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The province was formed from the northern region of Transvaal Province in 1994, and initially named Northern Transvaal. The following year, it was changed to Northern Province, which remained the name of the province until 2003, when the province was formally renamed to the name of its most important river Limpopo, which is on the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Limpopo is the most northern province of South Africa, named after the Limpopo River that flows through the province, the name "Limpopo" has its etymological origin from the Sepedi word diphororo tša meets, meaning strong gushing waterfalls. The Sepedi language is spoken by a third of the 5,630,500 (10.4% of South Africa’s population) dwellers of the province, with 17% and 16.7% shared among Xitsonga speaking and Tshivenda respectively. The capital is Polokwane, formerly named Pietersburg.
The province is a birthplace of some of the most exciting revolutionists in Peter Mokaba, the founder and president of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and 800 metres female world Champion Caster Semenya who won gold at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45 in the final. Limpopo is a typical developing area with the highest level of poverty in South Africa, 78.9% of the population living below the national poverty line. It is also one of the poorest regions of South Africa with a very big gap between poor and rich residence, especially rural areas. Recent studies have shown great improvements in the economy and in standard of living in the province, and the province recently built the biggest mall in Limpopo called mall of the north.
The province has the smallest percentage and second smallest by number of white South Africans in the country. It also has the highest Black percentage compared to all other provinces. Sized just 125 755 km2 which is 10.3% of South Africa, Limpopo is able to contribute 7.2% of the country’s GDP with its R191.9 billion Gross Regional Product.