Portal:South Africa

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South Africa
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Unity in Diversity

Introduction

Flag of South Africa
Map of the South Africa within Africa.

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.

Hintsa Ka Phalo
Chief Hintsa OF The Gcaleka Xhosa

South Africa has the largest population of people of European descent in Africa,one of the largest Indian population outside of Asia, as well as the largest Coloured (of mixed European, Asian and African descent) community in Africa, making it one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the continent. Racial and ethnic strife between the black majority and the white minority have played a large part in the country's history and politics. The National Party began introducing the policy of apartheid after winning the general election of 1948; however, it was the same party under the leadership of F.W. de Klerk who started to dismantle it in 1990 after a long struggle by the black majority, as well as many white, coloured and Indian South Africans.

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular free and fair elections have been held since 1994, making it a regional power and among the most stable and liberal democracies in Africa.

South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It has the second largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, and the 34th-largest in the world. By purchasing power parity, South Africa has the 7th highest per capita income in Africa. Although being the second largest economy, South Africa has the most sophisticated economy in the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country. The country is considered to be a newly industrialized country according to the World Bank classifications.

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A map of Afrikaans speakers in the world, colored by population.

Afrikaans (UK: /ˌæfrɪˈkɑːns/, US: /ˌɑːf-/) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of Holland (Hollandic dialect) spoken by the Dutch settlers in South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch.

Although Afrikaans has adopted words from other languages, including German and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin. Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in the more analytic-type morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, and a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch. There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages, especially in written form. (Full article...)

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Voortrekker Monument
Credit: John Walker

The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854.

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The upper canyon as seen from Bourke's Luck at the Treur-Blyde confluence

  • ...that the Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 2,789 feet. First place goes to the Angel Falls in Venezuela at 3,212 feet.
  • ...that Blyde River Canyon (pictured) is the third largest canyon in the world - and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.
  • ...that South Africa is home to the world's smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree).

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SAS President Pretorius was the last of three President-class Type 12 frigates built in the UK for the South African Navy (SAN) during the 1960s. The ship spent most of her career training and visited foreign ports in Africa and Australia. She had a lengthy modernisation during the 1970s and manpower shortages limited her activities after that was completed in 1977. President Pretorius was paid off in 1985 and was sold for scrap in 1992. (Full article...)

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Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904), better known as Paul Kruger, and affectionately known as Uncle Paul (Afrikaans: "Oom Paul"), was State President of the South African Republic (Transvaal). He gained international renown as the face of Boer resistance against the British during the South African or Second Boer War (1899–1902).

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Bobotie with yellow rice and chutney.
Bobotie (Afrikaans: [bəˈbuəti]) is a well-known South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. (Full article...)

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In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift—a more human face.

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The following are images from various South Africa-related articles on Wikipedia.

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