South Africa or, in minority use, South Africa [ 10 ] (officially the Republic of South Africa ) [ note 1 ] is a sovereign country , a member of the African Union , located in southern Africa and whose form of government is the modified parliamentary republic . Its territory is organized into nine provinces . Its capital city has a special status, since it is made up of three cities: Pretoria , seat of the executive branch ; Bloemfontein , seat of the judiciary : andCape Town , seat of the legislative power . Also, the most populous city in the country is Johannesburg , which is also one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world. [ 11 ]
It has 2,798 kilometers of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans . [ 12 ] It is bordered to the north by Namibia , Botswana and Zimbabwe , to the east by Mozambique and Swaziland , while Lesotho is a country surrounded by South African territory. [ 13 ]
South Africa is known for its diversity of cultures, languages, and religious beliefs, which is why it is known as the rainbow nation . Eleven languages are recognized as official by the Constitution of South Africa . Two of the eleven languages are of European origin: Afrikaans , a language that comes directly from Dutch and is spoken by the majority of the white and mixed-race population , and English . Although English has an important role in public and commercial life, it is nevertheless the fifth language for native speakers. [ 14 ]
South Africa is an ethnically diverse country. 79.5% of the South African population is black , which is divided into different ethnic groups that speak different Bantu languages , nine of which are official. It also has the largest communities of inhabitants of European and Indian origin , as well as multiracial communities on the continent.
South Africa is one of the founding members of the African Union , and has the largest economy on the continent among all members. It is also a founding member of the UN and NEPAD . The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations , the Antarctic Treaty , the G77 , the ZPCAS , the SACU , the WTO , the IMF , the G20 , the G8 + 5 , the CIVETS , the BRICS , among others.
South Africa is also a country in which there are great inequalities between different social groups; while large fortunes exist and capitals are among Africa's main business centers, approximately a quarter of the South African population is unemployed [ 15 ] and lives on less than US $ 1.25 a day. [ 16 ]
Prehistory and pre-colonial period
South Africa has some of the oldest paleoanthropological sites in Africa , millions of years ago, it was inhabited by groups of Australopithecus africanus that survived by collecting roots, nuts and vegetables, mollusks, hunting and fishing. [ 18 ] They were succeeded by various species of Homo , including Homo habilis , Homo ergaster, and modern man ( Homo sapiens ). The Bushmen for 100,000 years and later the current Hottentots , were the first settled human groups. During the iron age and up to the present time, human groups of black ethnicity extended by the territory.
Bantu farmers and ranchers settled in the s. IV and V south of the Limpopo River . Later they moved further south, to present-day KwaZulu-Natal province , where the oldest foundry is located, dating back to 1050 . In the historical period, the Xhosa ethnic group settled even further south, reaching the Fish River in what is now the Eastern Cape . These more advanced populations displaced the native hunter-gatherer settlers .
At the time of the arrival of the Europeans, the indigenous population was the result of immigration from other parts of Africa, among which the Xhosa and Zulu peoples stood out . Although Europeans had sailed near the South African coast since the late 15th century , it was only in 1652 that the Dutch East India Company established a small settlement that would become Cape Town . The city became a British colony in 1806 , prompting the Boers (settlers from the Netherlands , Flanders ,France and Germany ) and the British settlers moved to the north and east of the territory, which triggered a series of conflicts between the Afrikaners , the Xhosa and the Zulu for possession of the land.
The discovery of diamond deposits and gold mines led to the conflict known as the Second Boer War , which pitted the British and Boers for control of the country's mineral resources. Although the Boers were losers in the war, the United Kingdom granted limited independence to South Africa as a British colony in 1910 . In the interior of the country, the white anti-British elite carried out a series of policies with the intention of achieving total independence. The racial segregation was gaining strength and impregnating South African law, instituting the regime which was subsequently known by the name of apartheid, which established three kinds of racial stratification.
The country finally achieved independence in 1961 , when the Republic of South Africa was declared. The government continued to legislate under the apartheid regime , despite both external and internal opposition. In 1990 , the South African government began a series of negotiations that ended with discriminatory laws and with the calling of the first democratic elections in 1994 . After the elections the country rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations .
First European expeditions
The written history of South Africa begins with the arrival of the Portuguese. In 1487 Bartolomé Díaz was the first European to reach the southernmost point of Africa, and he named it Cabo das Tormentas (Cape of Storms) due to the bad weather it experienced in the region. However, when he returned to Lisbon loaded with news about the discovery, the monarch Juan II of Portugal wanted to change its name to Cabo da Boa Esperança (Cape of Good Hope) and promised to establish from that point a maritime route for the Portuguese they could go in search of the riches of India. Later the great Portuguese poet Luís de Camões immortalized Bartolomé Díaz's journey in the epic poemOs Lusíadas , specifically with the mythological character Adamastor , which symbolizes the forces of nature that the Portuguese navigators had to overcome during the circumnavigation of the capes. [ 19 ]
The earliest written accounts of South African history were obtained from the earliest sailors and surviving castaways. During the two centuries after 1488 the Portuguese sailors made some small fishing agreements on this coast, but no written document is preserved about these.
