Area: 1.2 million sq. km. (470,462 sq. mi.).
Cities: Capitals--administrative, Pretoria; legislative, Cape Town; judicial, Bloemfontein. Other cities--Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth.
Terrain: Plateau, savanna, desert, mountains, coastal plains.
Climate: moderate; comparable to southern California.
Nationality: Noun andadjective--South African(s).
Population (2011): 50.59 million. Composition--black 79.5%; white 9%; colored 9%; Asian (Indian) 2.5%. (2011 Mid-Year Population Estimate Report at http://www.statssa.gov.za)
Annual population growth rate (2010): 1.1%.
49,109,107 (growth rate: –0.05%); birth rate: 19.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 43.7/1000; life expectancy: 49.2; density per sq mi: 93Languages
Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga (all official languages).
Predominantly Christian; traditional African, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish.
Years compulsory--7-15 years of age for all children. The South African Schools Act (Act 84), passed by Parliament in 1996, aims to achieve greater educationalopportunities for black children. This Act mandated a single syllabus and more equitable funding for schools.
Infant mortality rate (2011)--37.9 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy--59.1 years women; 54.9 years men. (Health data from 2011 Mid-Year Population Estimate Report: http://www.statssa.gov.za)
Flag of South Africa
Use Civil and state flag and ensign Proportion 2:3Adopted 27 April 1994 Design Rectangular flag in the proportion of two in the width to three in the length: per pall from the hoist, the upper band red (chilli) and the lower band blue, with a black triangle at the hoist; over the partition lines a green pall one fifth the width of the flag, fimbriated white against the red (chilli) and blue, and gold against the black triangle at the hoist; the widthof the pall and its fimbriations is one third the width of the flag Designed by Frederick Brownell, former State Herald of South Africa
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: The Union of South Africa was created on May 31, 1910; became a sovereign state within British Empire in 1934; became a republic on May 31, 1961; left the Commonwealth in October 1968; rejoined theCommonwealth in June 1994.
Constitution: Entered into force February 3, 1997.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state) elected to a 5-year term by the National Assembly. Legislative--bicameral Parliament consisting of 490 members in two chambers. National Assembly (400 members) elected by a system of proportional representation. National Council of Provinces consisting of 90 delegates (10 fromeach province) and 10 nonvoting delegates representing local government. Judicial--Constitutional Court interprets and decides constitutional issues; Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court for interpreting and deciding nonconstitutional matters.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Limpopo,Western Cape.
Political parties: African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (COPE), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Pan-African Congress (PAC), Vryheidsfront Plus/Freedom Front Plus (FF+), United Democratic Movement (UDM), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), and Azanian Peoples Organization (Azapo).
Suffrage: Citizens and permanent residents 18 and older.Economy
GDP (2010): $357.3 billion.
Real GDP growth rate: (2008) 3.7%; (2009) -1.8%; (2010) 2.8%.
GDP per capita (2010): $10,700.
Unemployment (second quarter 2011): 25.7%.
Natural resources: Almost all essential commodities, except petroleum products and bauxite. It is the only country in the world that manufactures fuel from coal.
Industry: Types--minerals, mining, motor vehicles and...