Facts – South Africa

The facts about South Africa presented below are intended to give you a brief overview of the country before making your decision to purchase a property there.

Research and Facts about South Africa (from CIA World Factbook)

Country Name:

conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
abbreviation: RSA

Location:

Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

Area:

total: 1,219,912 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)

land:

land: 1,219,912 sq km

water:

water: 0 sq km

Coastline:

2,798 km

Climate:

mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights

Terrain:

vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

Geography:

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
South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland

Natural Resources

gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas

Population:

44,187,637
(July 2006 est)

Age Structure:

0-14 Years:

29.7% (male 6,603,220/female 6,525,810)

15-64 Years:

65% (male 13,955,950/female 14,766,843)

65 Years and Over:

5.3% (male 905,870/female 1,429,944) (2006 est.)

Average Age:

Total:

24.1 years (2006 est.)

Male:

23.3 years

Female:

25 years

Ethnic Groups:

black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)

Religions:

Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)

General

Languages:

IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)

Government

Type:

Republic

Capital:

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

Independence:

31 May 1910 (from UK); note - South Africa became a republic in 1961 following an October 1960 referendum

Economy

South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa's high unemployment rate, and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as means to increase job growth and household income.

Currency:

South African Rand (ZAR)

GDP Growth Rate:

4.5% (2006 est.)

Labour Occupations:

agriculture: 30%
industry: 25%
services: 45% (1999 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

25.5%

Inflation Rate:

5% (2006 est)

Agriculture Produce:

corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products

Transportation

Railways:

total: 20,872 km
narrow gauge: 20,436 km 1.065-m gauge (8,868 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge (2005)

Roads:

total: 362,099 km
paved: 73,506 km (including 239 km of expressways)
unpaved: 288,593 km (2002)

Airports:

731 (2006)
paved runways: 146
unpaved runways: 585

Ports & Harbours:

Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay

Communications

Mains Telephones:

4.729 million

Mobile Telephones:

33.96 million

Television Stations:

556

Internet Users:

5.1 million (2005)

Country Internet Code:

.za


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