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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 million (UN, 2007)
  • Total area: 471,008 sq mi (1,219,912 sq km)
  • Capitals (de facto): Pretoria1 (executive); Bloemfontein2 (judicial); Cape Town (legislative)
  • Largest city: Johannesburg
  • Ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha. Airports: 727.
  • Major languages: 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa, Zulu, Sepedi and Xitsonga. See also the People and Language of South Africa
  • Major religion: Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs.
  • Ethnic groups: Khoekhoe, San peoples, Bantu-speaking Africans, Malays, the Griquas. Ethnicity/race: black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5%.
  • Literacy rate: 86% (2003 est.)
  • Monetary unit: Rand
  • Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $534.6 billion; per capita $12,100.
  • Industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair.
  • Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas. Exports: $50.91 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment.
  • Imports: $52.97 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs.
  • International dialling code: +27.
Last Updated on Wednesday 29th December 2010