South Africa’s most populous cities are known as category A municipalities. These eight metropolitan municipalities each consists of cities and towns that are merging into one continuous urban or developed area – a large, densely populated megacity.
The rest of the country is governed by district and local municipalities. Each district municipality (category C) is subdivided into a number of local (category B) municipalities. In addition to these metros, there are 44 district municipalities divided into 205 local municipalities.
This week we focus on SA’s five biggest cities. Read more about the largest, Johannesburg, on page 80. Buffalo City (East London, Bhisho and King William’s Town – now renamed Qonce) in the Eastern Cape and Mangaung (Bloemfontein and surrounding towns) in the Free State used to be local municipalities but in 2011 they were separated from their district municipality and given metro status.