Dutch colonization (17th and 18th centuries)
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the small colony slowly expanded, mainly under Dutch sovereignty . The settlers eventually stumbled upon the sprawling Xhosa peoples in the Fish River region. It is then that a series of wars called the Cape Borders wars broke out , caused by conflicts over land and food. To alleviate the worker shortage in the Cape, slaves were brought in from Indonesia , Madagascar, and India . The descendants of these slaves, who often married Dutch settlers, were later classified along with the descendants of the San as Cape half-bloods andCape Malays , constituting almost half of the population of the Western Cape Province . [ citation required ]
Gradually, the Dutch prevailed over the Khoikhoi, taking their streams, land and livestock from them. They incorporated the natives as agricultural labor or members of the militias. The Khoikhoi political structure was not strong enough to resist. The slave had no legal rights, and unlike the slaves of America, very little chance of achieving freedom through conversion to Christianity. The Company was in such a need of manpower that in the first decade of settlement it brought slaves from its eastern empire and from regions on both sides of Africa.
In the Cape, the mandatory release of converts to Christianity served as an impediment to conversion to Christianity and made conversion to Islam more attractive for not only religious but also political reasons. Company slaves or village residents had a certain chance to practice trades. Farmers' slaves were under tighter control. Slaves did not have the option of marriage, but concubinage with white men was common.
The Cape became a society divided into clearly defined groups unequal before the law, and free blacks were never sufficiently numerous or organized to break down the barriers. Company employees and white farmers established a dominance upheld by law and reinforced by free immigration. The whites would maintain their dominance for more than three and a half centuries, despite several attempts at emancipation.
British colonization (19th and 20th centuries)
Britain occupied the Cape of Good Hope area in 1795 during the First Coalition War . The Dutch declared the bankruptcy of the Netherlands East India Company in 1798 . By the Treaty of Amiens (1802) the colony was returned to the Batavian Republic and the British annexed the Cape Colony in January 1806 , a conquest legalized by the Congress of Vienna.. The British continued their wars against the Amaxhosa, pushing the eastern frontier east, following a line of forts established along the Fish River and consolidating it by promoting new British settlements. Due to pressure from the abolitionist societies of Great Britain, the British Parliament first stopped its slave trade in 1806, and later definitively abolished slavery in all its colonies in 1833 .
The discoveries of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 encouraged economic growth and immigration, intensifying the subjugation of the natives. The Boers successfully resisted the British siege in the First Boer War (1880-1881), based on tactics that made better use of local conditions. For example, the British wore bright red uniforms, making them easier targets for Boer shooters. [ citation needed ] During the Second Boer War (1899-1902) the British returned in greater numbers. The Boer attempt to ally with the Germans fromSouthwest Africa was another reason to control the Boer republics. The Boers fiercely resisted, but the British eventually defeated the Boer forces, using their superior numbers and external supplies of equipment, in addition to the controversial scorched earth tactic . The Vereeniging treaty declared British sovereignty over all of the South African republics, and the British government agreed to assume the debt of 3 million pounds from the Afrikaner governments. [ citation needed ] One of the main provisions of the treaty was that blacks would not be allowed to vote, except in the Cape Colony. [ citation required ]
After four years, was created Union of South Africa from the Cape Colony , the Colony of Natal and the republics of the Orange Free State and Transvaal (the latter two annexed after the war Boer in the Colony of the River Orange and Transvaal ), the 31 of maypole of 1910 , just ten years after the end of the second Boer war. In 1934, the South African party and the national parties merged to form the unified party, which sought reconciliation between Afrikaners and English-speaking whites, but split in 1939 following the decision on the country's entry into World War II as an ally from the UK .
The more conservative wing of the National Party sympathized with Nazi Germany during the war, and sought greater racial segregation or apartheid after the war. In 1948 , the National Party came to power. Advocating for a segregationist and racist system, it initiated apartheid , a word that in Afrikaans means 'separation'. A vast legal and social system was created to separate the white and black ethnic groups, with an advantage for the former, which were granted political, economic and social privileges:
- Voting rights , reserved for whites only,
- Only whites could freely travel the country,
- It was legal for a white man to earn more than a black man for the same work,
- Blacks had to live in areas far removed from whites,
- Blacks had to study in separate schools from whites, and their education had to be limited, etc.
In 1960 , after the Sharpeville massacre , Verwoerd held a referendum asking the white population to speak out for or against union with the United Kingdom . 52% voted against. South Africa gained independence from the United Kingdom , but remained a member of the Commonwealth . Their tenure in this organization became increasingly difficult as African and Asian states, outraged by apartheid, intensified their pressure to expel South Africa, which finally withdrew from the Commonwealth on May 31 , 1961., date the Republic of South Africa was declared.
Over the years, apartheid has sparked repudiation, rejection and outrage around the world. Many countries broke diplomatic and commercial relations with South Africa, generating increasing isolation from the South African government. The country was excluded from the Olympic Games , the Soccer World Cup , the Miss Universe , the Miss World , the Rugby World Cup and other sports competitions. Within South Africa, anti-apartheid movements, especially the African National Congress or ANC, launched resistance campaigns, strikes , marches, protests and sabotage that were harshly repressed by government forces.
