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    Hottentots Holland Mountains, Cape Town, South Africa
    The Hottentots Holland Mountains in Western Cape Province. With an elevation of up to 1,590 m, they form a barrier between the Cape Town area and the southern Overberg coast. The Sir Lowry's Pass is the only crossing.
    Image: Abu Shawka

    ___ South Africa

    Flag of South Africa
    Flag of South Africa
    Location map of South Africa. Where in Africa is South Africa
    Location map of South Africa

    Destination South Africa, the southernmost African country is bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe and it surrounds the small Kingdom of Lesotho.

    The country covers an area of 1,221,000 km2, compared it is larger than four times the size of Italy, or slightly less than twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas

    South Africa has a population of 55.9 million people (official estimate 2016), the country's administrative capital is Pretoria; legislative capital is Cape Town and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein (Mangaung), largest city is Johannesburg. SA has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. Most spoken first languages are Zulu (isiZulu - 23%), Xhosa (isiXhosa - 16.0%), and Afrikaans (13.4%).

    Republic of South Africa

    Country Profile

    Often called 'the rainbow nation', South Africa is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa. It was inhabited by pastoral Khoekhoe (Khoi), the hunter-gatherer San, the Xhosa, and the Zulu nations and various other indigenous tribes, when Dutch settlers arrived in middle of the 17th century, much to the disadvantage of the Khoekhoe along the southern and western coastal strips.

    What followed was an aggressive colonial expansion for centuries mainly of settlers of Dutch, German and French Huguenot origin. In 1795 the British took over the Cape from the Dutch, seven years later the colony was returned to the Dutch government, only to come under British rule again in 1806, this circumstance and the rise to power of the Zulu king Shaka, forcing many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) to trek north and east to found their own republics.

    The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants until the end of the 20th century.

    The 1990s brought an end to apartheid with South Africa's transition to democracy and with Nelson Mandela's inauguration as SA's first democratically elected President 1994.

    related countries: United Kingdom, Netherlands


    Official Name:
    Republic of South Africa
    short form: South Africa
    former: Union of South Africa.

    South Africa's name in native (official) languages:
    Afrika Borwa (Pedi, seSotho, Tswana)
    Afrika Dzonga (Tsonga)
    Afurika Tshipembe (Venda)
    Mzantsi Afrika (isiXhosa)
    Ningizimu Afrika (siSwati, isiZulu)
    Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans)

    ISO Country Code: za, zaf

    Local Time = UTC +2h
    Actual Time: Wed-Nov-11  15:52

    Country Calling Code: +27

    Capital City: Pretoria (administrative)
    Bloemfontein (Mangaung) (judicial center)
    Mangaung Local Municipality; (the city's name in seSotho is Mangaung).
    Cape Town (legislative center)

    Other Cities: Johannesburg, Durban (Thekwini), Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth

    Type: Republic
    Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK); South Africa became a republic in 1961.
    Constitution: 1996
    Constitution of the Republic of South Africa

    Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the African continent.
    Area: 1.2 million km² (470,462 sq. mi). Terrain: plateau, savanna, desert, mountains, coastal plains.

    Climate: moderate, mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; similar to southern California.

    Nationality: South African(s).
    Population: (2016) 55.9 million; black 78%; white 10%; colored 9%; Asian (Indian) 2.5%; other.
    Languages: (11 official languages) Sesotho sa Leboa 9.2%, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati (Swazi), Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans 14,4%, English 8.6%, isiNdebele, isiXhosa 17.9%, isiZulu 22.9%.
    Religions: Predominantly Christian; traditional African believes, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish.

    Natural resources: South Africa is rich of natural resources: Gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas.

    Agriculture products: Corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products.

    Industries: Mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs.

    Exports - commodities: gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment

    Exports - partners: China 11.3%, USA 7.3%, Germany 6%, Namibia 5.2%, Botswana 5.2%, Japan 4.7%, UK 4.3%, India 4.2% (2015)

    Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs.

    Imports - partners: China 17.6%, Germany 11.2%, USA 6.7%, Nigeria 5%, India 4.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.1% (2015)

    Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

    South Africa in numbers
    Key statistic figures South Africa.

    Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

    Official Sites of South Africa

    South Africa is a constitutional democracy with a three-tier system of government (the legislature, an executive) and an independent judiciary. The President is both head of state and head of government. The lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, consists of 400 members and is elected every five years.

    South Africa 10 years of Freedom South African Government
    Official entry point to the Government of South Africa.

    The Parliament of South Africa
    Official site of South Africa's Parliament.

    Official Gateway to South Africa.

    South Africa Government Online
    Official South African government gateway.

    Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa
    Responsible for all aspects of South Africa's foreign policy.

    Diplomatic Missions
    Embassy of the Republic of South Africa
    Berlin, Germany
    Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations
    South Africa's Representation to the United Nations.
    South African Embassy, Washington DC
    The embassy site provides also information about South Africa.
    Web sites of SA Missions
    Web sites of South Africa's embassies, consulates and high commissions abroad.
    Foreign Representation in South Africa
    Foreign Diplomatic Missions in South Africa.

    Stats SA
    Statistics South Africa.

    South African Weather Service

    More governmental institutions
    National Departments of South Africa
    List of links to South Africa's National departments and governmental institutions.


    profile Map of South Africa
    Detailed Map of South Africa.
    Map of South Africa Provinces

    South Africa's Provinces Map.

    Google Earth Google Earth South Africa
    Searchable satellite view of South Africa.

    Capitals South Africa:
    Google Earth Google Earth Pretoria
    Searchable satellite view of Pretoria.
    Google Earth Google Earth Bloemfontein
    Searchable satellite view of Bloemfontein.
    Google Earth Google Earth Cape Town
    Searchable satellite view of Cape Town.

