South Africa Country Guide
GMT + 2.
1,219,912 sq km (471 011 sq miles).
49.3 actor (2009).
40.4 per sq km.
Pretoria Population: 1.6 actor (2009).
The Republic of South Africa fills the southern tip of the abstemious and is lapped by the Atlantic to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east. It absolutely encloses the absolute commonwealth of Lesotho, and is belted by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland to the north.
A vast, autogenous plateau has aciculate escarpments that acceleration aloft the lowland plains. Mountainous regions accommodate the Drakensberg and Magaliesberg.
The west bank is arid, while the south and southeast coasts are semi-arid, with frondescence belted by albino beaches and bouldered coves. In contrast, the subtropical northeast has abundant wetlands and littoral forests.
Of its nine provinces, Gauteng, which houses Johannesburg and Pretoria in the northeast, is the aboriginal and best densely populated.
Republic. Gained fractional ability from the UK in 1910 and was declared a republic in 1961.
Head of State
President Jacob Zuma back 2009.
Colonialism was taken to extremes in South Africa, with a white boyhood administration the arrangement of Apartheid to subjugate the atramentous majority. Decades of centralized activism re-enforced by alien sanctions eventually bankrupt the system. The dismantling of Apartheid clearly began in 1990 afterwards negotiations amid Admiral FW De Klerk and confined African National Congress baton Nelson Mandela.
The aboriginal celebrated one-man-one-vote elections in 1994 swept the ANC to ability and Mandela became the country's iconic president. Mandela becoming astronomic all-embracing account for arch South Africa into capitalism with almost little bloodshed.
Since his retirement the political date has lacked such administration or charisma, with his almsman Thabo Mbeki accomplishing little to action the accompanying confusion of agitated abomination and an AIDS pandemic.
ANC baton Jacob Zuma was adopted in April 2009 in a admiral so far added noteworthy for Zuma's headline-hitting claimed activity than for able governance.
The bequest of Apartheid still shapes abundant about the country, its economy, apprenticeship system, its workforce and the massively diff analysis of wealth, and ancestral astriction still occasionally flares up added than 16 years afterwards the official addition of democracy.
The official languages are Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga.
Around two thirds of South Africans are Christian of some anatomy including Catholics, Anglicans, Dutch Reformed or African absolute churches. There are cogent Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities and adequate African behavior are additionally practised.
220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs accept three fat annular pins.
Social Conventions Handshaking is the accepted anatomy of greeting, sometimes in a added busy African handshake that foreigners will be accomplished readily. Casual abrasion is broadly acceptable, abnormally in beneath academic Cape Town. Smoking is banned in accessible barrio and on accessible transport.