In 1989 there was a palace coup within the National Party. In it, President Pieter Botha was displaced by Frederik De Klerk , who initiated the dismantling of apartheid. The ban on the African National Congress and other left-wing political organizations was lifted, and Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison. The Apartheid legislation was gradually withdrawn. In a 1993 referendum , whites agreed to grant the right to vote to the black majority, and the following year, in 1994 , the country's first democratic elections were held.. Nelson Mandela was elected president by an absolute majority on behalf of the ANC, a party that has remained in power ever since. The international isolation that weighed on the country came to an end; He was readmitted to the Commonwealth of Nations in that same year of 1994.
Mandela became a symbol of the struggle against apartheid inside and outside the country and a legendary figure who represented the lack of freedom of all the black inhabitants of South Africa.
Establishment of the new regime (since 1992)
The democratic transition was facilitated by a unique process of reconciliation and Ubuntu : the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation (South Africa) , chaired by the Nobel Peace Prize (1984), the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu , was created in 1995 and closed its report in 1998. The Commission examined serious crimes against Human Rights committed by all parties under Apartheid, and could grant amnesty to criminals (“perpetrators”). [ 20 ]
Despite the end of apartheid, millions of black South Africans today continue to live in poverty , partly because of problems inherited from the apartheid regime and also because post-apartheid governments have had their hands tied on economic issues. which during the transition were managed almost exclusively by members of the outgoing government. In this way, whites lose political control but make sure to maintain their economic privileges. However, the housing policy carried out by the CNA has produced some improvement in living conditions in many regions, although the inequality between the different social classes is still very large, compared to the standards of other countries.
Although the economy is more diversified, the export of gold and diamonds remains the most important source of income for the country. Today the South African government is also bent on carrying out extensive land reform to alleviate social tension and racial inequalities. This reform consists of the return of land [ 21 ] by whites to blacks, from whom they were taken away in colonial times (about 80% of arable land is still in the hands of whites [ quote required ] ). The reform progresses slowly: less than 10% of the lands have been returned [ citation needed ]Therefore, the government of the country has decided to force the whites to sell the lands for a reasonable price or expropriate them in a short period of time. But there is also a great fear in some sectors of society that black people's impatience for land will lead to messy and chaotic reform, which could repeat the disastrous land reform in neighboring Zimbabwe , which ruined the agriculture and caused a terrible famine in that country.
The future of South Africa looks uncertain. The alarming crime wave (50,000 homicides per year, proportionally 8 times more than in the US ) and the new legislation created by the CNA , which prohibits whites from occupying numerous jobs, now reserved for blacks, they are forcing thousands of whites to leave the country. [ 22 ] Today it remains one of the countries with the highest inequality rates in the world. Since the end of Apartheid in 1994 to the present, almost a million whites have already emigrated . [ 23 ]High crime rates and the growing sense that the ANC has failed to govern the state well only add to the uncertainty.
Jacob Zuma , current leader of the ANC, a politician who was accused of corruption and rape , both of which were removed), [ 24 ] was president of South Africa since May 9 , 2009 , when he was elected by the National Assembly after he his party obtained 70% of the votes in the elections until February 2018, when Zuma had to resign amid various corruption scandals. [ 25 ]
On August 17, 2012 there was a massacre of miners in Lanmin, who demanded better working conditions, were killed by a group of policemen armed with automatic rifles and machine guns, 34 miners perishing in the incident, being the worst massacre since end of Apartheid. [ 26 ]
Nearly a centennial, Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013. The following year marked the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid , with around 20 million South Africans (40% of the population) born free, who are the first generation in grow up without memories of Apartheid .
government and politics
The National Council of Provinces (NCoP), which replaced the Senate in 1997 , is made up of 90 members representing each of South Africa's nine provinces, while large cities also have representation. Each province of South Africa has a Unicameral Provincial Legislature, and an Executive Council headed by a Premier .
Security and politics
After the end of apartheid the country was readmitted to the Commonwealth of Nations , South Africa's foreign relations have focused on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union . South Africa has played a key role as a mediator in internal African conflicts over the past decade, in Burundi , the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Comoros and Zimbabwe .
The Union of South Africa , precursor of the current Republic, was one of the founding members of the United Nations . Then-Prime Minister Jan Smuts wrote the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations . [ 28 ] [ 29 ] South Africa was a non - permanent member of the United Nations Security Council between 2007 and 2008 , generating controversy his performance to the vote against the resolution criticizing the government Burmese in 2006 and against the approval of sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2008. [ 30 ] [ 31 ] South Africa is a member of the Group of 77 , the country as president in 2006 . Likewise, South Africa is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone , the Southern African Customs Union , the World Trade Organization , the International Monetary Fund , the G20 and the G8 + 5 .
The National South African Defense Force was created in 1994 , [ 32 ] [ 33 ] as a volunteer force composed of former members of the Defense Forces of South Africa , the forces of nationalist groups ( Umkhonto we Sizwe and Liberation Army of the Azanian People ), and the defense forces of the ancient Bantustans . [ 32 ] The SANDFs are divided into four areas: the South African Army , the South African Air Force , theSouth African Navy , and the South African Military Health Service . [ 34 ]
In recent years, the SANDF has conducted mostly peacekeeping operations in Africa, [ 35 ] engaging in Lesotho , the Democratic Republic of the Congo [ 35 ] and Burundi , [ 35 ] among others. In addition, he has taken part in multinational operations of the UN peacekeepers.
