South Africa

Republic of South Africa
10 other official names[1]
  • Zulu:iRiphabhuliki yaseNingizimu Afrika
    Xhosa:iRiphabhlikhi yoMzantsi Afrika
    Afrikaans:Republiek van Suid-Afrika
    Pedi:Repabliki ya Afrika-Borwa
    Southern Sotho:Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa
    Tswana:Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa
    Tsonga:Riphabliki ya Afrika Dzonga
    Swati:iRiphabhulikhi yaseNingizimu-Afrika
    Venda:Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe
    Southern Ndebele:iRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika
Motto: "ǃke e꞉ ǀxarra ǁke" (ǀXam)
"Unity in Diversity"
Anthem: "National anthem of South Africa"
South Africa (orthographic projection).svg
South Africa adm location map.svg
Capital
Largest cityJohannesburg[3]
Official languages11 languages[1]
Ethnic groups
(2019[5])
Religion
(2016)[6]
Demonym(s)South African
GovernmentUnitary dominant-party parliamentary republic with an executive presidency
• President
Cyril Ramaphosa
David Mabuza
Amos Masondo
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Raymond Zondo
LegislatureParliament
National Council
National Assembly
Independence 
• Union
31 May 1910
11 December 1931
• Republic
31 May 1961
27 April 1994
Area
• Total
1,221,037 km2 (471,445 sq mi) (24th)
• Water (%)
0.380
Population
• 2021 estimate
60,142,978[7] (23rd)
• 2011 census
51,770,560[8]: 18 
• Density
42.4/km2 (109.8/sq mi) (169th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $924 billion[9] (33rd)
• Per capita
Increase $15,361[9] (95th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $419 billion[9] (36th)
• Per capita
Increase $6,979[9] (89th)
Gini (2014)Positive decrease 63.0[10]
very high
HDI (2021)Increase 0.713[11]
high · 109th
CurrencySouth African rand (ZAR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Date formatShort formats:
Driving sideleft
Calling code+27
ISO 3166 codeZA
Internet TLD.za

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretch along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans;[14][15][16] to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho.[17] It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World, and the second-most populous country located entirely south of the equator, after Tanzania. South Africa is a biodiversity hotspot, with unique biomes, plant and animal life. With over 60 million people, the country is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometres (471,445 square miles). South Africa has three capital cities, with the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government based in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town respectively. The largest city is Johannesburg.

About 80% of the population are Black South Africans.[16] The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White South Africans), Asian (Indian South Africans and Chinese South Africans), and multiracial (Coloured South Africans) ancestry. 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, the fourth-highest number in the world.[16] According to the 2011 census, the two most spoken first languages are Zulu (22.7%) and Xhosa (16.0%).[8] The two next ones are of European origin: Afrikaans (13.5%) developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most Coloured and White South Africans; English (9.6%) reflects the legacy of British colonialism and is commonly used in public and commercial life.

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 claim more rights from the dominant white minority, which played 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 and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in the mid-1980s. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid.[18]

South Africa is a middle power in international affairs; it maintains significant regional influence and is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and the G20.[19][20] It is a developing country, ranking 109th on the Human Development Index, the 2nd highest in Africa. It has been classified by the World Bank as a newly industrialised country and has the third-largest economy in Africa and the most industrialized, technologically advanced economy in Africa overall[21] as well as the 33rd-largest in the world.[22][23] South Africa has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. Since the end of apartheid, government accountability and quality of life have substantially improved.[24] However, crime, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about two-fifths of the total population being unemployed as of 2021,[25] while some three-fifths of the population lived under the poverty line in 2014; with a quarter of the population living under $2.15 a day.[26][27]

  1. ^ a b The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (PDF) (2013 English version ed.). Constitutional Court of South Africa. 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "South Africa at a glance | South African Government". www.gov.za. Archived from the original on 26 May 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Principal Agglomerations of the World". Citypopulation.de. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  4. ^ The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (PDF) (2013 English version ed.). Constitutional Court of South Africa. 2013. ch. 1, s. 6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Mid-year population estimates" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. 29 July 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  6. ^ "South Africa – Community Survey 2016". www.datafirst.uct.ac.za. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Mid-year population estimates" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. 19 July 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. pp. 23–25. ISBN 978-0621413885. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 May 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2022". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Gini Index". World Bank. Archived from the original on 29 May 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Data Source Comparison for en-ZA". www.localeplanet.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Data Source Comparison for af-ZA". www.localeplanet.com. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  14. ^ "South African Maritime Safety Authority". South African Maritime Safety Authority. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  15. ^ "Coastline". The World Factbook. CIA. Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  16. ^ a b c "South Africa Fast Facts". SouthAfrica.info. April 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
  17. ^ Guy Arnold. "Lesotho: Year In Review 1996 – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Rainbow Nation – dream or reality?". BBC News. 18 July 2008. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  19. ^ Cooper, Andrew F; Antkiewicz, Agata; Shaw, Timothy M (10 December 2007). "Lessons from/for BRICSAM about South-North Relations at the Start of the 21st Century: Economic Size Trumps All Else?". International Studies Review. 9 (4): 675, 687. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2486.2007.00730.x.
  20. ^ Lynch, David A. (2010). Trade and Globalization: An Introduction to Regional Trade Agreements. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7425-6689-7. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013. Southern Africa is home to the other of sub-Saharan Africa's regional powers: South Africa. South Africa is more than just a regional power; it is currently the most developed and economically powerful country in Africa, and is able to use that influence in Africa more than during the days of apartheid, when it was ostracised from the rest of the world.
  21. ^ Wong, B. H. (2011). "A Most Complex and Technologically Advanced Vessel". Offshore Support Vessels. Singapore: Research Publishing Services. doi:10.3850/978-981-08-9731-4_osv2011-02.
  22. ^ "South Africa". World Bank. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  23. ^ Waugh, David (2000). "Manufacturing industries (chapter 19), World development (chapter 22)". Geography: An Integrated Approach. Nelson Thornes. pp. 563, 576–579, 633, 640. ISBN 978-0-17-444706-1. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  24. ^ Lieberman, Evan (2022). Until We Have Won Our Liberty. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-20300-3. Archived from the original on 24 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Unemploynment, total (% of labor force) (modeled ILO estimate) - South Africa". World Bank. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  26. ^ "Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population) - South Africa". World Bank. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  27. ^ "Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population) - South Africa". World Bank. Retrieved 19 September 2022.

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