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South Africa

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South Africa is a world-class destination to suit all your business travel needs including incentive travel, conferencing, company training, meetings and events.<a href="http://www.southafrica.net/" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a>
South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural products and foodstuffs, the largest number of exported items being sugar, grapes, citrus, nectarines, wine and deciduous fruit.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
The interior of South Africa is a vast, rather flat, and sparsely populated scrubland, Karoo, which is drier towards the northwest along the Namib desert.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
At 470,979 sqmi (1,219,912km"), South Africa is the world's 25th-largest country (after Mali ). It is comparable in size to Colombia.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is the continent's major media player, and its many broadcasters and publications reflect the diversity of the population.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>
South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and a substantial amount of revenue comes from tourism.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world, after Brazil and Indonesia and has greater biodiversity than any country of equal or smaller size (Brazil being roughly seven times South Africa's size, and Indonesia more than 50% larger).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is a nation of more than 43 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is the only country in the world with three capital cities : Cape Town, the largest of the three, is the legislative capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is an exhilarating and complex country. With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there is undoubtedly an abundance of energy and a sense of progress about the place.<a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa/" TARGET="_blank" [6]</a>
The newly-created Union of South Africa was a dominion. The Natives' Land Act of 1913 severely restricted the ownership of land by 'blacks', at that stage to a mere 7% of the country, although this amount was eventually increased marginally.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names ) is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It borders the Atlantic and Indian oceans and Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, an independent enclave surrounded by South African territory.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
Organized political activity among Africans started with the establishment of the African National Congress in 1912. Jan Christiaan Smuts brought the nation into World War II on the Allied side against Nationalist opposition, and South Africa became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945, but he refused to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>
South Africa is one of the worst affected countries in the world when it comes to invasion by alien species with many (e.g. Black Wattle, Port Jackson, Hakea, Lantana and Jacaranda ) posing a significant threat to the native biodiversity and the already scarce water resources.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
South Africa is one of only 17 countries worldwide considered Megadiverse. It has more than 20,000 different plants, or about 10% of all the known species of plants on Earth, making it particularly rich in plant biodiversity.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
The main sports in South Africa are football, rugby union, cricket and boxing. Other sports with significant support are swimming, golf and netball.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
There are smaller but still significant groups of speakers of Khoisan languages which are not included in the eleven official languages, but are one of the eight other officially recognised languages. There are small groups of speakers of endangered languages, most of which are from the Khoi-San family, that receive no official status; however, some groups within South Africa are attempting to promote their use and revival.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>
Brand South Africa provides a range of resources to help individuals and organisations promote the country.<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a>


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  • The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names ) is a country located at the southern tip of Africa.<a href="#hdng0">(More...)</a>



<a name="hdng0"></a>The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names ) is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It borders the Atlantic and Indian oceans and Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, an independent enclave surrounded by South African territory. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

When apartheid ended in 1994, the South African government had to integrate the formerly independent and semi-independent Bantustans into the political structure of South Africa. To this end, it abolished the four former provinces of South Africa ( Cape Province, Natal, Orange Free State, and Transvaal ) and replaced them with nine fully integrated provinces.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> After four years of negotiating, the Union of South Africa was created from the Cape and Natal colonies, as well as the republics of Orange Free State and Transvaal, on May 31, 1910, exactly eight years after the end of the Second Boer War.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

