South Africa Facts

Official Name:

Republic of South Africa

 

President:

Jacob Zuma

 

Government:

Democratic

 

Capital:

Pretoria

 

Geography:

The only country in the world with coastlines on the Atlantic and Indian Ocean! To the north South Africa shares borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, and Lesotho which is a landlocked country.

 

Provinces:

Northern Province, North West, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape

 

Area:

1 219 090 km² or roughly twice the size of France.

 

Population:

50 million (2011)

 

Languages:

Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga

 

Religion:

Christian, Islamic, Hindu

 

Ethnicity/race:

Africans are in the majority at 40 206 275, making up 79.5% of the total population. The white population is estimated at 4 565 825 (9.0%), the coloured population at 4 539 790 (9.0%) and the Indian/Asian population at 1 274 867 (2.5%).

 

Climate:

The climatic conditions in South Africa are largely dependent on the altitude of the area in question and its proximity to one of the oceans. Climate does, therefore, vary considerably. The cold Benguela current causes moderate temperatures on the West Coast, and on the central plateau the altitude (Johannesburg lies at 1753m) keeps the average temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius. In winter, also due to altitude, temperatures drop to freezing point and in places even lower. Precipitation is to be expected mainly in the summer months, with the exception of the Western Cape which is a winter-rain area.

 

Water Temperature:

Water temperatures on the East Coast, north of Durban, range from 18°C in winter months to 26°C in summer months. As you move further south from Durban, so the water temperature drops. The West Coast is rather chilly, with temperatures ranging from 9°C in winter to 14°C in summer. Brrrrrr!

Natural Resources:

Mining (world’s largest producer of platinum, chromium), and gold.

 

Main Exports:

Automobile assembly, metal-working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilisers, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair.

 

Local Time:

GMT+2

 

Dialling Code:

+27