administrative capital of South Africa located in the Gauteng province

Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of the African country of South Africa. It is the executive (administrative) and de facto capital of the country. The other two capitals are Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial). The city is in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa.

View from the Union Buildings
View from the Union Buildings
Official seal of Pretoria
Præstantia Prævaleat Prætoria (May Pretoria Be Pre-eminent In Excellence)
Location of Pretoria within South Africa
Location of Pretoria within South Africa
Coordinates (Church Square): 25°44′46″S 28°11′17″E / 25.74611°S 28.18806°E / -25.74611; 28.18806
CountrySouth Africa
Metropolitan municipalityCity of Tshwane
 • Total1,644 km2 (635 sq mi)
1,271 m (4,170 ft)
 • Total2.1 million
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Area code012

Geography and climate


Pretoria is between the Highveld and the Bushveld, about 50 km north of Johannesburg in the north-east of South Africa. It is in a warm, well sheltered valley. The valley is surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg mountain range. Pretoria has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa in the Köppen climate classification). Snow is a very rare event. It only snows in Pretoria once or twice in a century.



The city has a population of about 1.9 million people. The main languages spoken in Pretoria include Tswana, Ndebele, Afrikaans, and English.

Language Population %
Sepedi 439 732 22.14%
Afrikaans 422 866 21.29%
Setswana 339 719 17.11%
Xitsonga 198 441 9.99%
IsiZulu 151 200 7.61%
English 129 923 6.54%
IsiNdebele 98 077 4.94%
Sesotho 78 435 3.95%
SiSwati 37 963 1.91%
IsiXhosa 37 957 1.91%
Tshivenda 35 242 1.77%
Other 16 425 0.83%



Nguni-speaking settlers were probably the first people to live in the river valley that later became the location of the city of Pretoria.

Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius. He was a leader of the Voortrekkers. Pretoruis named the city after his father Andries Pretorius. Andries Pretorius had become a hero of the Voortrekkers after the Battle of Blood River. The city became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on May 1, 1860.

During the First Boer War, the city was attacked in December 1880 and March 1881. The peace treaty which ended the war was signed in Pretoria on August 3, 1881 at the Pretoria Convention.

The Second Boer War (1899 to 1902) caused the end of the South African Republic. After this war, the United Kingdom took control of South Africa. During the war, Winston Churchill was imprisoned in the Staats Model School in Pretoria. He later got free and went to Mozambique. The city surrendered to British forces on June 5, 1900. The war ended in Pretoria with the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging on May 31 1902.

In 1910, Pretoria then became the administrative capital of all of South Africa, with Cape Town the legislative capital. Between 1860 and 1994, the city was also the capital of the province of Transvaal. On 14 October 1931, Pretoria got official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria stayed its administrative capital.

Pretoria was at one time seen as "the capital of Apartheid South Africa". This was changed when Nelson Mandela became the country's first black President.

Elon Musk the founder, chairman, CEO and chief technology officer of SpaceX; angel investor, CEO, product architect and former chairman of Tesla, Inc.; owner, chairman and CTO of X Corp.; founder of the Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI; and president of the Musk Foundation. He is the wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$241 billion as of September 2023, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and $261 billion according to Forbes, primarily from his ownership stakes in both Tesla and SpaceX



Pretoria is an important industrial centre. It has many industries including iron and steel as well as automobile, railroad and machinery manufacture.

Places of interest




Nature Reserves




Other websites