Meaning of NORTHERN in English


province, northeastern South Africa. The northernmost South African province, it is bordered by Zimbabwe on the north; Mozambique on the east; the provinces of Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North-West on the south; and Botswana on the west and northwest. Northern was created out of part of Transvaal province in 1994. Pietersburg is the provincial capital. Northern province consists of the vast Lowveld plain, which is interrupted by several mountain ranges rising out of the Highveld plateau in the province's south and centre. Among these ranges are the forested Soutpans Mountains, which extend about 80 miles (130 km) from east to west. The Water Mountains in the southwest rise to more than 6,500 feet (2,000 m) and are densely covered with thorn trees and shrubs. The Lowveld extends across the eastern, northern, and western parts of the province and is a subtropical parkland with mopane (mopani) and baobab trees. The Limpopo River forms the province's northern and western borders. Part of Kruger National Park lies along the eastern border. The northern part of the province has a hot, subtropical climate with 12 to 20 inches (300 to 500 mm) of rainfall annually. The southern mountains have a more temperate climate with about 30 inches (760 mm) of rainfall yearly. The population of Northern province is composed mostly of rural blacks of the Pedi (Northern Sotho), Tsonga, Venda, and other Bantu-speaking peoples. The white minority speaks mostly Afrikaans. Many blacks earn their livelihood by subsistence farming or through work as migrant labourers. Corn (maize), sorghum, potatoes, tobacco, peanuts (groundnuts), and grapes are important crops. Citrus and other fruits are also grown in the Lowveld. Cattle raising is widespread, and goats and sheep are also herded. Asbestos and tin are mined, and there are deposits of chromite, platinum, iron ore, copper, and coal. Pietersburg, the only major city in the province, is connected by road and rail with Pretoria. Area 47,599 square miles (123,280 square km). Pop. (1994 est.) 5,201,630.

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