Portal:South Africa

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Unity in Diversity

Flag of South Africa
Map of the South Africa within Africa.

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.

South Africa has the largest population of people of European descent in Africa,one of the largest Indian population outside of Asia, as well as the largest Coloured (of mixed European, Asian and African descent) community in Africa, making it one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the continent. Racial and ethnic strife between the black majority and the white minority have played a large part in the country's history and politics. The National Party began introducing the policy of apartheid after winning the general election of 1948; however, it was the same party under the leadership of F.W. de Klerk who started to dismantle it in 1990 after a long struggle by the black majority, as well as many white, coloured and Indian South Africans.

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular free and fair elections have been held since 1994, making it a regional power and among the most stable and liberal democracies in Africa.

South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It has the second largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, and the 34th-largest in the world. By purchasing power parity, South Africa has the 7th highest per capita income in Africa. Although being the second largest economy, South Africa has the most sophisticated economy in the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country. The country is considered to be a newly industrialized country according to the World Bank classifications.

Selected panorama

Old Cape Town city hall
Credit: Douglas Scott
Taken on the 6th December 2013, the day after Nelson Mandela's death. Preparations begin and crowds begin to gather for a speech to be given in remembrance of Mandela at the old Cape Town City Hall.

Selected article

The Krugerrand is a South African gold coin, first minted in 1967 to help market South African gold and produced by the South African Mint. By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market. The name itself is a compound of "Kruger" (the man depicted on the obverse) and "rand", the South African unit of currency.

During the great bull market in gold of the 1970s, the gold Krugerrand quickly became the No.1 choice for investors worldwide wanting to buy gold. Between 1974 and 1985, it's estimated that 22 million gold Krugerrand coins were imported into the United States alone.

Selected picture

Dutch Reformed Church, Nieuwoudtville
Credit: Suzi-k

This dressed sandstone church in Nieuwoudtville is one of South Africa's Heritage Sites. Constructed between 1906 and 1907 it has served the surrounding community for more than a century.

Did you know...

The upper canyon as seen from Bourke's Luck at the Treur-Blyde confluence

  • ...that the Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 3,212 feet.
  • ...that Blyde River Canyon (pictured) is the third largest canyon in the world - and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.
  • ...that South Africa is home to the world's smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree).


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Selected biography

Chad le Clos
Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos, OIS (born 12 April 1992) is a South African swimmer who is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion as well as the Commonwealth record holder in the 50 and 100 meter butterfly. He won gold in the 200 meter butterfly and silver in the 100 meter butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London. He also won five medals at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore.

He attended Westville Boys' High School in Durban, South Africa, matriculating in 2010. He has been swimming from a very young age, and when he started competing at the age of 10 he already had a few years of training under his belt.

Le Clos was conferred the silver Order of Ikhamanga on 27 April 2013 in absentia. In a statement by the Chairperson of the National Orders Advisory Council, Dr. Cassius Lubisi, le Clos was conferred the honour "For his excellent achievements on the international swimming stage, especially at the London Olympics in 2012, thus placing South Africa in high standing globally in the field of Aquatic sports."

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Nelson Mandela
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.
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