Flag Coat of arms
Motto: !ke e: ǀxarra ǁke (ǀXam)
"Unity In Diversity"
Anthem: National anthem of South Africa
South Africa National Anthem.ogg
Capital Pretoria (executive)
Cape Town (legislative)
Largest Johannesburg (2006)
Ethnic groups 79.5% Black
Demonym South African
Government Constitutional parliamentary republic
- President Jacob Zuma
- Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
- NCOP Chairman M. J. Mahlangu
- National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu
- Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
- Upper house National Councilof Provinces
- Lower house National Assembly
Independence from the United Kingdom
- Union 31 May 1910
- Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931
- Republic 31 May 1961
- Total 1,221,037 km2 (25th)
471,443 sq mi
- Water (%) Negligible
- 2011 estimate 50,586,757 (24th)
- 2001 census 44,819,778
- Density 41.4/km2 (169th)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
- Total $555.340 billion
- Per capita $10,977
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
- Total $422.037 billion
- Per capita $8,342 (104th)
Gini (2006) 67.4 (very high) (2nd)
HDI (2011) 0.619 increase (medium) (123rd)
Currency Rand (ZAR)
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code ZA
Internet TLD .za
Calling code +27South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It is divided into nine provinces, with 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north of the country lie the neighbouring territories of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an enclavesurrounded by South African territory.
South Africa is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution. Two of these languages are of European origin: South African English and Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch that is spoken by the majority of white and Coloured South Africans. Though English iscommonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language. All ethnic and language groups have political representation in the country's constitutional democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliament-dependent President.
About 79.5% of the SouthAfrican population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.
South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, one of only four countries in Africa in thiscategory (the others being Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius). It has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world. About a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.
South African Holidays and Traditions
When Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress came into power at the end of the Apartheid in South Africa in 1994, theydecided to change all of the national holidays to new national holidays that would be meaningful to all South Africans. In addition to creating new national holidays, Mandela led the congress to create The Public Holidays Act, which says that whenever any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it will be a public holiday. Mandela and the congress created seven new national holidays...