Provinces of southern Africa

At the time of it's founding in 1899, the first member Provinces of the South African Amateur Swimming Union (SAASU) were Western Province and Eastern Province. After the Boer War ended in 1902 they were joined by the newly conquered 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.

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

By 1995 SAASU no longer existed, and had been replaced by a government-funded and controlled national governing body known as Swim South Africa. Provincial bodies were required to rename in line with government mandated policies, and comply with political priorities like quotas in team selection and a focus on learn-to-swim programmes in township areas.  

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.  



Eastern Province
eastern province amateur swimming association badge

One of the two founding provinces of the South African AMteur Swimming Union.

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.

Western Transvaal

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


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

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.



1953 Natal Schools Badge
East Transvaal Polo
Eastern Transvaal Schools Badge 350
IMG 0009
Natal Swimming Badge 350
NT Polo
Rhodesia Diving Badge 350
SWA Swimming
Transvaal 1982
Western Province