On the other hand, apartheid South Africa had a nuclear weapons development program in the 1970s [ 36 ] and was able to carry out nuclear tests in the Atlantic Ocean in 1979 (see Sailing Incident ). [ 37 ] South Africa is the only African country that has successfully developed nuclear weapons. He was also the first country with nuclear capability who gave up his program and voluntarily dismantled its nuclear facilities after signing the Non - Proliferation Treaty Nuclear in 1991. [ 36 ]
South Africa is a republic with a democratic system of government, which is committed to achieving equality between men, women and people of all races. The constitution is the supreme law of the country, applicable to all organs of the State at all levels of government. There is a separation between the executive, legislative and judicial powers, which maintains a balance of power between them. [ 38 ]
The main sources of the laws of South Africa were Romano-Dutch mercantile laws, along with English Common law, brought in by the Dutch and British settlers. The first South African law based on European principles was brought by the Netherlands East India Company and was called Romano-Dutch law. It was imported before the codification of European law according to the Napoleonic Code and is comparable in many respects to Scottish law. This was followed in the 19th century by statutory and common British law. Beginning in 1910 with unification, South Africa had its own parliament, which legislated specifically for South Africa, based on laws previously passed by individual members of the colonies.
Post- apartheid South Africa is the most advanced country in Africa in terms of its gay rights policy. The 30 of November of 2006 , South Africa became the first country on the continent to legalize marriage between people of the same sex , between collective protests by Democrats . [ 39 ] [ 40 ]
Division of powers
- Executive power
The president is the head of state, head of government and head of the South African defense force. This is elected by the bicameral parliament, which consists of the National Assembly or lower house and the National Council of Provinces., or upper house. In practice, the president is the leader of the majority party the National Assembly, which has 400 parliamentarians elected through a proportional electoral system. He is in charge of leading the country in the interests of national unity in accordance with the Constitution and has the following powers: Grant distinctions, appoint, accredit, receive and recognize ambassadors, diplomatic representatives and other consular officials, grant pardon or suspend execution. of a penalty, sign, ratify international conventions and treaties, annul or proclaim Martial law , as well as declare war or sign peace and appoint his cabinet to carry out the functions granted by law.
- Legislative power
The parliament is the legislative authority of South Africa has the power to make laws for the country according to the Constitution, consisting of a National Assembly and Senate . The Senate is made up of ten members from each of the provinces, each legislator nominates senators in proportion to the support of the party in the province and meets at least once a year, the first thirty days after the day of the vote of the elections. Parliament will be in office for five years from its first session.
- Power of attorney
When apartheid ended in 1994 , the government integrated the previously independent and semi-dependent Bantustans into the country's political structure. To this end, it abolished the four former provinces of South Africa ( Cape , Natal , Orange Free State, and Transvaal ) and replaced them with nine fully integrated provinces. The new provinces were much smaller than their predecessors, which theoretically gave local governments more resources to distribute in smaller areas. The nine provinces were later subdivided into 52 districts , six metropolitanand 46 municipal. South Africa's main ports are: Durban , Cape Town , Port Elizabeth , East London , Richards Bay , Saldanha Bay and Mossel Bay .
Covering an area of 1,219,090 km², [ 2 ] the Republic of South Africa extends to the southern tip of the African continent. The country borders Namibia to the Northwest; to the north with Botswana and to the east with Zimbabwe , Mozambique and Swaziland . The country is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Lesotho , an independent country but with important ties to South Africa, is completely surrounded by South African territory. [ 45 ]
Due to the size of the country, the climate is highly variable depending on the climatic zones. In the south and the highlands, the climate is temperate , while in the northeast and east the climate is tropical and in the western part of the country it is semi-arid . The annual average of precipitations is of 464 mm.
The main rivers are the Orange River , which empties into the Atlantic Ocean ; the Vaal River , its main tributary, and the Limpopo , which empties into the Indian Ocean , originates near Johannesburg and then marks the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe in the north .
The southernmost point of the country, and therefore of the African continent, is Cape Agulhas .
In response to the drought , in October 2019, the authorities introduced water restrictions in the country's main cities. Several regions in the center and north of the country had already suffered water cuts, in particular due to the failure of the facilities of South Africa's main water supplier, Rand Water. In some provinces, such as the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape , drought has ruined crops and killed herds of cattle. [ 46 ]
South Africa is the largest polluter on the African continent and the fourteenth largest in the world in terms of carbon emissions. In 2019, the government introduced a carbon tax to try to encourage companies to make efforts. Despite the support of environmental organizations, this initiative is still considered insufficient and little dissuasive. The air pollution would represent an annual cost of two billion euros. [ 47 ]
The climate in South Africa is causing rising temperatures and rainfall variability. Evidence shows that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent due to climate change. [ 49 ] This is a fundamental concern for South Africans, as climate change will affect the general state and well-being of the country, for example with regard to water resources . As in many other parts of the world, climate research showed that the real challenge in South Africa was more related to environmental issues than development issues. [50 ] The most severe effect will be directed at the water supply , which has huge effects on the agricultural sector . [ 51 ] Rapid environmental changes are generating clear effects on the community and the environmental level in different ways and aspects: from air quality, temperature and weather patterns , to food security and disease burden. [ 52 ]
The various expected effects of climate change on rural communities are droughts , depletion of water resources and biodiversity , soil erosion , declining subsistence economies, and cessation of cultural activities. [ 53 ]South Africa provides significant emissions of CO2, the largest emitter of CO2 fourteenth. [ 51 ] Above the world average, South Africa generated 9.5 tons of CO2 emissions per capita in 2015. This is largely due to its energy system being heavily dependent on coal and oil . As part of its international commitments, South Africa has committed to reaching maximum emission levels between 2020 and 2025.
Flora and fauna
The prevalent biome in the country is the prairie , especially in the Highveld , where the predominant flora are grasses , low shrubs and acacias , mainly those of white thorn and camel. The vegetation is more sparse towards the northwest due to low rainfall.
- High Veld meadow in the Highveld
- Drakensberg mountain meadow , in the Drakensbergs, below 2,500 meters
- High mountain meadow of the Drakensbergs , in the Drakensbergs, above 2,500 meters
- Maputaland-Pondoland scrub in the valleys of the southern foothills of the Drakensberg
The grass and the thorns of the savannah gradually give way to the shrubs of the savannah towards the northeast of the country, with a slower growth. There are a significant number of baobab trees in this area, near the northern end of the Kruger National Park . [ 54 ]
In the Bushveld there are numerous habitats of mammals such as the lion , leopard , blue wildebeest , kudu , impala , hyena , hippopotamus and giraffe . The Bushveld habitat extends significantly to the northeast, including the territories belonging to the Kruger National Park and the Mala Mala Reserve , as well as the Waterberg Biosphere further north. WWF divides the northeast savanna region into three ecoregions, from east to west:mopane wooded savanna of the Zambezi , wooded savanna of southern Africa and wooded savanna of the Kalahari .
The desert region of the Karoo , in the west of the country, is divided into three ecoregions : the succulent Karoo , near the coast; the Karoo nama , in the interior ( Namaqualand ), where there are several species of plants that store water, such as aloes and euphorbias ; and finally, and further north, the xerophilous savanna of the Kalahari .
The Mediterranean biome of the fynbos , one of the six flower kingdoms , is located in a small region of the Western Cape and consists of more than 9000 of these species, making it one of the richest regions in the world in terms of Floral Biodiversity . Most plants are hard-leaved perennials with needle-thin leaves, such as sclerophyllous plants . Another unique plant of South Africa is the genus of proteas , of which there are about 130 different species in this country. WWF divides this region into three ecoregions: Fynbos and Lowland Renosterveld ,fynbos and renosterveld mountain and Albany scrub .
Although South Africa has a large number of flowering plants, it has few forests . Only 1% of South Africa is forest, found almost exclusively in the humid coastal plain of the Indian Ocean in KwaZulu-Natal : the KwaZulu and Cape Mosaic Coastal Rainforest and the Maputaland Coastal Mosaic Rainforest and, further south, the Knysna montane rainforest and Amatole Mountains . There are even smaller reserves of forests that are out of reach of the fire . Imported tree species plantations are predominant, particularly non-native eucalyptus and pine. South Africa has lost a vast area of natural habitat in the last four decades, due to overpopulation , uncontrolled development patterns and deforestation in the 19th century .
South Africa is one of the countries most affected by the invasion of foreign species (for example Acacia mearnsii, Port Jackson, Hakea , Lantana and Jacaranda ) which are a great threat to native biodiversity and the current scarcity of water resources. The original temperate forest found by the first Europeans to settle in this country was ruthlessly exploited until only a few small areas remained. Currently the hardwood trees in South Africa such as Podocarpus latifolius , Ocotea bullata and Olea laurifoliaThey are under government protection. Finally, on the coast of the Indian Ocean there are several mangrove enclaves of southern Africa .
Climate change is expected to lead to a considerable increase in warming and dryness for this already semi-arid region, with greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, floods and droughts. According to computational models performed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) [ 55 ] (along with many of its partner institutions), some parts of southern Africa will see an increase in temperature. close to 1 ° C along the coast, which may rise to over 4 ° C in the already hot inland areas, such as North Cape in late spring and summer 2050 .
