Portal:South Africa

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Introduction

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South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland (Eswatini); and it surrounds the kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with close to 56 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (white), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth-ranked as a spoken first language. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990.

Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. Nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence.

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Great White Shark scavenging whale carcass.
Black December refers to numerous shark attacks that occurred along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, from December 1957 to Easter 1958. At least five humans died over the 107-day period.

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Afrikaans Language Monument'
Credit: C. Hill

The Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the semicentenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaners' identity and pride in their language.

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Jacques Henry Kallis
Jacques Henry Kallis (born 16 October 1975) is a South African cricketer. As a right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, Kallis is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders ever. To date, he is the only cricketer in the history of the game to hold more than 11,000 runs and 250 wickets in both one day and Test match cricket.

Kallis has played over 150 Test matches and boasts a batting average of just under 57 runs per innings. From October to December 2007 he produced a streak of five centuries in four Test Matches; with his century in the second innings of the third test against India in January 2011, his 40th in all, he moved past Ricky Ponting to become the second-highest scorer of Test centuries, behind only Sachin Tendulkar, who currently has 51 centuries.

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Donald Currie
Amongst the influences which are to affect the future of South Africa, I think the first to be mentioned is Education.
Donald Currie, Esq. GCMG (7 June 1877)
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