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World Atlas: South Africa

World Atlas: South Africa. On this page you can see the map, country flag and many detailed information about the people, history and economy of South Africa.

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Information about South Africa

Here you can find online selected information about the geography, inhabitants, government, economy and history of South Africa. Included are selected statistics, an overview map and the detailed map of South Africa. But let's start with the flag of South Africa here:

South Africa - Overview:

What you should know about South Africa? Let's start with this: Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners, called "Boers" (farmers) by the British) trekked north to found their own republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Afrikaners resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second South African War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson Mandela, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 following the end of apartheid ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa has since struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting came to a head in 2008 when President Thabo Mbeki was recalled by Parliament, and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in 2009; he was reelected in 2014. His government has been plagued by numerous scandals, leading to gains by opposition parties at the municipal level in 2016.

Geography of South Africa

Where on the globe is South Africa? The location of this country is Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa. Total area of South Africa is 1,219,090 sq km, of which 1,214,470 sq km is land. So this is very large country. How could we describe the terrain of the country? This way: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain. The lowest point of South Africa is Atlantic Ocean 0 m, the highest point Njesuthi 3,408 m. And the climate is mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights.


Inhabitants of South Africa

Let's take a look how many people live in South Africa. The number is: 54,841,552. So quite a lot people live here. Who lives here? black African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%. What are the languages in South Africa? isiZulu (official) 22.7%, isiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6% (2011 est.). And the religions: Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 est.). How old are the people in average? 27.1 years. We have to add that this number is the median - so one half of the people is older than this, one half is younger. And what is their life expectancy (at birth)? This: 63.8 years. Where the people live in South Africa? Here: the population concentrated along the southern and southeastern coast, and inland around Petoria; the eastern half of the country is more densly populated than the west. The major urban areas of South Africa are: Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni) 9.399 million; Cape Town (legislative capital) 3.66 million; Durban 2.901 million; Pretoria (capital) 2.059 million; Port Elizabeth 1.179 million; Vereeniging 1.155 million (2015).

Government and Economy of South Africa

The capital of South Africa is Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital) and the government type parliamentary republic. Let's take a look at the administrative divisions - 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape. Regarding the economy of South Africa, important industrial products are mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repai. Important agricultural products are corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products. The most important export commodities are gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment and the most important export partners are China 9.2%, Germany 7.5%, US 7.4%, Botswana 5%, Namibia 4.8%, Japan 4.6%, India 4.3%, UK 4.2% (2016). The most important import commodities are machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs and the most important import partners are China 18.1%, Germany 11.8%, US 6.7%, India 4.2% (2016). How rich is South Africa and how rich are people in this country? The most important number here is GDP per capita (PPP): $13,400 (2017 est.). This is quite good. Let's add that this means Gross Domestic Product per person, which is recalculated with respect to the relative cost of local goods and services. And one more important number - population below poverty line: 16.6% (2016 est.).


Map of South Africa



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