Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Reading Culture: Spring 2019: South Africa

Spring 2019: South Africa

Reading Culture Graphic

Professor Evan's Presentation on South Africa

About South Africa

South Africa

Sources: CIA World Factbook; World Bank

Full name: Republic of South Africa

Short name: South Africa

Abbreviation: RSA

Etymology: "self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent" (CIA).

Government type: Parliamentary Republic

Date(s) of independence: "31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State);22 August 1934 (Status of the Union Act);31 May 1961 (republic declared);27 April 1994 (majority rule)"(CIA)

National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)

Population: 55,380,210 (July 2018 est.)

Location: "Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa" (CIA)

Climate: "mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights" (CIA)

Terrain: "vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain" (CIA)

Capital: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)

Area: 1,219,090 sq km (470,693 sq mi)

Elevation: 1,034 m (3,392 ft): lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m (ft), highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m (11,181 ft.)

Major languages: isiZulu (official) 24.7%, isiXhosa (official) 15.6%, Afrikaans (official) 12.1%, Sepedi (official) 9.8%, Setswana (official) 8.9%, English (official) 8.4%, Sesotho (official) 8%, Xitsonga (official) 4%, siSwati (official) 2.6%, Tshivenda (official) 2.5%, isiNdebele (official) 1.6%, other (includes Khoi, Nama, and San languages) 1.9% (2017 est.)

Major religions: Christian 86%, ancestral, tribal, animist, or other traditional African religions 5.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other 1.5%, nothing in particular 5.2% (2015 est.)

Major ethnic groups: black African 80.9%, colored* 8.8%, white 7.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2018 est.) *note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry

Life expectancy: Total: 64.1 years; Male: 62.7 years; Female: 65.6 years

Median age (2017 est.): Total: 27.4 years; Male: 27.2 years; Female: 27.6 years

Literacy*: 94.4%

Urban population (2017): 66.4% (2018)

Monetary unit: Rand (ZAR)

Main exports: gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment

Gross National Income per capita**: 5,430 (US Dollars)

Internet Domain: .za

International dialing code: - 27

 * Percentage age 15 and over who can read and write

** World Bank, 2017


Language Diversity in South Africa


Related E-Books

Related Books

Online Resources

©2022 Houston Community College Libraries