The Cape Floral Kingdom has been identified as one of the most sensitive points of South African biodiversity, as it will be seriously affected by climate change and has an enormous diversity of life. The drought , increased intensity and frequency of fires and the increase in temperature will lead to the extinction of many of these exotic species . The book Scorched: South Africa's changing climate uses much of the SANBI model and presents a compilation of travel narrative style essays. [ 56 ]
South Africa's economy is the most powerful and important of the African continent accounts for almost 25% of the GDP of the continent, [ 57 ] [ 58 ] and plays an important role in the development of the region. It is considered an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. [ 59 ] The South African economy has a large volume of national capital - public and private - closely related to the major world economies. Despite this, unemployment is extremely high and South Africa is among the ten countries with the most social inequality according to the Gini coefficient, about a quarter of the population is unemployed and the same proportion lives on less than $ 1.25 per day. In 2010, the country's total workforce was estimated to be 17.39 million. [ 60 ] In 2007, 9% of workers were employed in agriculture , 26% in industry and 65% in services . [ 61 ] From 2004 onwards, economic growth has been increasing, both in employment and in capital formation. In 2011 he was officially appointed as one of the members of the BRICS countries. South Africa is a tourist destinationvery popular, and a substantial amount of the income comes from tourism. [ 62 ]
The national currency is the South African rand . Its ISO 4217 code is ZAR. [ 63 ] This currency is also used in other countries of the Common Monetary Area of South Africa . The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Africa and ranks 17th among the largest stock markets in the world. South Africa's main international trading partners - in addition to other African countries - include Germany , the United States , China , Japan , the United Kingdom, and Spain . [ 64]
In 2019, the average salary of white South Africans is 3.5 times higher than that of black South Africans. The unemployment affects 27% of the population [ 65 ]
Mining in South Africa has been the main reason why the country is within the great world economies. It is currently the second largest gold producer in the world. Historically, mining in the country began with the discovery of diamonds on the banks of the Orange River in 1867. Around that time, gold mining would become famous in the Witwatersrand region, giving rise to the gold rush of 1886 . Cities like Kimberley , arose thanks to the exploitation of mineral resources in the northern part of the country. As of 2007, the South African mining industry has 493,000 workers.
South Africa is the world's largest platinum producer , fifth largest gold and fifth largest producer of coal, and one of the largest exporters of diamonds. National diamond production is 94% controlled by De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. , which is also present in other African countries. [ 66 ] [ 67 ] It is also important resource exploitation as chromium , antimony , manganese , nickel , phosphates , uranium , copper , vanadium , saltand natural gas . [ 68 ]
After the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the looting of black populations was institutionalized. In 1913, the Indigenous Land Law limited black land ownership to 7% of the territory (expanded to 13% in 1936). Four million farmers lose the land they still own and generally become sharecroppers or miners a cheap labor for owners [ 69 ]
In 2007, work related to agriculture and livestock occupied 9% of the country's workforce. [ 61 ] About 80% of the land is used for agriculture, but only 15% of this is arable, the rest is used for grazing and livestock.
Agriculture represents 8% of the country's exports. The main export products are cereals - corn , wheat - fruits - apples , pears , peaches , apricots , avocados , grapefruits , tangerines , plums and table grapes - horticultural products , potatoes , sunflower seeds , meat - beef, chicken , lamb and pork- and eggs. [ 70 ]
The climatic conditions that South Africa presents, especially the Western Cape , produce the best wine on the African continent, of as good quality as that made in Europe , the United States , Australia and the countries of the Southern Cone . The country is among the great wine exporters in the world. [ 71 ]
In 2018, 30,000 commercial farms employed about 840,000 agricultural workers. The living conditions of the latter are often difficult; many live in slums without running water. The director of the association for rural development, Laurel Oettle, points out that "seasonal workers have not had an income for months. Some are paid sometimes with agricultural products. There are many cases of sexual abuse. Access to the graves of the ancestors gives to conflict with the owners. [ 69 ]
The majority of the population is composed of blacks of African origin, 79.6%, Xhosa, Zulu, and 8 other groups. However, the percentage is the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, the existing ethnic diversity and multiculturalism has earned it the name of the rainbow country. 9.2% of South Africans are white , of Dutch ( Boer ), French ( Huguenot ) or British origin . 8.8% are mestizos called colored , descendants of the Boers and slaves of Malay or African origin. A fourth group is that of Asians (91% Hindustani) who live mostly around Durban, represent 2.4% of the population. Of the four ethnic groups, only the white population is shrinking due to low birth rates and the emigration of white South Africans to Europe, North America and Oceania. [ 72 ]
Since the fall of the apartheid regime in 1994 , some 850,000 white South Africans (16% of the total) have emigrated, mainly to the United Kingdom and Australia in the face of increasing insecurity and racial discrimination measures against whites. Faced with this situation, since 2006 the government has begun to take incentive measures to reduce the emigration of the qualified white population, in the same way measures have been initiated in favor of the return of emigrants. [ citation required ]In recent years there have been signs that some of these migrants have started to return to South Africa and according to the most recent reports from the South African Statistical Institute (StatsSA) the number of whites in the country has grown for the first time in many years. (108,000 between 2009 and 2010). [ citation required ]
|Religion in South Africa (2016) [ citation needed ] [ 73 ]|
|Christians (78%) African traditional religion (4.4%) Irreligion (10.9%) Other religions (2.7%) Jews (0.1%) NS / NC (1.4%) Islam (1,6%) Hinduism (1%)|
The main religion is Christianity , mostly Protestant and Evangelical. But traditional African cults are also practiced, sometimes mixed with independent Christian proposals, Islam and Hinduism , forming minorities of over 1%. There is also a Jewish community of around 70,000 people. The percentages of non-religious and atheists are also relevant. The last census with religious information was in 2001, in which the data is more detailed.
