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Republic of South Africa

map of South Africa

Location southern Africa
Bordered By
Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho

location of South Africa

Area 470,693 sq mi (1,219,090 sq km)
Greatest Distance N-S 875 mi (1,408 km)
Greatest Distance E-W 1,010 mi (1,625 km)
Coastline 1,739 mi (2,798 km)
Highest Point
Njesuthi; 11,181 ft (3,408 m)
Lowest Point
sea level
Natural Resources
gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas

Nationality South African
Population (July 2014 est)
Largest Cities Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth
Ethnic Groups black African, mixed, white, Indian
Religions Protestant, Catholic, Muslim
IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga, siSwati, Tshivenda, isiNdebele (all official)

Capitals Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
Form of Government republic
Present Constitution Adopted February 4, 1997
Chief of State and Head of Government
Jacob Zuma (since May 9, 2009)
appointed by the President
bicameral Parliament
Supreme Court of Appeals, Constitutional Court
Local Administration
9 provinces

Currency rand (ZAR)
Per Capita Income
mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Agricultural Products
corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Export Commodities
gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Import Commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs

Independence Achieved May 31, 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies -- Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State)
National Holiday
Freedom Day; April 27 (1994, majority rule implemented)
the flag colors do not have any official symbolism, but the green "Y" stands for the "convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity"; black, yellow, and green are found on the flag of the African National Congress, while red, white, and blue are the colors in the flags of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, whose settlers ruled South Africa during the colonial era

flag of South Africa


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The Robinson Library >> General and Old World History >> Africa >> South Africa

This page was last updated on December 05, 2017.