Cape of Good Hope Province

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Cape of Good Hope Province: Cape Region
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cape of Good Hope Province


(Dutch, Kaapland), a province in the Republic of South Africa. Area, 721,000 sq km; population, 7, 111,000 (1970), including 4, 235, 000 Black Africans (Bantu), 1, 752, 000 Cape Coloureds (mulattoes), 1, 102, 000 Europeans, and 21, 600 Asians. The Bantu and Coloureds are subjected to racial discrimination. The administrative center of the province is the city of Cape Town.

The coastal lowland and the Cape Mountains (elevation, to 2, 000 m) in the south are separated from the inland Great Karroo high plateau by the Great Escarpment (altitude to 2, 500 m) and the Great Karroo basin. The climate of the inner regions is tropical, arid to the east and semidesert to the west. The climate of the maritime coastal plains is subtropical, Mediterranean to the southwest and monsoonal to the southeast. The largest rivers are the Orange, the Sundays, and the Great Fish. The vegetation is evergreen shrub to the southwest and savanna, shrubby semidesert, and desert on the plateau.

There are 1, 635, 000 people (including 865, 000 Bantu; 1960) active in the economy of the Cape Province: 43 percent in agriculture, 15 percent in industry, 6 percent in construction, 10 percent in commerce, 4 percent in transportation, and 22 percent in the services. Most of the agricultural lands belong to large capitalist farms and plantations. Extensive livestock raising, particularly the raising of sheep for wool, has been greatly developed; in 1961 there were 24.5 million sheep in the Cape Province, accounting for 60 percent of the country’s wool clip. Wheat is among the predominant cultivated crops. Viticulture and horticulture are also developed. More than 90 percent of the manganese ore mined in the republic (the principal deposit is in Postmasburg) and more than 40 percent of the diamonds (Kim-berly and Namaqualand) are concentrated in the Cape Province; deposits of copper and iron ores, barites, and asbestos are also being worked. Manufacturing has been developing in the province since World War II. The large enterprises include machine building (automobile assembly and coach building, electro-technical, ship repair) and the chemical and cement industries. Light industry (textiles, garments, and leather footwear), glassmaking, woodworking, and the food industry (flour milling, tobacco, dairy, wine-making) have also been developed. Railroads cover 8, 700 km, of which 1, 300 km have been electrified (1964). The most important ports are Cape Town (second in the country in freight turnover), East London, and Port Elizabeth. The republic’s main naval base is in Simonstown.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.