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Reading Culture: Spring 2019: South Africa

Spring 2019: South Africa

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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

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Language Diversity in South Africa

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