Provinces of southern Africa

The first SAASU provinces of South African aquatic sports were Western province and Eastern Province. After the Boer War ended in 1902 they were joined by the newly conquored colonies of the Orange River Colony (ORC), and Transvaal. Mossel Bay and East London had been sending their own teams, although they later became part of Eastern Province and Border.  The Transvaal soon split into Northern and Southern Transvaal, with Eastern and Western Transvaal emerging later. The northern Cape city of Kimberley became the home of the Griqualand West province. Rhodesia was always one province, as was South West Africa. The Vaal Triangle emerged in the 1970's.

Rhodesia withdrew from SAASU in 1980, and South West Africa in 1990.

By 1997 SAASu no longer existed and all the existing provincial bodies were replaced by government mandated entities.

Most significantly, the old inter-provincial traditions and rivalries disappeared as the national championships became an inter-club competition. The separate aquatic sports no longer held combined national championships.

With the new national governing body - known as Swimming South Africa - barely acknowledging the history of aquatic sports in South Africa, and failing to maintain historical information, the new "provincial" governing bodies have also mostly neglected to include any aquatic sports history on their websites.  


The national governing body for inter-provincial aquatic sports in South Africa from 1900 - 1996.

Springbok Colours

Springbok colours were awarded by SAASU to competitor and officials taking part in an international event.

Eastern Province

The first inter-provincial tournament was held in Port Elizabeth in January 1900 - where the South African Amateur Swimming Union was also established.

Western Province

Based in Cape Town


The largest province, based in Johannesburg, which was later split into five provinces, including the Vaal Triangle.

Northern Transvaal

Pretoria is the main city of this province that strecthed north to the Rhodesian border.

Eastern Transvaal

The area east of Johannesburg, down to the Lowveld and the Mozambique border.


Based in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Natal has been a leading province in South African swimming.

Orange Free State

Based in Bloemfontewin, the province initially compted as the Orange River Colony (ORC).

South West Africa

Windhoek is the major centre in the large former province of South Africa, and Springbok swimmer Dorothea Neumeister was it's most famous aquatic star.


Swimmers came from as far north as Ndola to compete in the South African Championships.

Griqualand West

Based in Kimberley, Griqualand West was the home of Karen Muir, Nancy Harris, the starting point of the Gray family in South Africa, and many other historic events in the aquatic history of South Africa. Griqualand West ASA

Western Transvaal

West of Johannesburg lies mielieboer territory, includingthe towns of Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom.

Vaal Triangle

The Vaal Triangle province was created in the 1970's, covering the area between Sasolburg and van der Bijl Park. Coach Kobie Louw produced a crop of Springbok swimmers.