Gazankulu was a Homeland in the northeast of South Africa, which was intended for Shangana Tsonga. It consisted of four enclaves in the former South African province of Transvaal and covered an area of about 7400 km ². Capital was Giyani.


Gazankulu was geographically in the Lowveld of South Africa.

  • By far the largest part of the territory lying west of the northern part of the Kruger National Park. There is also the then capital Giyani. This area is bordered to the west of the formally independent Venda and in the southwest and south by three small areas of Lebowa homelands.
  • A small area was north-west of Tzaneen. It bordered on the average of the above three areas Lebowas and almost touched the largest area Gazankulus.
  • The second largest part Gazankulus lay west of Shukuza. It bordered on the west by another part of Lebowa, on the south by an area of the Homelands Kangwane. It was the southernmost area Gazankulus and bordered to the east also to the Kruger National Park.
  • An approximately 300 km ² area was south-east of Tzaneen. It bordered on the largest area of Lebowa. Largest city of the territory was Nkowakowa.

The official population of the homelands was about 700,000.


The original name of the Homelands was Machangana ( German as: "Land of Shangana "). Later it was named after the Kingdom of Gaza, the former kingdom of Shangana in present-day Mozambique, renamed Gazankulu.

From 1971 until 1 February 1973, the territory of Chief Councillor Hudson William Edison Ntsanwisi (about: " Supreme councilor "). Gazankulu were granted extensive autonomy on 1 February 1973. Since that was Ntsanwisi Chief Minister ( " Supreme Minister "). From 1983, he led the newly founded Ximoko Xa Rixaka ( German: " Whip the Nation" ). In the 1980s, was a Legislative Assembly of 68 members, mostly chiefs, was eingeführt.1993 Edward Mhinga Acting Chief Minister for a few weeks before in April 1993 Samuel Dickenson Nxumalo took over the office of the Chief Minister. Nxumalo was a member of the Ximoko Progressive Party ( XPP ), which emerged from Ximoko Xa Rixeka. On 27 April 1994 Gazankulu was pooled together with the nine other homelands again with South Africa. The area is now part of the province of Limpopo.


Gazankulu was built as a homeland for the Xitsonga -speaking tribes. More 470,000 South African Shangana Tsonga lived in 1989 outside the homelands. In Gazankulu also lived Northern Sotho, Venda and Swazi.


In addition to the recovery of gold and to a lesser extent, the manufacturing sector, the income of migrant workers were the main source of income.


An album of American singer Harry Belafonte in 1988 called Paradise in Gazankulu. The Caribbean -born singer sings songs about it, South Africa. The title song is about, you have to be smart in Gazankulu to have his livelihood.