This is a list of place names in South Africa with the focus on places with names in more than one language or with recently changed names.


Origin Previous name/area Other names
Abaqulusi   Vryheid  
Bela-Bela Sotho languages: "to boil" Warmbaths Warmbad
Buffalo City Buffalo River East London & King William's Town  
Tshwane Named after a local chief Pretoria (Name is still retained)  
Ekurhuleni Xitsonga: "a place of peace" Kempton Park-Germiston area  
Emfuleni Nguni languages: "a place of a lot of water" Vereeniging area  
Mangaung Sesotho: "place of leopards" Bloemfontein  
Metsimaholo Sesotho: "big water" Sasolburg  
Polokwane Sepedi: "a place of safety" Pietersburg  

Also see the Department of Arts and Culture's list of local and district municipality's names

The country of South Africa's name in the eleven official languages:

Republic of South Africa (English)
Republiek van Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans)
IRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika (isiNdebele)
Rephaboliki ya Afrika-Borwa (Northern Sotho)
Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa (Sesotho)
IRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu Afrika (siSwati)
Riphabliki ra Afrika Dzonga (Xitsonga)
Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa (Setswana)
Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe (Tshivenḓa)
IRiphabliki yaseMzantsi Afrika (isiXhosa)
IRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika (isiZulu)

© J. Olivier (2009)