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.

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Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Credit: Christian Wörtz
Panoramic view from the Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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The daughters of a small community of bushmen living in Namibia.
The San people (or Saan), also known as Bushmen or Basarwa are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer people of Southern Africa, whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
From the 1950s through the 1990s, the San switched to farming because of government-mandated modernisation programs.
Despite the lifestyle changes, they have provided a wealth of information in anthropology and genetics. One broad study of African genetic diversity completed in 2009 found that the San were among the five populations with the highest measured levels of genetic diversity among the 121 distinct African populations sampled. The San are one of 14 known extant "ancestral population clusters" from which all known modern humans descend.

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The Anglo-Boer War Memorial
Credit: NJR ZA

On the grounds of the South African National Museum of Military History is the large Anglo-Boer War Memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Originally called the Rand Regiments Memorial and dedicated to British soldiers that lost their lives during the Second Boer War, it was rededicated on 10 October 1999 to all people who died during the Second Boer War and renamed the Boer War Memorial.

Did you know...

Sun City - The Lost Palace

  • ...that South Africa is rated 3rd in the world in supplying safe, drinkable tap water.
  • ...that The Palace of the Lost City (pictured) resort hotel is the largest theme resort hotel in the world as well as the largest building project undertaken in the southern hemisphere.
  • ...that Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.


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Selected biography

Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904), better known as Paul Kruger, and affectionately known as Uncle Paul (Afrikaans: "Oom Paul"), was State President of the South African Republic (Transvaal). He gained international renown as the face of Boer resistance against the British during the South African or Second Boer War (1899–1902).

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In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift—a more human face.
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