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Africa :: South Africa
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South Africa
  • Introduction :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting came to a head in 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in 2009; he was reelected in 2014.
  • Geography :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
    29 00 S, 24 00 E
    Africa
    total: 1,219,090 sq km
    land: 1,214,470 sq km
    water: 4,620 sq km
    note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    slightly less than twice the size of Texas
    total: 5,244 km
    border countries (6): Botswana 1,969 km, Lesotho 1,106 km, Mozambique 496 km, Namibia 1,005 km, Swaziland 438 km, Zimbabwe 230 km
    2,798 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
    mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
    vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
    gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
    arable land: 9.89%
    permanent crops: 0.34%
    other: 89.77% (2012 est.)
    16,700 sq km (2012)
    51.4 cu km (2011)
    total: 12.5 cu km/yr (36%/7%/57%)
    per capita: 271.7 cu m/yr (2005)
    prolonged droughts
    volcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano
    lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
  • People and Society :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • noun: South African(s)
    adjective: South African
    black African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%
    note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry (2014 est.)
    IsiZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)
    Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
    48,375,645
    note: Statistics South Africa (the national statistical agency of South Africa) estimates the country's mid-year 2013 total population to be 52,981,991, which takes into account the findings of South Africa's 2011 census; estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    0-14 years: 28.3% (male 6,859,518/female 6,815,185)
    15-24 years: 20.2% (male 4,914,394/female 4,866,121)
    25-54 years: 38.2% (male 9,543,746/female 8,923,605)
    55-64 years: 7.1% (male 1,470,282/female 1,950,499)
    65 years and over: 6.3% (male 1,205,657/female 1,826,638) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 53.9%
    youth dependency ratio: 45.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.7%
    potential support ratio: 11.5% (2014 est.)
    total: 25.7 years
    male: 25.4 years
    female: 26 years (2014 est.)
    -0.48% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    18.94 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    17.49 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    -6.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    note: Zimbabweans are increasingly migrating into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    urban population: 64.3% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni) 9.176 million; Cape Town (legislative capital) 3.624 million; Durban 2.89 million; PRETORIA (capital) 1.991 million; Port Elizabeth 1.172 million; Vereeniging 1.147 million; Bloemfontein (judicial capital) 496,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    300 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    total: 41.61 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 45.25 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 37.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    total population: 49.56 years
    male: 50.52 years
    female: 48.58 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    2.23 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    8.8% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    0.78 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    2.8 beds/1,000 population (2005)
    improved:
    urban: 99.2% of population
    rural: 88.3% of population
    total: 95.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.8% of population
    rural: 11.7% of population
    total: 4.9% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 81.7% of population
    rural: 62.4% of population
    total: 74.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 18.3% of population
    rural: 37.6% of population
    total: 25.6% of population (2012 est.)
    19.05% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    6,274,100 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    195,300 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2013)
    31.3% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    8.7% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    6% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 93.7%
    male: 95%
    female: 92.6% (2012 est.)
