The Republic of South Africa does not have a single capital city. Instead, it is one of a few countries in the world that divides its governmental powers among three of its major cities: Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.
South Africa"s three capital cities are strategically placed throughout the country, each hosting a separate segment of the nation"s government.
When asked about a single capital, most people would point to Pretoria.
In addition to these three capitals on the national level, the country is divided into nine provinces, each with their own capital city.
When looking at a map, you will also notice Lesotho in the middle of South Africa. This is not a province, but an independent country formally called the Kingdom of Lesotho. It is often referred to as an "enclave of South Africa" because it is surrounded by the larger nation.
If you are even briefly aware of South Africa, then you know that the country has struggled politically and culturally for many years. Apartheid is only one of the many issues the country faced since the 20th century.
In 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed, there was a great dispute about the location of the new country"s capital city. A compromise was reached to spread a balance of power throughout the country and this led to the current capital cities.
There is a logic behind choosing these three cities: