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Limpopo Province Information



The province shares its name with the Limpopo river which forms the northern boundary with Zimbabwe and Botswana. The most common spoken languages in the Limpopo Province are Tsonga, Northern Sotho, Venda and Afrikaans. Polokwane is the capital of the Limpopo Province. Polokwane was formerly known as Pietersburg and is a popular ecotourism destination in South Africa.

The Limpopo Province of South Africa is generally divided into four regions namely: the Soutpansberg region, the Bushveld region, Capricorn region and the Valley of the Olifants region.

The Limpopo Province shares borders with Zimbabwe and Botswana. The province acts as a the link between South Africa and the other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. On its southern flank from east to west, the Limpopo Province shares borders with Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West. The province has excellent road, rail, and air links. The N1 route from Johannesburg, which extends the length of the province, is the busiest overland route in Africa in terms of cross-border trade in raw materials and beneficiated goods. The port of Durban, Africa’s busiest, is served directly by the province, as are the ports of Richards Bay and Maputo. Several ethnic groups distinguished by culture and language are located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The Northern Sotho make up the largest number followed by the Tsonga and the Venda. Afrikaans and English speakers make up the smallest percentage.

History of the Limpopo Province


Polokwane is the geographic and economic centre of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The city provides the administrative workforce for a province of industry and determination. The province is divided in four regions namely; the Capricorn region, the Bushveld region, the Soutpansberg region and the Valley of the Olifants.

The Limpopo Province is area of legend and romance that intrigue visitors with tales of ancient tribes and fearless pioneers who braved the unknown in the days of old. To this day the province is the home of the enigmatic rain queen who, as the legends of her people proclaim, has the mystical power to make rain.

Steeped in history, the Limpopo celebrates a rich cultural heritage and at many archaeological sites the mysteries of the past and ancient peoples are still being unearthed. The present tranquility of the province belies a turbulent past, to which many monuments and museums attest.

Limpopo Province Geography


Limpopo Province shares international borders with districts and provinces of three countries: Botswana's Central and Kgatleng districts to the west and north-west respectively, Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces to the north and northeast respectively, and Mozambique's Gaza Province to the east. The province is the link between South Africa and countries further afield in sub-Saharan Africa. On its southern flank from east to west, the province shares borders with Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West. Its border with Gauteng includes that province's Johannesburg-Pretoria axis, the most industrialized metropole on the continent. The province is at the centre of regional, national, and international developing markets.

The province contains much of the Waterberg Biosphere, a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. The Waterberg Biosphere, a massif of approximately 15,000 square kilometers, is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The massif was shaped by hundreds of millions of years of riverine erosion to yield diverse bluff and butte landforms. The Waterberg ecosystem can be characterised as a dry deciduous forest or Bushveld. Within the Waterberg, archaeological finds date to the Stone Age. Nearby are early evolutionary finds related to the origin of humans.

Limpopo Province Climate


Finding itself at South Africa’s northernmost area and bisected by the tropic of Capricorn, visitors to Limpopo can expect sunshine, long summer afternoons and dry days for most of their stay. Pietersburg, the capital city of Limpopo, lies more or less in the centre of the province and its weather is reflective of most of it. Only the region east of the city offers markedly different climate, with most the subtropical conditions of the Lowveld providing weather more suited to dense forests. 

Polokwane offers an extremely pleasant climate for most of the year. With almost all year-round sunshine, it can get rather hot in the summer months (October to March) averaging 27ºC. The lowveld is less forgiving in the swelter of summer afternoons, with towns such as Ba-Phalaborwa known to reach 45ºC. Generally, however, visitors to the Kruger Park area can expect temperatures around 30ºC in summer. 

Don’t be surprised to find late afternoon growing heavy with clouds and you can expect short thunderstorms. Winter is typical of the interior highveld plateau. A sunny season of chilly, early mornings, warm mid days, dry afternoons and cool to cold nights. In general the weather of Limpopo will greet you with a hospitable display of sunshine and reserve.

Limpopo Province Economy


The province is a typical developing area, exporting primary products and importing manufactured goods and services.


