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South Africa Overview

South Africa - The Rainbow Nation

South Africa's rich history is overshadowed by its colonial heritage and the Apartheid era. South Africa has a dominant historical, social, economic, political background. A long racial conflict between the white minority and the black majority has played a major role in South Africa's history and politics. It has experienced a different history...

South Africa Facts

Full name: Republic of South Africa Term for National(s): South African(s). Independence: May 31, 1910, as Union of South Africa, self-governing British dominion and sovereignty recognized May 1, 1934, under Britain's Statute of Westminster. Republic of South Africa: May 31, 1961. President: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (2009) Population: 48.6...

Location of South Africa

South Africa, on the continent's southern tip, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. South Africa is bordered by Namibia to the northwest, by Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, and by Mozambique and Swaziland to the northeast and east. The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave within the...

Culture of South Africa

Blending Western technology with indigenous technology, Western traditions with African and Asian traditions, South Africa is a study in contrasts. It also provides lessons in how cultures can sometimes blend, sometimes collide: for example, within a short distance of one another can be found the villas of South Africa's white elite and the tar-...

South Africa Tourism

South Africa's tourism industry is in the process of blossoming from a state of near-invisibility in 1992 to employing 9% of the country's workforce, accounting for $9.2bn in revenues and contributing 8.2% of GDP in 2006, with visitor numbers swelling from roughly 1m in 1992 to 8.4m in 2006. Figures for 2006 were down from the previous year by $2....

Provinces of South Africa

South Africa is divided into nine provinces, each possessing its own democratically elected state legislature, premier and executive council. Some powers have been devolved to provincial authorities to encourage competition; however provincial law is subject to national law and, in cases where the two conflict, precedence is given to national law...

Recent History of South Africa

The most significant change occurred in South African long history at late nineties. After a long struggle and series of violence a stable peace was finally brokered in 1990. The domestic situation was far from resolved. Violent responses to black protests increased commitment to a revolutionary struggle, and the United Nations finally imposed...

Modern History of South Africa

Despite the scars of the past and the enormous problems ahead, South Africa today is immeasurably more optimistic and relaxed than it was a few years ago. The international community has embraced the new South Africa and the ANC's apparently sincere desire to create a truly non-racial nation. It will be some time before the black majority gain...

Ancient South Africa

The prehistory and history of South Africa span nearly the entire known existence of human beings and their ancestors - some three million years or more - and include the wandering of small bands of hominins through the savanna, the inception of herding and farming as ways of life, and the construction of large urban centres. Through this...

European Footstep in South Africa

The written history of South Africa begins with the arrival of the Portuguese. The first Portuguese ships rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, their occupants intent on gaining a share of the lucrative Arab trade with the East. Over the following century, numerous vessels made their way around the South African coast, but the only direct African...

Pre 20th Century History of South Africa

The San people were the first settlers; the Khoikhoi and Bantu-speaking tribes followed. The Dutch East India Company landed the first European settlers on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, launching a colony that by the end of the 18th century numbered only about 15,000. Known as Boers or Afrikaners, and speaking a Dutch dialect known as Afrikaans,...

Government and policies of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa has a central government and nine provincially based governments. Executive leadership is in the person of the president, elected by the National Assembly, which in turn is elected by proportional representation, with the National Council of Provinces representing South Africa’s nine regions. Both the parliament...

Major Political leaders of South Africa

Thabo Mbeki: South Africa’s President is currently in his second five-year term, following his ruling ANC gaining almost 70% of the vote in the April 2004 general election. Though somewhat overshadowed by Nelson Mandela while the latter was president between 1994 and 1999, Mbeki has been credited with conducting much of the day to day...

International Relations of South Africa

South African forces fought on the Allied side in World Wars I and II and participated in the postwar UN force in Korea. South Africa was a founding member of the League of Nations and in 1927 established a Department of External Affairs with diplomatic missions in the main west European countries and in the United States. At the founding of the...

International Organizations in South Africa

The year 1994 marked a watershed in South Africa's international relations, as it was welcomed into regional and international organizations, such as the UN, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Nonaligned Movement, and many others. The UN already had played an important role in South Africa's transition to democracy beginning in August...