded by the Magaliesberg Mountains and named after Andries Pretorius, an African military hero and politician. This is the place where the presidential palace and the central government agencies, embassies of the countries are located.
Pretoria is also well-known for the purple phoenix trees. At the end of Oct, the trees are in full bloom, purple dyeing the ancient romantic city. If Johannesburg is bustle, hustle, and stuffy, Pretoria is the opposite, somewhat slow and peaceful. Although cars are pretty much, there is no traffic jam. The stores are only open at 9 am, and until 11 am on Saturdays, but they all close at 3 pm. Evenly, on Sundays, the streets are empty. Buildings, monuments, universities, Catholic churches, parks, ecological gardens, green trees, etc., all give Pretoria a European appearance. Indeed, the majority of Europeans live in this area.
2. Cape Town – The Legislative Capital
Cape Town, located in the Western Cape Province, is also home to Miss Universe 2017 – Demi Leigh Nel Peters. This city was voted by the Telegraph as one of the best cities, the most beautiful ports in the world, or a tourist city. Furthermore, it has the famous Table Mountain and Clifton Beach, which is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world according to Forbes. Additionally, there is the Cape of Good Hope, which is the rocky headland of South Africa.
3. Bloemfontein – The Judicial Capital
Bloemfontein capital is known to tourists as the “Fountain of Flowers” or “The City of Roses”. Thus, there is a local event Rose Festival annually. It’s located in the Free State province and is so named because of the area’s large concentration of orange flowers. The city has been the seat of government since 1867 and is home to over 100 buildings listed on the National Heritage Register for South Africa.
The Country’s Names
South Africa actually has 11 different names, which are corresponding to 11 official languages. According to Wikipedia (Aug 2020), they are:
|Language||Long Form||Short Form|
|Afrikaans||Republiek van Suid-Afrika||Suid-Afrika|
|English||Republic of South Africa||South Africa|
|Northern Sotho||Repabliki ya Afrika-Borwa||Afrika Borwa|
|Southern Ndebele||iRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika||iSewula Afrika|
|Southern Sotho||Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa||Afrika Borwa|
|Swazi||iRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu Afrika||iNingizimu Afrika|
|Tsonga||Riphabliki ra Afrika Dzonga||Afrika-Dzonga|
|Tswana||Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa||Aforika Borwa|
|Venda||Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe||Afurika Tshipembe|
|Xhosa||iRiphabliki yomZantsi Afrika||uMzantsi Afrika|
|Zulu||iRiphabhuliki yaseNingizimu Afrika||iNingizimu Afrika|
Other Interesting Facts about South Africa
Yes, they are really interesting and impressive that you should know:
- It has one of the longest “wine routes” in the world. To elaborate, the R26 route, run by Line 62 through the vast vineyards of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson, and Klein Karoo. Activities along this route include wine tours, safari, museums, mountain climbing, etc.
- South Africa has an area that four times larger than Japan, which is nearly 338,000 km2. Also, its land is twice as large as the state of Texas, USA, which is nearly 669,000 km2.
- The country has the world’s oldest fossils. Furthermore, it is also home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition, Sudwala, the oldest cave in the world, is located in this country.
- The world’s first heart transplant was performed in South Africa by Dr. Chris Barnard.
- The world’s largest human-grown forest is located in Johannesburg.
- Vilakazi in Soweto, Johannesburg is the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize winners live together.
- Wikipedia, updated Aug 2020, List of official names of South Africa. [online] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_official_names_of_South_Africa [Accessed 15 Apr. 2021].
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