    total: 51.5%
    male: 47.1%
    female: 56.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
  • Government :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
    conventional short form: South Africa
    former: Union of South Africa
    abbreviation: RSA
    republic
    name: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
    geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape
    31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule)
    Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
    several previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved 4 December 1997, effective 4 February 1997; amended many times, last in 2013 (2013)
    mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 May 2014 (next to be held on May 2019)
    election results: Jacob ZUMA re-elected president unopposed; he was sworn in on 24 May 2014
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council of Provinces (90 seats; 10-member delegations appointed by each of the 9 provincial legislatures to serve 5-year terms; note - this council has special powers to protect regional interests, including safeguarding cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities) and the National Assembly (400 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held on 7 May 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
    election results: National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 62.2%, DA 22.2%, EFF 6.4%, IFP 2.4%, NFP 1.6%, other 5.2%; seats by party - ANC 249, DA 89, EFF 25, IFP 10, NFP 6, other 21
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals (consists of the court president, deputy president, and 21 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals president and vice-president appointed by the national president after consultation with the Joint Services Commission (JSC), a 22-member body of judicial and other government officials, and a law academics; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the national president on the advice of the JSC and hold office until discharged from active service in terms of an Act of Parliament; Constitutional Court chief and deputy chief justices appointed by the national president after consultation with the JSC and with heads of the National Assembly; other Constitutional Court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the chief justice and leaders of the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 12-year non-renewable terms or until age 70
    subordinate courts: High Courts; Magistrates' Courts; labor courts; land claims courts
    African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE]
    African National Congress or ANC [Jacob ZUMA]
    Congress of the People or COPE [Mosiuoa LEKOTA]
    Democratic Alliance or DA [Helen ZILLE]
    Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF [Julius MALEMA]
    Freedom Front Plus or FF+ [Pieter MULDER]
    Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI]
    National Freedom Party or NFP [Zanele kaMAGWAZA-MSIBI]
    Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania or PAC [Alton MPHETHI]
    United Christian Democratic Party or UCDP [Isaac Sipho MFUNDISI]
    United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]
    Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI, general secretary]
    South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]
    South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Richard MDAKANE, national president]
    note: COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC
    ACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, NSG, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mninwa Johnnes MAHLANGU (since 23 February 2015)
    chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400
    FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Patrick Hubert GASPARD (since 16 October 2013)
    embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
    mailing address: P. O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
    telephone: [27] (12) 431-4000
    FAX: [27] (12) 342-2299
    consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
    two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes; the flag colors do not have any official symbolism, but the Y stands for the "convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity"; black, yellow, and green are found on the flag of the African National Congress, while red, white, and blue are the colors in the flags of the Netherlands and the UK, whose settlers ruled South Africa during the colonial era
    note: the South African flag is one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Sudan's
    springbok (antelope), king protea flower; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white
    name: "National Anthem of South Africa"
    lyrics/music: Enoch SONTONGA and Cornelius Jacob LANGENHOVEN/Enoch SONTONGA and Marthinus LOURENS de Villiers
    note: adopted 1994; a combination of "N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrica" (God Bless Africa) and "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" (The Call of South Africa), which were respectively the anthems of the non-white and white communities under apartheid; official lyrics contain a mixture of Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English (i.e., the five most widely spoken of South Africa's 11 official languages); music incorporates the melody used in the Tanzanian and Zambian anthems
  • Economy :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world. Even though the country's modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. The global financial crisis reduced commodity prices and world demand, and GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but has recovered since then, albeit slowly, with 2014 growth less than 2%. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality - among the highest in the world - remain a challenge. Official unemployment is roughly 25% of the work force, and runs significantly higher among black youth. Eskom, the state-run power company, has built two new power stations and installed new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability. Load shedding and resulting rolling blackouts gripped many parts of South Africa in late 2014 because of electricity supply constraints that resulted from technical problems at some generation units, unavoidable planned maintenance, and an accident at a power station in Mpumalanga province. The rolling black outs were the worst the country faced since 2008. Construction delays at two additional plants, however, mean South Africa will continue to operate on a razor thin margin; economists judge that growth cannot exceed 3% until those plants come on line. South Africa's economic policy has focused on controlling inflation, however, the country faces structural constraints that also limit economic growth, such as skills shortages, declining global competitiveness and frequent work stoppages. The current government faces growing pressure from special interest groups to use state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth.
    $683.1 billion (2014 est.)
    $673.7 billion (2013 est.)
    $661.2 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 31
    $341.2 billion (2014 est.)
    1.4% (2014 est.)
    1.9% (2013 est.)
    2.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    $12,700 (2014 est.)
    $12,700 (2013 est.)
    $12,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 115
    13.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    13.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
    14.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    household consumption: 61.9%
    government consumption: 22.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.7%
    investment in inventories: -0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 34%
    imports of goods and services: -40.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2.4%
    industry: 28.5%
    services: 69.1% (2014 est.)
    corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
    mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
    2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    20.23 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    agriculture: 9%
    industry: 26%
    services: 65% (2007 est.)
    25% (2014 est.)
    24.7% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    31.3% (2009 est.)
    lowest 10%: 1.2%
    highest 10%: 51.7% (2009 est.)
