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 Eswatini, 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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Clockwise from top left: FAPLA MiG-21bis on an airstrip; SADF convoy patrolling Namibian roads; 1981 protests against SADF aggression in Angola; Soviet adviser with FAPLA soldiers; UNTAG peacekeepers just prior to Namibian independence; SADF expeditionary troops loading a mortar in the operational area

The South African Border War, also known as the Namibian War of Independence, and sometimes denoted in South Africa as the Angolan Bush War, was a largely asymmetric conflict that occurred in Namibia (then South West Africa), Zambia, and Angola from 26 August 1966 to 21 March 1990. It was fought between the South African Defence Force (SADF) and the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), an armed wing of the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO). The South African Border War resulted in some of the largest battles on the African continent since World War II and was closely intertwined with the Angolan Civil War.

Following several years of unsuccessful petitioning through the United Nations and the International Court of Justice for Namibian independence from South Africa, SWAPO formed the PLAN in 1962 with material assistance from the Soviet Union, China, and sympathetic African states such as Tanzania, Ghana, and Algeria. Fighting broke out between PLAN and the South African authorities in August 1966. Between 1975 and 1988 the SADF staged massive conventional raids into Angola and Zambia to eliminate PLAN's forward operating bases. It also deployed specialist counter-insurgency units such as Koevoet and 32 Battalion trained to carry out external reconnaissance and track guerrilla movements. (Full article...)

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  • ...that The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.
  • ...that South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
  • ...that South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track - 80% of Africa's rail infrastructure.

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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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Emily Hobhouse
Emily Hobhouse (9 April 1860 – 8 June 1926) was a British welfare campaigner, who is primarily remembered for bringing to the attention of the British public, and working to change, the deprived conditions inside the British concentration camps in South Africa built for Boer women and children during the Second Boer War.

She became an honorary citizen of South Africa for her humanitarian work there. Her ashes were ensconced in a niche in the National Women's Monument at Bloemfontein, where she was regarded as a heroine; her memorial service was the greatest granted to a non–South African. The southernmost town in Eastern Free State is named Hobhouse, after her, as was a submarine: the SAS Emily Hobhouse, one of the South African Navy's three Daphné class submarines; the submarine was later renamed Umkhonto.

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Malva Pudding.jpg
Malva pudding is a sweet pudding of South African origin. It contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelized texture. A cream sauce is often poured over it while it is hot, and it is usually served hot with custard and/or ice-cream. Many South African restaurants offer it. (Full article...)

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Donald Currie
Amongst the influences which are to affect the future of South Africa, I think the first to be mentioned is Education.
Donald Currie, Esq. GCMG (7 June 1877)

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A panorama of the Johannesburg CBD at sunrise looking east across the M1 highway.
Credit: Dylan Harbour
Johannesburg CBD at sunrise.

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

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