The title says it all really - I'm looking for a comprehensive list/database of all cities/towns in South Africa. I know about these guys: http://www.afrigis.co.za/, but they're just not getting back to me no matter how many times I contact them. They were recommended to me as the only really trustworthy and comprehensive source for the data I need, but they're obviously not extremely helpful.

If anyone has any info on where I can get this then please let me know. Yes, I have tried Google and no I haven't found anything that is comprehensive enough (except for AfriGIS).


I've found the best and most reliable source for South African GIS data is from Planet GIS. Their complete data sets for South Africa can be found here, but the two most useful ones are:

The downloads are comprised of SQLite databases. To make use of this data, you have 2 options:

If you're on Linux, the easiest way to browse the SQLite databases is by using a tool such as SQLite Database Browser, which should already be available in your package management repository.

Side Note: Official GIS data for South Africa should be sourced from the Municipal Demarcation Board, but actually finding any GIS data via their website is nigh impossible. Thankfully the data provided by PlanetGIS does originate from the Municipal Demarcation Board.


There is always geonames though I have no idea how comprehensive their South Africa data is.

Another option might be the South African Statistics agency

  • I found a database on the Geonames site, but it was kinda hard to locate. It looks fairly comprehensive, so I think it should work for us. Thanks man. I'm also checking the other site posted in these answers as we will probably get data from as many different sources as possible for the most complete list. – Hugh Lashbrooke Jun 27 '11 at 7:18

I put a list online a while back of a number of free GIS datasets (see http://freegisdata.rtwilson.com/). Two that may be relevant to you are:


MapIT have South African Datasets including Towns/Cities (POI) - It is usually derived from TeleAtlas (Owned by TomTom) so likely to be costly.


From the Press Release: June 2011

"Given these trends, MapIT, Southern Africa’s leading enabler of technological mapping solutions, is concentrating on supplying accurate, current, enriched data by adding Points of Interest (POI) to the data."


I found OpenStreetMap to have GREAT amount of sets of data for ZA. Although some parts are more populated than others, compared to Google.

You can Export the data to XML file from OSM, and then extract the POI's - this is a lot of work, but its free.

Statistics SA and various government departments work with SHP files. (hard to get your hands on) - try and find a reliable contact inside the .gov

Good luck


Try the office of the Surveyor General as well. They have a wealth of information, much of which they provide at no charge:


There is also free spatial data available from DIVA-GIS:



Try planetGIS. I've been using it for some time now. It's a bit expensive but worth the money.


Here is a link to South Africa official boundary data, This is by province level.

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