The bushveld is cattle country, where extensive ranching operations are often supplemented by controlled hunting. About 80% of South Africa's hunting industry is found in Limpopo. Sunflowers, cotton, maize and peanuts are cultivated in the Bela-Bela and Modimolle areas. Modimolle is also known for its table-grape crops.

Tropical fruit, such as bananas, litchis, pineapples, mangoes and paw paws, as well as a variety of nuts, are grown in the Tzaneen and Makhado areas. Tzaneen is also at the centre of extensive tea and coffee plantations.


Limpopo's rich mineral deposits include platinum group metals, iron ore, chromium high- and middle-grade cooking coal, diamonds, antimony, phosphate and copper, as well as mineral reserves like gold, emeralds, scheelite, magnetite, vermiculite, silicon and mica. Base commodities such as black granite, corundum and feldspar are also found. Mining contributes to over a fifth of the provincial economy.

Limpopo Province Education


The branch is charged with the responsibility of effecting quality education and training for all. It was during this time that the branch had to shape up its direction and co-ordinate all professional developments and support. Policies, systems and procedures had to be developed. This was not easily achievable due to lack of person power to effect change. Hereunder follows a brief description of the activities which the branch carried out.

Curriculum Development & Education Technology

The greater part of this was characterised by a series of workshop on awareness and training on Curriculum 2005. Learning programmes were developed up to the selection of the relevant learning materials for grade 1 for 1998. The new curriculum for Grade 1 was subjected to a trailing phase with few selected pilot schools. This was seen as a breakthrough in breaking with the past in terms of philosophy and methodology of approach to concepts and information.

In order for teaching and learning to be effective workshops were also conducted on Technology Enhanced Learning Initiative. This was seen as a marriage between theory and practice to improvise for the effectiveness of the learning experience. Pilot schools were selected for Technology 2005 which in spite of the lack of necessary equipment, was seen as a success.

Structural Affairs and Statistics

There was not much progress realised in this area due to the lack of person power and necessary equipments. There was almost total dependence on outsourcing which in a way crippled this department in terms of building capacity to the skeleton staff available. The department could not capture all the necessary data. In order to plan proper In order to plan properly one should have access to information and also develop management systems for the sake of control and monitoring. Although a number of a strategic planning unit is seen as a handicap towards development.

Early Childhood Development

Much progress was made in this area through the assistance of UNICEF which provided technical assistance towards the development of ECD policy document. All stakeholders participated to produce a policy document.

Projects and Funding

There was an advocacy campaign to educate the communities on the delivery of basic educational needs e.g. classroom provisioning.

The directorate drew proposals for Japan International Cooperation Agency and was instrumental in effecting the Interactive Tele-teaching Programme with funds from Limpopo Education Development Trust. Business plans for the RDP projects were developed and also funding proposal for the Presidential Education Initiative which involved foreign countries. Workshops on ABET were conducted focusing on the implementation of the new policy. Stakeholders were involved with the national department taking the lead towards the development of action plans.

Educational Institutions

  • Universities

    • University of Limpopo (Polokwane, Ga-Rankuwa)

    • Comprehensive University of Venda (Thohoyandou)

  • Other educational institutions

    • Southern Africa Wildlife College

Limpopo Province Demographics


The population of Limpopo consists of several ethnic groups distinguished by culture, language and race. 97.3% of the population is Black, 2.4% is White, 0.2% is Coloured, and 0.1% is Indian/Asian. The Northern Sotho (Sepedi) make up the largest number, being nearly 57%. The Tsonga (Shangaan) speakers comprise 23% while the Venda make up 12%. Afrikaans speakers make up 2.6% while English-speaking whites are less than one-half per cent.

Limpopo Province Infrastructure & Demographics


The province has excellent road, rail, and air links. The N1 route from Johannesburg, which extends the length of the province, is the busiest overland route in Africa in terms of cross-border trade in raw materials and beneficiated goods. The port of Durban, Africa’s busiest, is served directly by the province, as are the ports of Richards Bay and Maputo. The Polokwane International Airport is situated in Polokwane, the capital of the province | Western Cape | Eastern Cape | Northern Cape | Kwazulu-Natal | Free State | Gauteng | Limpopo Province | North West Province | Mpumalanga | Sitemap

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