|Principal languages:||siSwati||27,7 %|
|Population:||4 039 939 (Census 2011)|
|Area (km2):||76 495|
|% of total area:||6,3%|
Mpumalanga means “Place where the Sun Rises” and people are drawn to the province by its magnificent scenery, fauna and flora, and the fascinating remnants of the 1870 gold-rush era.
With a surface area of only 76 495 km2, it is the second-smallest province after Gauteng, yet has the fourth-largest economy in South Africa.
Bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng in the west, it is situated mainly on the high plateau grasslands of the Middleveld, which roll eastwards for hundreds of kilometres. In the north-east, it rises towards mountain peaks and terminates in an immense escarpment. In some places, this escarpment plunges hundreds of metres down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld.
The area has a network of excellent roads and railway connections, making it highly accessible. Because of its popularity as a tourist destination, Mpumalanga is also served by a number of small airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is the capital of the province and the administrative and business centre of the Lowveld. Other important towns are Witbank, Standerton, Piet Retief, Malelane, Ermelo, Barberton and Sabie.
Mpumalanga falls mainly within the grassland biome. The escarpment and the Lowveld form a transitional zone between this grassland area and the savanna biome.
The Maputo Corridor, which links the province with Gauteng and Maputo in Mozambique, heralds a new era in terms of economic development and growth for the
The province is a summer-rainfall area divided by the escarpment into the Highveld region with cold frosty winters, and the Lowveld region with mild winters and a subtropical climate.
The escarpment area sometimes experiences snow on high ground. Thick mist is common during the hot, humid summers.
An abundance of citrus fruit and many other subtropical fruit – mangoes, avocados, litchis, bananas, papayas, granadillas, guavas – as well as nuts and a variety of vegetables are produced here.
Mbombela is the second-largest citrus-producing area in South Africa and is responsible for one third of the country's export in oranges.
The Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops is situated in Mbombela.
Groblersdal is an important irrigation area, which yields a wide variety of products such as citrus fruit, cotton, tobacco, wheat and vegetables. Carolina-Bethal-Ermelo is mainly a sheep-farming area, but potatoes, sunflowers, maize and peanuts are also produced in this region.
Most of the manufacturing production in Mpumalanga occurs in the southern Highveld region, especially in the Highveld Ridge where large petrochemical industries such as Sasol II and III are located.
Large-scale manufacturing occurs especially in the northern Highveld area, in particular, chrome alloy and steel manufacturing.
In the Lowveld subregion, industries are concentrated around the manufacturing of products from agricultural and raw forestry material. The growth in demand for goods and services for export via Maputo will stimulate manufacturing in the province.
Mpumalanga is very rich in coal reserves. The country’s major power stations, three of which are the biggest in the southern hemisphere, are situated in this province.
One of the country’s largest paper mills is situated at Ngodwana, close to its timber source. Middelburg produces steel and vanadium, while Witbank is the biggest coal producer in Africa.
Information gathered from: http://gov.za/