CIA. ^ SouthAfrica.info: South Africa's geography ^ EuroWEATHER - Climate averages: Cape Town, South Africa (English).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The book Scorched : South Africa's changing climate takes much of the modelling produced by SANBI and presents it in an accessible travelogue-style collection of essays. South Africa houses many endemic species, among them the critically endangered Riverine Rabbit ( Bunolagus monticullaris ) in the Karoo.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Major ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), Bapedi (North Sotho), Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele, all of which speak Bantu languages (see Bantu peoples of South Africa ). Some, such as the Zulu, Xhosa, Bapedi and Venda groups, are unique to South Africa. Other groups are distributed across the borders with South Africa's neighbours: The Basotho group is also the major ethnic group in Lesotho.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is a nation of more than 43 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> With high unemployment levels amongst poorer South Africans, xenophobia is prevalent and many people born in South Africa feel resentful of immigrants who are seen to be depriving the native population of jobs, a feeling which has been given credibility by the fact that many South African employers have employed migrants from other countries for lower pay than South African citizens, especially in the construction, tourism, agriculture and domestic service industries.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa has a large, free, and active press that regularly challenges the government, a habit formed during the apartheid era when the press was the medium least controlled by the government. Major scandals have erupted when the press reported charges of corruption that were proven to be true in cases such as that of Schabir Shaik, in which (then) deputy president Jacob Zuma was implicated, and the corruption allegations that led to the dismissal of Winnie Mandela from parliament.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> In 1990 the National Party government took the first step towards negotiating itself out of power when it lifted the ban on the African National Congress and other left-wing political organisations, and released Nelson Mandela from prison after twenty-seven years' incarceration on a sabotage sentence. Apartheid legislation was gradually removed from the statute books, and South Africa also destroyed its nuclear arsenal and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa was only allowed to participate from 1995 since the end of Apartheid. It followed the 1995 Rugby World Cup final by hosting and winning the 1996 African Cup of Nations football tournament. It also hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the Pro20 Cricket World Cup in 2007.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa will be the host nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will be the first time the tournament is held on the African continent.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Sarel van der Merwe won many national titles during the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup at their first attempt and again won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, beating reigning champions England in the final.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The primary sources of South Africa law were Roman-Dutch mercantile law and personal law with English Common law, as imports of Dutch settlements and British colonialism.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa recently overtook New Zealand as the 6th most popular destination amongst the British expat community. There has also been a significant number of white Zimbabwean arrivals, fleeing their home country in light of the economic and political problems currently facing the country.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> There was also a significant number of white Zimbabweans who emigrated to South Africa in the wake of independence in Zimbabwe in 1980. Such emigrants have sometmes been cited in popular culture as 'whenwe's' for their vocal preference for life in Smith's Rhodesia.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa has eleven official languages : Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. In this regard it is second only to India in number.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> There are eleven official names for South Africa, one in each of the official national languages.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> There are smaller but still significant groups of speakers of Khoisan languages which are not included in the eleven official languages, but are one of the eight other officially recognised languages. There are small groups of speakers of endangered languages, most of which are from the Khoi-San family, that receive no official status; however, some groups within South Africa are attempting to promote their use and revival.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Troublesome leaders, often of royal descent, were banished from Dutch colonies to South Africa. This group of slaves eventually gave rise to a population that now identifies themselves as " Cape Malays ".<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> As Kwaito is still a developing, and the South African population is only around 40 million, albums only require 25,000 cd's to go gold in South Africa.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Crime has had a pronounced effect on society: many middle-class South Africans moved into gated communities, abandoning the central business districts of some cities for the relative security of suburbs. This effect is most pronounced in Johannesburg, although the trend is noticeable in other cities as well. Many emigrants from South Africa also state that crime was a big motivator for them to leave.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Even though South Africa is classified as semi-arid, there is considerable variation in climate as well as topography.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Njesuthi in the Drakensberg at 3,408m (11,424ft) is the highest peak in South Africa. South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to it being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator ) and further inland. Due to this varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa has lost a large area of natural habitat in the last four decades, primarily due to overpopulation, sprawling development patterns and deforestation during the nineteenth century.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> As for racial inequality, Statistics South Africa reported that in 1995 the average white household earned four times as much as the average black household.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world, after Brazil and Indonesia and has greater biodiversity than any country of equal or smaller size (Brazil being roughly seven times South Africa's size, and Indonesia more than 50% larger).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa undertook a nuclear weapons program in the 1970s and may have conducted a nuclear test over the Atlantic in 1979. It is the only African country to have successfully developed nuclear weapons. It has since become the only country with nuclear capability to voluntarily renounce and dismantle its program and in the process signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> This article is about the country on the southern tip of the African continent. For its predecessors, see Union of South Africa.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Even though South Africa has the fourth highest per capita income in Africa, only behind Seychelles, Botswana and the European possessions located in Africa, it suffers from large income gaps and a dual economy marking it as a developing country.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is the only country in the world with three capital cities : Cape Town, the largest of the three, is the legislative capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa has experienced a different history from other nations in Africa because of early immigration from Europe and the strategic importance of the Cape Sea Route.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is often called the " Rainbow Nation ", a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later adopted by then President Nelson Mandela.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The current (2004-2009 term) President of South Africa is Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded former President Nelson Mandela.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