|Dutch Reformed Church||6.7 %|
|Zion Christian Church||15.3 %|
|Methodist Churches||7.4 %|
|Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches||7.6 %|
|Anglican Churches||3.8 %|
|Lutheran Churches||2.5 %|
|Presbyterian Churches||1.9 %|
|Baptist Churches||1.5 %|
|Congregational Churches||1.1 %|
|Other Apostolic Churches||12.5 %|
|Other Reformed Churches||0.5 %|
|Other African Independent Churches||1.5 %|
|Other Evangelical and Independent Christian Churches||7.1 %|
|Protestant, Evangelical and Independent Christians||67.5 %|
|Catholic Christians||7.5 %|
|Jehovah's Witnesses||0.3 %-0.5 %|
|Orthodox Christians||0.1 %|
|Religions with ethnic components||7.1 %|
|Non-Religious and Atheists||15 %|
In 2016 the percentages were:
- Christianity –78%
- Jews - 0.1%
- Other religions - 9.8%
- Non-religious - 10.9%
- NC / NC / NR 1.2%
South Africa is the country in the world with the highest number of AIDS infected , which together with a low birth rate by African standards (2.16 children per woman), has caused its population to decline during 2003 , according to the CIA World Factbook . The spread of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is an alarming problem in South Africa when it was discovered in 2005 that more than 31% of pregnant women were infected with HIV and the infection rate among adults was close to 20%. [ 75 ] The link between HIV, a virus transmitted primarily through sexual contact, and AIDS was long rejected by the former president.Thabo Mbeki and the then Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang , who insisted that the majority of deaths in the country were associated with malnutrition and a high level of poverty, and not with HIV. [ 76 ]
In 2007, in response to social pressure, the government began to focus its efforts on fighting AIDS. [ 77 ] In September 2008 Thabo Mbeki was forced to resign by the South African Congress and Kgalema Motlanthe was appointed acting president. One of Mr. Motlanthe's first actions was to replace Health Minister Tshabalala-Msimang with the current Minister, Barbara Hogan .
AIDS mainly affects those who are sexually active and is much more common in the black population. Most of the people who die are also people who are working, so the result is that in many families the source of income for the home is lost. This has also led to the foundation of many 'AIDS orphanages' who in many cases depend on the state for their care and financial support. [ 78 ] There are an estimated 1.2 million orphans in South Africa today. [ 78 ] Many of the older people have also lost the support of the younger members of their families. Approximately five million people are infected with this infectious virus. 
South Africa is the country with the most official languages in the world. [ 79 ] It recognizes eleven languages as official languages, although the two main ones are of European origin: English used as a vehicle of communication between all South Africans and Afrikaans derived from Dutch , is used by the Boer and also by the colored ones. The other official languages are Ndebele , Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Northern Sotho , Tswana (these three languages of the Sotho group), Swazi , Tsonga , Venda , Xhosaand Zulu .
The racial variety of the country is very great. At the beginning of the 20th century, 60% of the population was black, 30% white, and the rest mostly mixed-race or South Asian. The predominant religion is Christian: 55% of the Protestant population, 9% Catholic. The rest of the inhabitants are Hindus, Muslims or of other confessions.
Due to apartheid , there has been uneven cultural development between different, historically separate racial and ethnic groups. Among the population of European origin, English culture has recently emerged as dominant after the end of apartheid and international isolation. The old distinction between Afrikaners , more nationalistic and religious, and Anglo-Saxons , more liberal and cosmopolitan, is blurring among the younger and urban generations. In contrast, in rural areas, Afrikaners still resist abandoning traditional culture, isolated for centuries from the evolution of Europe .
- Black urban culture is multi-ethnic and increasingly influential both at home and abroad, for example among African Americans. It should be noted that an interracial culture is beginning to emerge in urban areas .
- In rural areas with a black majority, there is usually a reaffirmation of the traditions of each ethnic group, in which customs such as polygamy and gifts are common.
- As for other notable ethnic groups, it is the mestizo group that has shown the greatest reaffirmation. This mixed race group makes up 9% of South Africa's population. People in this group are referred to by the term "colored" (in English, colored ), unlike other Anglo-Saxon countries such as the United States or Great Britain, where the term "colored" has fallen into disuse.
South Africa has 11 of the 18 African Nobel laureates: Michael Levitt (Chemistry 2013), JM Coetzee (Literature, 2003), Sydney Brenner (Medicine 2002), Frederik Willem de Klerk (Peace, 1993), Nelson Mandela (Peace, 1993), Nadine Gordimer (Literature, 1991), Desmond Tutu (Paz, 1984), Aaron Klug (Chemistry, 1982), Allan M. Cormack (Medicine, 1979), Albert Lutuli (Paz, 1960) and Max Theiler(Medicine, 1951); South Africa has to its credit two of the four African Nobel laureates for literature: Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee and five of the six "scientific" Nobel laureates.
Likewise, South Africa has the only two African universities among the top 400 in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai University) , including the University of Cape Town ( University of Cape Town ), the first in Africa in the world. 156th place according to the QS World University Rankings .