    63.1 (2005)
    59.3 (1994)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    revenues: $87.1 billion
    expenditures: $102.2 billion (2014 est.)
    25.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    -4.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    47.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    46.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    1 April - 31 March
    6% (2014 est.)
    5.8% (2013 est.)
    5% (31 December 2012)
    7% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    9.1% (31 December 2014 est.)
    8.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    $112.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $108 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    $204.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $195.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $256.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $246.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    $1.038 trillion (31 December 2012)
    $855.7 billion (31 December 2011)
    $1.013 trillion (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    -$17.56 billion (2014 est.)
    -$20.45 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    $97.9 billion (2014 est.)
    $95.15 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
    China 32%, US 6.5%, Japan 5%, India 4.7% (2013)
    $102.2 billion (2014 est.)
    $102.8 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
    China 16.2%, Germany 9.4%, Saudi Arabia 8%, US 7%, India 4.8% (2013)
    $50.55 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $49.69 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    $143 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $142.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $177.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $171.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    $122.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $117.3 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    rand (ZAR) per US dollar -
    10.79 (2014 est.)
    9.6442 (2013 est.)
    8.2 (2012 est.)
    7.2597 (2011 est.)
    7.3212 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • 257.9 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    234.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    13.93 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    9.428 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    44.28 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    93.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    4.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    1.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0.6% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    168,700 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    15 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    437,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    604,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    80,460 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    79,010 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    1.187 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    4.637 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    3.45 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    15.01 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    473.2 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • 4.03 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    68.4 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    general assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 140 telephones per 100 persons; consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
    international: country code - 27; the SAT-3/WASC and SAFE fiber-optic submarine cable systems connect South Africa to Europe and Asia; the EASSy fiber-optic cable system connects with Europe and North America; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operates 4 TV stations, 3 are free-to-air and 1 is pay TV; e.tv, a private station, is accessible to more than half the population; multiple subscription TV services provide a mix of local and international channels; well-developed mix of public and private radio stations at the national, regional, and local levels; the SABC radio network, state-owned and controlled but nominally independent, operates 18 stations, one for each of the 11 official languages, 4 community stations, and 3 commercial stations; more than 100 community-based stations extend coverage to rural areas (2007)
    AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (1998)
    556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997)
    .za
    4.761 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    4.42 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 52
  • Transportation :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • 566 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    total: 144
    over 3,047 m: 11
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
    914 to 1,523 m: 65
    under 914 m: 9 (2013)
    total: 422
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
    914 to 1,523 m: 258
    under 914 m:
    132 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    condensate 94 km; gas 1,293 km; oil 992 km; refined products 1,460 km (2013)
    total: 20,192 km
    narrow gauge: 19,756 km 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified); 122 km 0.750-m gauge; 314 km 0.610-m gauge (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    total: 747,014 km
    paved: 158,952 km
    unpaved: 588,062 km (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    total: 3
    by type: petroleum tanker 3
    registered in other countries: 19 (Australia 1, Isle of Man 2, Mexico 1, NZ 1, Seychelles 1, Singapore 13) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    major seaport(s): Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
    container port(s) (TEUs): Durban (2,712,975)
  • Military :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), South African Military Health Services (2013)
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)
    males age 16-49: 13,439,781
    females age 16-49: 12,473,641 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 7,617,063
    females age 16-49: 6,476,264 (2010 est.)
    male: 482,122
    female: 485,017 (2010 est.)
    1% of GDP (2013)
    1.16% of GDP (2012)
    1.14% of GDP (2011)
    1.16% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    with the end of apartheid and the establishment of majority rule, former military, black homelands forces, and ex-opposition forces were integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF); as of 2003 the integration process was considered complete
  • Transnational Issues :: SOUTH AFRICA

  • South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River
    refugees (country of origin): 20,504 (Somalia); 14,426 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,580 (Ethiopia) (2014)
    transshipment center for heroin, hashish, and cocaine, as well as a major cultivator of marijuana in its own right; cocaine and heroin consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries, but increasingly producing its own synthetic drugs for domestic consumption; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region and the size of the South African economy
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