South Tarawa (in Gilbertese and English: Teinainano Urban Council or ABR. TUC) is the official capital of the Republic of Kiribati on Tarawa Atoll. The meaning of Teinainano is "down of the mast", alluding to the sail-shape of the atoll.
The South Tarawa population center consists of all the small islets between Bairiki (on the west) to Temaiku/Bonriki on the east. All of several once separate islets are joined by causeways, forming one long islet on the reef along the southern side of the Tarawa Lagoon. There is also a relatively new causeway—the Japanese Causeway—that links South Tarawa to Betio, out of South Tarawa. South Tarawa is located at 1°19' North, 172°58' East (1.31667, 172.9667).
There is a Kiribati Teacher College and a University of the South Pacific campus on South Tarawa. Bairiki is sometimes considered the capital of Kiribati because at one time both the Parliament and the Presidency (and main administrative offices) were located there. The Parliament meets on Ambo islet; various ministries are scattered between South Tarawa, Betio and Christmas Island (ministry of the Line and Phoenix islands).
The Roman Catholic diocese and the Kiribati Protestant Church (Congregational) are situated on South Tarawa.
Bairiki (executive), Ambo (legislative), Betio (judicial) are the main political centres of the capital.