Mmabatho (Setswana for “mother of the people”), is the capital of the North West Province. Mmabatho contains many government buildings, a huge shopping complex called Mega Center, and Independence Sports Stadium.
The University of North-West, formerly the University of Bophuthatswana is located in Mmabatho.
Situated just south of the Botswana border, the town is connected by main roads to Pretoria in the east and to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, in the north.
A railway runs north and south from the neighboring town of Mafikeng. The Mmabatho airport handles flights to and from Johannesburg.
The South African government created Mmabatho in the 1970s to be the administrative capital of Bophuthatswana, one of the black homelands established under the former system of apartheid.
At the time of South Africa's first free elections in April 1994, Bophuthatswana was integrated into the newly established North-West Province, and Mmabatho became the provincial capital.