North West Province and its capital city Mafikeng are located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng. Much of the province consists of flat areas of scattered trees and grassland with the exception of the Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast, which runs from Rustenburg to Pretoria, and the Vaal River which flows along the southern border of the province.
The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms, cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton and citrus fruit. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy. However, the mainstay of the local economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province's gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief resources here are gold, uranium, platinum and diamonds.
The majority of the province's residents are the Tswana people who speak Setswana. Smaller groups include Afrikaans, Sotho and Xhosa speaking people. English is spoken primarily as a second language.
The province has a mild climate with temperatures that range from 17 to 31 degrees Celsius in the summer and from 3 - 21 degrees Celsius in the winter. Annual rainfall totals about 360mm, with almost all of it falling during the summer months, between October and April.