13,720,000 in South Africa, all users. L1 users: 4,620,000 (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 9,100,000 (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 13,731,000 (as L1: 4,631,000; as L2: 9,100,000).
Limpopo province; Mpumalanga province: Nkangala and Ehlanzeni districts; Gauteng province: Pretoria area; North-West province: Mortele municipality.
1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)).
Masemola (Masemula, Tau), Kgaga (Khaga, Kxaxa), Koni (Kone), Tswene (Tsweni), Gananwa (Hananwa, Xananwa), Pulana, Phalaborwa (Phalaburwa, Thephalaborwa), Khutswe (Khutswi, Kutswe), Lobedu (Khelobedu, Lovedu, Lubedu), Tlokwa (Dogwa, Tlokoa, Tokwa), Pai, Dzwabo (Thabine-Roka-Nareng), Kopa (Ndebele-Sotho), Matlala-Moletshi. Dialects Pai, Kutswe, and Pulana are more divergent and sometimes called ‘Eastern Sotho’.
Christian, traditional religion.