BlueWorld

Africa: South Africa



About South Africa

After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.


Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Pretoria; note - Cape Town is
Population: 43,586,097
Percent below poverty: 50% (2000 est.)
Language: 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Date of independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Environmental Issues: lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage threatens to outpace supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rai
Agricultural Products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Imports: machinery, foodstuffs and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments
Exports: gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Germany, US, UK, Japan
EXPORTS: UK, Italy, Japan, US, Germany

 

South Africa Headlines

 


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