North West Province is bordered by Botswana in the north and is fringed by the Kalahari desert in the west, Gauteng to the east, and the Free State to the south. It is known as the “Platinum Province”, owing to its wealth of this precious metal. The province has a population of 3,2 million people who mainly speak Setswana. Mahikeng (previously Mafeking) is the capital,well-known for the famous siege which took place in October 1899 during the Anglo-Boer/South African War.
The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province’s gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; uranium, mined at Klerksdorp; platinum, mined at Rustenburg and Brits; and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg, Christiana, and Bloemhof.
The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton, and citrus fruits. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.
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