While this question might be simple to ask for most countries, it isn’t such a simple answer in South Africa’s case. There is not one South Africa capital name, nor two but instead, three. Consequently, asking, “What is the capital of South Africa?”, will result in a slightly more complicated answer than expected.
There are a small minority of countries in the world which have more than one capital. However, the only country in the world to have three capitals is South Africa.
The South African Government is divided into three sections and therefore, based in three diverse capitals. The notion behind this came from the Union of South Africa when it was created and concern was raised over whether it would place too much power in one place to have a single capital of South Africa.
Names of South Africa’s Capitals
The three different capitals of South Africa are divided into administrative, legislative and judicial government bases.
Administrative Capital of South Africa
The administrative capital of South Africa is Pretoria. Pretoria was the capital of Apartheid South Africa and is situated in the northern province of Gauteng. It is considered a city with the most opportunities for high-level studies at universities on a national level, with universities such as the University of Pretoria founded in 1908 being one of the oldest and most extensive academic institutions in South Africa.
Pretoria is also called the “Jacaranda City”; a name that it has earned from the invasive jacaranda trees that sprinkle violet blossom over Pretoria’s parks and streets every year when in bloom.
Legislative Capital of South Africa
South Africa’s legislative capital is Cape Town. Home to the Cape Floral Kingdom, this capital is more than the parliamentary center of South Africa. You can discover up to 7,000 plants in Cape Town which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Cape Town’s coastal serenity and opportune combination of multicultural metropolis made it the best place to visit in the world by both The Daily Telegraph and The New York Times in 2014. Table Mountain and Cape Point are scenic landmarks that attract visitors from all around the world.
Judicial Capital of South Africa
The judicial capital of South Africa is Bloemfontein. Its name means “blooming flowers” or “fountain of flowers” in Afrikaans. The city hosts an annual rose festival and hence, also is given the name “City of Roses”. Although he lived and died in England, J. R. R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in 1892.
Despite debate about consolidating the capitals for various reasons such as that of expenditure and government costs, at present, the South Africa capital name question is divided into three answers.