5,680,000 in South Africa, all users. L1 users: 2,280,000 (2013 UNSD), increasing. L2 users: 3,400,000 (Webb 2002). Total users in all countries: 8,439,000 (as L1: 5,039,000; as L2: 3,400,000).
Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
1 (National). Statutory national language (1996, Constitution, Article 6(1)).
Luleke (Xiluleke), Gwamba (Gwapa), Changana (Xichangana), Hlave, Kande, N’walungu (Shingwalungu), Xonga (Ssonga), Jonga (Dzonga), Nkuna, Songa, Nhlanganu (Shihlanganu). ‘Tsonga’ is used to describe Changana [tso], Tswa [tsc], and Ronga [rng], although often used interchangeably with Changana, the most prestigious of the 3. All are recognized as languages, although inherently intelligible.
Christian, traditional religion.