Northern Cape

province of W South Africa: 139,692 sq mi (361,801 sq km); pop. 737,000; cap. Kimberley

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 province, western South Africa. It is bordered to the north by Namibia and Botswana; to the east by North-West, Free State, and Eastern Cape provinces; to the south and southwest by Western Cape province; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Northern Cape was administratively created out of northern and central Cape of Good Hope province in 1994. Kimberley is the provincial capital.

      Northern Cape's eastern half and southwest form part of the Highveld, an arid plateau that gradually rises to the Great Escarpment (more than 6,000 feet [1,900 metres] in elevation) along the province's southern border. To the northwest is desert, including the sand dunes of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a conservation area jointly managed by South Africa and Botswana. The Orange River traverses the province from east to west and provides water for irrigation. The Orange is joined by one of its main tributaries, the Vaal River, near Douglas, in the east. In the west, near the Namibian border, the river plunges in a series of cataracts and rapids at Augrabies Falls, a total drop of more than 600 feet (183 metres). Thornveld is the natural vegetation of the province, and the climate is generally hot and arid. Annual rainfall increases from 4 inches (100 mm) in the west to about 14 inches (350 mm) in the east.

      Northern Cape is the largest and most sparsely populated province of South Africa. About half of the population is of mixed race. Blacks make up about one-third of the population, and whites constitute about one-tenth. Afrikaans is by far the most widely used language, spoken by about two-thirds of the population. Tswana is spoken by about one-fifth of the population. Several other languages are also spoken, including Xhosa and English. More than two-thirds of the population live in urban areas. The major urban centres are Kimberley and Upington.

      Merino sheep are raised in the south and Karakul sheep in the north, and cattle graze throughout the province. Pig raising and horse breeding are also practiced. Wheat, alfalfa (lucerne), cotton, peanuts (groundnuts), citrus fruit, and grapes are grown under irrigation. There are vineyards in the north. Winter rains in the western part of the province sustain an abundance of wildflowers.

       mining is an important industry in Northern Cape. Major copper mines are located in Nababeep, Okiep, and Aggeneys. Diamonds (diamond) are recovered throughout the province. Many diamonds and other precious stones are mined in the arid region of Namaqualand in the west, along the Atlantic coast. Kimberley, in the east, is well known for its diamond-mining past and is still a centre for mining and cutting diamonds. Northern Cape province produces almost all of the manganese mined in South Africa. Tungsten, zinc, lead, asbestos, iron ore, and limestone are also extracted at various locations. Area 139,703 square miles (361,830 square km). Pop. (2005 est.) 902,300.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Northern Cape — Noord Kaap Nordkap Wappen Basisdaten Hauptstadt: Kimberley Fläche: Rang: i …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Northern Cape —   [ nɔːȓən keɪp], Provinz in der Republik Südafrika, Nord Kap …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Northern Cape — province of W South Africa: 139,692 sq mi (361,801 sq km); pop. 737,000; cap. Kimberley …   English World dictionary

  • Northern Cape — For other uses, see North Cape (disambiguation). Northern Cape Noord Kaap (Afrikaans) Kapa Bokone(Tswana) Mntla Koloni (Xhosa) …   Wikipedia

  • Northern Cape — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Northern Cape Country and Admin Code ZA.08 ZA …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Northern Cape — /nɔðən ˈkeɪp/ (say nawdhuhn kayp) noun a province in the Republic of South Africa in the western part, formed in 1994 by the division of the former Cape province. 363 389 km2. Capital: Kimberley …   Australian English dictionary

  • Northern Cape — geographical name province W Republic of South Africa area 139,691 square miles (361,800 square kilometers), population 749,000 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Northern Cape wine — Northern Cape is a Geographical Unit of the Wine of Origin classification of South African wine. Corresponding to the province of Northern Cape it contains the district of Douglas and the wards of Hartswater, Lower Orange (Benede Oranje) and… …   Wikipedia

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  • Kimberley, Northern Cape — Kimberley City centre seen over the Big Hole …   Wikipedia

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