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South Africa Wed - Nov, 22 2017

South Africa, Suid Afrika

WORLD
South Africa - Foreign Embassies in South Africa
Suid Afrika
WORLD
- South African Embassies Worldwide
South African map
The Flag of South Africa

 

South Africa's National Anthem (Listen)

The South African National Anthem
(Read about)

South Africa's Coat Of Arms

The News from South Africa


Introduction South Africa
Background:
After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north 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. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.

Geography South Africa
Location:
Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Geographic coordinates:
29 00 S, 24 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 1,219,912 sq km
land: 1,219,912 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 4,862 km
border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km
Coastline:
2,798 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Climate:
mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Terrain:
vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
Natural resources:
gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 12.08%
permanent crops: 0.79%
other: 87.13% (2001)
Irrigated land:
13,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
prolonged droughts
Environment - current issues:
lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
People South Africa
Population:
44,344,136
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.3% (male 6,760,137/female 6,682,013)
15-64 years: 64.5% (male 13,860,727/female 14,750,496)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 893,360/female 1,397,403) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 23.98 years
male: 23.12 years
female: 24.86 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.31% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
18.48 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
21.32 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 61.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 65.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 57.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 43.27 years
male: 43.47 years
female: 43.06 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.24 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
21.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5.3 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
370,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
Ethnic groups:
black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)
Religions:
Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
Languages:
IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.4%
male: 87%
female: 85.7% (2003 est.)
Government South Africa
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
Government type:
republic
Capital:
Pretoria; note - Cape Town is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center
Administrative divisions:
9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Western Cape
Independence:
31 May 1910 (from UK); note - South Africa became a republic in 1961 following an October 1960 referendum
National holiday:
Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Constitution:
10 December 1996; this new constitution was certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996, was signed by then President MANDELA on 10 December 1996, and entered into effect on 3 February 1997; it is being implemented in phases
Legal system:
based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Thabo MBEKI (since 16 June 1999); Executive Deputy President Phumzile MLAMBO-NGCUKA (since 23 June 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Thabo MBEKI (since 16 June 1999); Executive Deputy President Phumzile MLAMBO-NGCUKA (since 23 June 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 24 April 2004 (next to be held April 2009)
election results: Thabo MBEKI elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100% (by acclamation)
note: ANC-IFP is the governing coalition
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consisting of the National Assembly (400 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms) and the National Council of Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms; has special powers to protect regional interests, including the safeguarding of cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities); note - following the implementation of the new constitution on 3 February 1997 the former Senate was disbanded and replaced by the National Council of Provinces with essentially no change in membership and party affiliations, although the new institution's responsibilities have been changed somewhat by the new constitution
elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held 14 April 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 69.7%, DA 12.4%, IFP 7%, UDM 2.3%, NNP 1.7%, ACDP 1.6%, other 5.3%; seats by party - ANC 279, DA 50, IFP 28, UDM 9, NNP 7, ACDP 6, other 21; National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts
Political parties and leaders:
African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE, president]; African National Congress or ANC [Thabo MBEKI, president]; Democratic Alliance or DA (formed from the merger of the Democratic Party or DP and the Freedom Alliance or FA) [Anthony LEON]; Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI, president]; Pan-Africanist Congress or PAC [Stanley MOGOBA, president]; United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI, general secretary]; South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]; South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE, national president]; note - COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, C, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, NSG, ONUB, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara Joyce Mosima MASEKELA
chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jendayi E. FRAZER
embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
mailing address: P. O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048
FAX: [27] (12) 342-2244
consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
Flag description:
two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band which splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes
Anthem South Africa
The South Africa's National Anthem

History: two anthems into one

Prior to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994, the country had two anthems - an official and an unofficial one. The official anthem was called Die Stem or The Call of South Africa. The unofficial anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, was sung by the majority of the population.

In the official anthem of the new South Africa, the two anthems merge into one.

Die Stem van Suid Afrika (The Call of South Africa). "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" was a poem written by CJ Langenhoven in May 1918. The music was composed by the Reverend ML de Villiers in 1921. The South African Broadcasting Corporation played both God save the King and Die Stem to close their daily broadcasts, and so the public became familiar with Die Stem.

It was first sung publicly at the official hoisting of the national flag in Cape Town on 31 May 1928, but it was not until 2 May 1957 that the government accepted Die Stem as the official national anthem. In 1952 the English version, the Call of South Africa, was accepted for official use.

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher. The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn. Seven additional stanzas in Xhoza were later added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi. A Sesotho version was published by Moses Mphahlele in 1942.

Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika was popularised at concerts held in Johannesburg by Reverend JL Dube's Ohlange Zulu Choir. It became a popular church hymn that was later adopted as an anthem at political meetings. It was sung as an act of defiance during the apartheid years.

The first stanza is generally sung in Xhosa or Zulu, followed by the Sesotho version. Apparently there is no standard version or translations of Nkosi, and the words vary from place to place and from occasion to occasion.

(The info from www.safrica.info)

Words by: Enoch Mankayi and Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven
Music by: Enoch Mankayi and Marthinus Lourens de Villiers
In use from 1994

South Africa's National Anthem (Listen)

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

Paragraph 1 Xhosa
Paragraph 2 Sesotho
Paragraph 3 Afrikaans
Paragraph 4 English

(translation in English)

God bless Africa,
Lift her horn on high,
Hear our prayers.
God bless us
Who are Your people.

God save our nation,
End wars and strife.
South Africa.

Ringing out from our blue heavens,
from our deep seas breaking round;
Over everlasting mountains
Where the echoing crags resound

 

Economy South Africa
Economy - overview:
South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa's high unemployment rate; and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as means to increase job growth and household income.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $491.4 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.5% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $11,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 31.2%
services: 65.2% (2004 est.)
Currency (code):
rand (ZAR)
Currency code:
ZAR
Exchange rates:
rand per US dollar - 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003), 10.5407 (2002), 8.6092 (2001), 6.9398 (2000)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications South Africa
Telephones - main lines in use:
4.844 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
16.86 million (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa
domestic: consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
international: country code - 27; 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios:
17 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997)
Televisions:
6 million (2000)
Internet country code:
.za
Internet hosts:
288,633 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
150 (2001)
Internet users:
3.1 million (2002)
Transportation South Africa
Railways:
total: 20,872 km
narrow gauge: 20,436 km 1.065-m gauge (10,436 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge
note: includes a 1,210 km commuter rail system (2004)
Highways:
total: 275,971 km
paved: 57,568 km (including 2,032 km of expressways)
unpaved: 218,403 km (2002)
Pipelines:
condensate 100 km; gas 1,052 km; oil 847 km; refined products 1,354 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha
Merchant marine:
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 31,505 GRT/37,091 DWT
by type: container 1, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Denmark 1)
registered in other countries: 7 (2005)
Airports:
728 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 144
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
914 to 1,523 m: 67
under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 584
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 300
under 914 m: 250 (2004 est.)
Transnational Issues South Africa
Disputes - international:
South Africa has placed military along the border to stem the thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing to find work and escape political persecution; managed dispute with Namibia over the location of the boundary in the Orange River
Illicit drugs:
transshipment center for heroin, hashish, marijuana, and cocaine; cocaine consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries; illicit cultivation of marijuana; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region

The Flag of South Africa
South Africa, Suid Afrika

See also: Foreign Embassies in South Africa

See also: South African Embassies

See also: The News from South Africa

 




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