    Political Map of Africa
    The 54 countries of Africa.
    Map of Africa
    A Relief Map of Africa.

    Blyde River Canyon and Drakensberg Mountains in Mpumalanga, South Africa
    Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga cuts through the Drakensberg Mountains.
    Image: Dr. Thomas Wagner

    South Africa News

    Government Communication and Information System
    Government-related news, features & information.

    Business Day
    Business news.
    Cape Argus
    Cape Town's daily.
    Cape Times
    Daily, published since 1876, Cape Town.
    City Press
    The peoples paper, daily news.
    Daily Mail & Guardian
    National and international news.
    Independent Online
    South African and world news.
    South African and international news.
    Pretoria News
    Independent daily newspaper, first published in 1898, Pretoria.
    Sunday Times
    South African weekly newspaper.
    The Star
    Published in Johannesburg.

    Online news from South Africa's national broadcaster.

    Bookmark/share this page

    Arts & Culture

    More Arts, Culture, Music and Entertainment news.
    Online magazine on contemporary culture and art in South Africa.
    Museums Online South Africa
    A guide to South Africa's museums.
    Pretoria Art Museum
    Museum for contemporary art
    South African Arts, Culture and Heritage
    A guide to music, fine arts, theatre, literature architecture and more.

    Business & Economy

    South Africa is a middle-income country with a rich supply of natural resources, with well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors. But unemployment, poverty and inequality - among the highest in the world - are still a challenge.

    South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
    Privately owned central bank of South Africa, the issuing bank was established in 1921, it is the oldest central bank in Africa.

    Johannesburg Stock Exchange JSE
    JSE Limited based in Sandton, Gauteng, is Africa's oldest and largest stock exchange.

    South Africa's Chambers of Commerce and Industry
    South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI)
    SACCI is the head organization for almost 50 constituent chambers in South Africa, SACCI is headquartered in Johannesburg.
    Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry
    Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the oldest member-based business organization in Africa, established in 1804.
    Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Johannesburg based business network.

    South Africa's Major Companies

    Banks and mobile telecommunication companies are among the top brands in South Africa.

    Standard Bank
    Standard Bank Group with its headquarters in Johannesburg is one of South Africa's largest financial services groups with activties in 20 African countries and other key markets around the world.
    First National Bank (FNB)
    First National Bank, a division of First Rand Limited, one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, operating in nine key African countries.
    Barclays Africa Group
    Trading as ABSA Group is a South African subsidiary of Barclays Bank Plc.
    One of South Africa's "big four" banks, originally founded in 1888 in Amsterdam, Netherlands as 'Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid-Afrika'.

    South African Coal Oil and Gas Corporation is an energy and chemical company based in Johannesburg, it is the world’s first – and largest – oil-from-coal refinery.

    Woolworths (SA)
    One of the largest South African chain of retail stores.

    MTN Group, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa is a multinational mobile telecommunications company with operations in many African, European and Asian countries.
    Vodacom Group Limited is an African mobile communications company.
    Cell C
    Cell C Ltd is a South African mobile company headquartered in Randburg (Johannesburg).

    South African Airways (SAA)
    The national carrier.

    Blue Train
    South African luxury train.
    Rovos Rail
    Another luxurious train.
    South African Railways
    South African Railways Info page.
    Rainbow over Natal Watsonia
    Rainbow over Natal Watsonia
    © South African Tourism
    Travel and Tour Consumer Information

    Destination South Africa - Travel and Tour Guides

    Discover South Africa
    The South Africa Tourism Board official guide to tourism South Africa.

    Cape Country Info
    Southern African Travel Portal.
    The Garden Route
    Western Cape
    Comprehensive information about the Overberg region on the Southernmost tip of Africa.
    Southern Africa Places
    A tourism guide to Africa's South.
    Event and entertainment guide.
    The digital guide to South Africa.

    City Guides
    Bloemfontein (Mangaung) (judicial center)
    Mangaung Local Municipality; (the city's name in seSotho is Mangaung).
    Cape Town
    Official website of the Cioty of Cape Town.
    Durban (Thekwini)
    eThekwini Municipality, the official web site of Durban.
    The official City of Jo'burg website.

    South Africa's Provinces
    A guide to South Africa's Provinces.


    University of Fort Hare
    The oldest historically black university in Southern and Eastern Africa, founded in 1916.
    University of Natal
    University of Pretoria
    University of South Africa
    University of the Witwatersrand

    More South African Universities will be found in the
    Guide to South Africa's Provinces

    Environment & Nature

    Kruger National Park
    A comprehensive guide to one of the most famous game and nature reserve of Africa.

    South African National Parks
    Official website of the South African National Parks (SANParks).

    WildNet Africa
    A wildlife and travel portal.
    African Elephants
    African Elephants
    © Rovos Rail


    People who shaped South Africa's History:
    Jan van Riebeeck, Paul Kruger, Daniel François Malan, Oliver Tambo, Hendrik Verwoerd, Steve Biko, P. W. Botha, F. W. de Klerk, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Winnie Mandela, Eugene Terreblanche, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu.

    Read more in History of South Africa from the European Arrival until the Republic of South Africa



    The South African Search Engine and Directory.

    Sources and additional Information on South Africa

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    Other Countries of Southern Africa:
    Botswana | Lesotho | Namibia | Swaziland

    Maps of other Countries of Southern Africa:
    Botswana Map | Namibia Map | Swaziland Map

    Searchable Maps of other Countries of Southern Africa:
    Botswana Interactive Map | Lesotho Interactive Map | Namibia Interactive Map | Swaziland Interactive Map

    Other major Cities in Southern Africa:
    Gaborone | Lobamba | Maseru | Mbabane | Windhoek