Top 20 Largest Cities And Towns In South Africa

South Africa is quite big with a corresponding population. Compared to some other countries in the world, the cities in South Africa are known all over the world for their rich cultural heritage, breathtaking beauty,











together with elements of modernity strewn all over. Here is a list of the largest cities in South Africa and their population density.

Cape Town – Western Cape

The city of Cape Town is well known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, this seaside playground has all it takes to compete with any major city in the world whether it’s Sydney in Australia or San Francisco in California. The city is a centre for tourist attraction founded in Cape Town in 1652. People from all works of life flock to the city to admire the natural and man-made features such as Table Mountain National Park, Cliffton Beach, Boulders Beach and  Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. All these have contributed to the country’s foreign exchange.

See Also: Top 25 Best Small Towns In South Africa That Guarantee Happy Living

Johannesburg – Gauteng

The city of Johannesburg was founded on a gold rush; it’s the financial and entertainment capital of South Africa. Jozi or Joburg as it’s also referred to as rocks in more ways than you can imagine. One of the fascinating things about the city is the people’s unity in diversity. It gives a true representation of a cauldron of cultures from around South Africa, Africa, and the world. A home to the world’s biggest man-made forest, with over 10 million trees.

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Known as South Africa’s busiest and the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban city is where it’s happening, nice weather, beaches and great cultural mix to its famous curries, Durban is the place to be. Despite being a busy area, the city still remains the coolest place to visit in South Africa. The warmth, subtropical weather and vast, amazing beaches are part of the reasons why people prefer to find themselves in that city.  Durban’s streets filled with people and an energy is beyond explanation.


Created in the 1930s, Soweto is a township located at the edge of Johannesburg and a home to a diverse array of people of all income levels and ethnicities. The name of the city was coined from the first two letters of South Western Township. It is one of the most populous black urban residential areas in South Africa. It is also the most metropolitan township in the country. A home for political trend alongside fashion and music.

Pretoria – Gauteng

If you are looking for somewhere that is stately with a high number of international embassies, monuments and museums, then Pretoria is the place to be, whether it’s sports or lots of entertainment, music and nightclubs. Named after Andries Pretorius who helped in the creation of the South African Republic, the city of Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world.

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Port Elizabeth – Eastern Cape

Popularly Known as the friendly city or the windy city, Port Elizabeth is the home of hospitality and beautiful beaches, It is one of the largest cities in South Africa, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. The city was named by Sir Rufane Donkin after his wife, who had already died by that time, Elizabeth.

 See Also: South African Story: Ten Movies That Tell Most Of It


Pietermaritzburg is a large city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa with a population of approximately 750,845 people. The region used to be known for the production of high-quality textile, clothing and footwear products.


Benoni is a large town in Gauteng province, east of Johannesburg with a population of about 605,344 people. The city started off way back in 1887, when it was found that it was one of the richest gold reefs ever discovered.


Tembisa is another large town located in the region of Gauteng in South Africa with a population of approximately 511,655 people. The town is under Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and it was established in 1957 at the time when black people were resettled from Alexandra and other areas in Edenvale, Kempton Park, Midrand and Germiston. The town has about four train stations and relaxation centres such as  Imbizo, aka Busy Corner, and Caprivi.

East London

Located on the South East Coast of South Africa in the Eastern Cape province is the part of the Buffalo City municipality called the East London. The town which was originally called Port Rex was founded in 1847 when a British fort was built in the region to serve as a supply port for nearby King William’s Town. Today, East London has a population of about 478,676 people and it consists of King William’s Town and Bhisho.

Largest Cities of South Africa

Rank Name Province Pop Rank Name Proince Pop
1 Cape Town Western Cape 3,433,441 11 Vereeniging Gauteng 474,681
2 Durban KwaZulu-Natal 3,120,282 12 Bloemfontein Free State (province) 463,064
3 Johannesburg Gauteng 2,026,469 13 Boksburg Gauteng 445,168
4 Soweto Gsuteng 1,695,047 14 Welkom Free State 431,944
5 Pretoria Gauteng 1,619,438 15 Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal 310,485
6 Port Elizerbeth Eastern Cape 967,677 16 East London Eastern Cape 267,007
7 Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal 750,845 17 Boksburg Gauteng 260,321
8 Benoni Gauteng 605,344 18 Krugersdorp Gauteng 378,821
9 Tembisa Gauteng 511,655 19 Diepsloot Gauteng 350,000
10 East London Eastern Cape 478,676 20 Randburg Gauteng 337,053


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Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature


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