South African artists had to abide by the censorship that the political regime placed on their work. For example, the word apartheid was forbidden and singer-songwriters could not put it in their lyrics. Great talents were suffocated. Other great talents found great recognition outside their borders, or at the very least, freedom to sing the songs they wanted to sing. Great talent of world recognition and in his land was the singer-songwriter Lucky Dube .
|Date||Name in Spanish||Local name||Notes|
|January 1||New Year's Day||New Year’s Day|
|March 21st||Human Rights Day||Human Rights Day|
|Varies every year||Holy Friday||Good Friday|
|Varies every year||Easter monday||Easter Monday|
|April 27||Freedom day||Freedom Day||Commemorates the first free elections after apartheid|
|May 1||Labor Day||Worker’s Day|
|June 16||Youth day||Youth Day||Commemorate the Soweto riots|
|July 18||Nelson Mandela Day||Nelson Mandela's day||Declared international by the UN in 2009 .|
|August 9||National women's day||National women’s day|
|24th September||Inheritance day||Heritage Day||Day in which South Africans celebrate the diversity of the country|
|December 16||Reconciliation day||Day of Reconciliation|
|December 25th||Day Christmas||Christmas Day|
|December 26||Mutual understanding day||Day of Goodwill|
Many newspapers are published in South Africa. These include: The Star, The Sowetan and This Day (published in Johannesburg), Isolezwe (published in Cape Town) and Daily Sun (published in Gauteng). In addition, it has numerous television stations, such as MSNBC Africa, MSNBC's local signal in African territory; as well as CNBC Africa , a channel jointly operated with CNBC (a division of NBC Universal ) and Africa Business News , based in Sandton , Johannesburg . The South African Broadcasting Corporation public broadcaster is also available . SuperSport sports television network it is the main one in Africa.
Racial and ethnic divisions are noticeable even in sports: Afrikaner whites are fans of rugby , while English-speaking whites prefer cricket . Blacks (the majority of the population), on the other hand, are more fond of soccer , making it the most popular sport in the country. [ 80 ] During apartheid, numerous international sports federations applied sanctions to South African associations, in particular in the three sports mentioned.
In rugby , South Africa is a powerhouse, in fact it is considered the national sport. [ 81 ] The national team , known as the Springboks ( Gazelles ), has won the Rugby World Cup three times ( 1995 , 2007 ) and the most recent in 2019, the Tri-Nations Tournament three times (1998, 2004 and 2009). The Bulls have won three Super Rugby championships against provincial teams from Australia and New Zealand.
As for football, FIFA prohibited the team from participating in official tournaments from 1974 until June 7 , 1992 . The Premier Soccer League is one of the most prominent club leagues on the continent.
The cricket is another important sport in South African life, being the country of the headquarters of the Cricket World Cup in the year 2003. In addition, the national team gained access three times a semifinal of the tournament in 1992, 1999 and 2007 , in addition to winning the gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games .
South Africans also left their marks in tennis, the best known exponent in white sport is Kevin Anderson , who was a finalist in the United States Open in 2017 and the Wimbledon Championship in 2018, both times being defeated by the number 1 of the ranking at the time ( Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ), in addition to obtaining the ATP 500 of Vienna in 2018.
The Golf is another sport that has given great victories to the country. Gary Player is considered one of the three best players in history. Meanwhile, Bobby Locke , Ernie Els and Retief Goosen have won multiple major tournaments , while Trevor Immelman , Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have won one.
The racing was South African history, especially the retired pilot F1 Jody Scheckter , who won the title in 1979 with Ferrari, and one of the only female pilots, Desiré Wilson , who triumphed in Formula 1 British. Also on the Formula 1 calendar was the South African Grand Prix , but this was discontinued due to apartheid in 1985. There was also a South African Formula 1 national championship held between 1960 and 1975. Then F1 would return in 1992 and 1993 when the race promoter went bankrupt. Currently there has been speculation about the return of the top flight to the country.
The Cycling is a sport that has brought joy to the country, with professional cyclist Daryl Impey one of the few national to win stages in the most prestigious event of the world on wheels, the Tour de France , as well as being the only one who has managed to be leader of the "Grande Boucle".
The South African delegation to the Olympic Games has won 86 medals, including 25 golds. He was ranked seventh in 1912, 11th in 1920, and 12th in 1952. He ranks fourth in all-time tennis, 11th in boxing, and 14th in swimming. The city of Durban was designated as the venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games .
Rugby World Cup 1995
It was held in South Africa between May 25 and June 24, 1995. Here the host team returned to official competitions, after not competing in 1987 and 1991 due to sanctions imposed on the country due to its apartheid policy . The South African team won the final.
Cricket World Cup 2003
Held in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2003, this was the first edition held in Africa, the South African team was eliminated in the first round.
The final was played in the city of Johannesburg, facing the teams of India and Australia, the latter winning.
Soccer World Cup 2010
Between June 11 and July 11, South Africa hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup , which is why it presented the candidacy to do so in 2006, losing by a single vote to Germany. In 2004 it became a reality when the maximum rector of soccer, FIFA chose South Africa as a venue for 2010. [ 83 ]
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- And Afrikaans , Republic of South Africa
- En inglés, Republic of South Africa
- En ndebele del sur , Republic of South Africa
- En sesoto norteño , Republic of South Africa
- En sesoto sureño , Republic of South Africa
- En setsuana , Republic of South Africa
- En suazi , Republic of South Africa
- En tsonga , Republic of Africa Dzonga
- En venda , Ripha buḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe
- En xhosa , Republic of South Africa
- En zulú , Republic of South Africa
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