South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 56 million people, is the world’s 24th-most populous nation. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day.
South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution’s recognition of 11 official languages, which is the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most white and coloured South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth behind Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans in terms of first-language speakers.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d’état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country’s recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress (ANC) and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the elections of 1994 marked the end of apartheid.
South Africa is often referred to as the ‘rainbow nation’ to describe the country’s multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day.
South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is the size of France and Spain combined and is the 24th largest country in the world. South Africa has a population of 55 million people and is the world’s 24th most populous nation. The official languages of South Africa are English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, and Swati. South Africa is a republic with a parliamentary democracy. The head of state is the President and the head of government is the Prime Minister.
South Africa is a very diverse country with many different cultures and languages. There are 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. There are also many unofficial languages spoken in South Africa.
The majority of the population is of black African descent (80%), with whites making up about 9% of the population. Other groups include Coloureds (8%), Asians (2%) and Khoisan (1%). South Africa has a very young population, with about 35% of people under the age of 15.
South Africa is a land of great contrasts. The country has a developed economy and is home to some of the world’s richest people, but it also has very high levels of poverty and inequality. about a third of the population lives below the poverty line.
South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations. It is also a founding member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
South Africa has nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape. The capital city is Pretoria, which is also the seat of government. Other major cities include Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.