In recent years, tourism in South Africa has seen high growth with the first five months of 2007 showing the highest levels of tourism in South Africa since 1998.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> According to a survey for the period 1998"2000 compiled by the United Nations, South Africa was ranked second for assault and murder (by all means) per capita, in addition to being ranked second for rape and first for rapes per capita.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is one of only 17 countries worldwide considered Megadiverse. It has more than 20,000 different plants, or about 10% of all the known species of plants on Earth, making it particularly rich in plant biodiversity.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa has a bicameral parliament : the ninety members of the National Council of Provinces (the upper house ); and the four hundred members of the National Assembly (the lower house ).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The rationale for the nuclear arsenal is disputed, but it is believed that Vorster and P.W. Botha wanted to be able to catalyse American intervention in the event of a war between South Africa and the Cuban -supported MPLA government of Angola.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The original temperate forest that met the first European settlers to South Africa was exploited ruthlessly until only small patches remained.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Since 2003, the numbers of British expats coming to South Africa has rose by 50%.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural products and foodstuffs, the largest number of exported items being sugar, grapes, citrus, nectarines, wine and deciduous fruit.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is located at the southernmost region of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500kilometres (1,550 mi) and across two oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian ).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is ethnically diverse, with the largest Caucasian, Indian, and racially mixed communities in Africa.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Only 1% of South Africa is forest, almost exclusively in the humid coastal plain along the Indian Ocean in KwaZulu-Natal (see KwaZulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic ).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The interior of South Africa is a vast, rather flat, and sparsely populated scrubland, Karoo, which is drier towards the northwest along the Namib desert.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The newly-created Union of South Africa was a dominion. The Natives' Land Act of 1913 severely restricted the ownership of land by 'blacks', at that stage to a mere 7% of the country, although this amount was eventually increased marginally.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> At 470,979 sqmi (1,219,912km"), South Africa is the world's 25th-largest country (after Mali ). It is comparable in size to Colombia.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and a substantial amount of revenue comes from tourism.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The main sports in South Africa are football, rugby union, cricket and boxing. Other sports with significant support are swimming, golf and netball.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The high Drakensberg mountains, which form the south-eastern escarpment of the Highveld, offer limited skiing opportunities in winter.The coldest place in South Africa is Sutherland in the western Roggeveld Mountains, where midwinter temperatures can reach as low as "15 degrees Celsius (5" F ).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is home to an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is unusually vulnerable to climate change and resultant diminution of surface waters.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa is one of the worst affected countries in the world when it comes to invasion by alien species with many (e.g. Black Wattle, Port Jackson, Hakea, Lantana and Jacaranda ) posing a significant threat to the native biodiversity and the already scarce water resources.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> While the White minority enjoyed the highest standard of living in all of Africa, often comparable to " First World " western nations, the Black majority remained disadvantaged by almost every standard, including income, education, housing, and life expectancy. The average income and life expectancy of a black, Indian or "Coloured" South African compared favourably to many other African states, such as Ghana and Tanzania as education and health were provided, though selectively.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The South African economy is the largest in Africa and 24th largest in the world. Due to this it is the most socially, economically and infrastructurally developed country on the continent.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Even though South Africa's population has increased in the past decade (primarily due to immigration), the country had an annual population growth rate of "0.501% in 2008(CIA est.).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> There are almost a thousand agricultural cooperatives and agribusinesses throughout the country, and agricultural exports have constituted 8% of South Africa's total exports for the past five years.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The extreme southwest has a climate remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers, hosting the famous Fynbos Biome. This area also produces much of South Africa's wine. This region is also particularly known for its wind, which blows intermittently almost all year. The severity of this wind made passing around the Cape of Good Hope particularly treacherous for sailors, causing many shipwrecks.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa's armed forces, known as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), was created in 1994.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Racial strife between the the black majority and white minority has played a large part in South Africa's history and politics, culminating in apartheid, which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party (although segregation existed before that time).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Since the ANC government took power, South Africa's United Nations Human Development Index has fallen dramatically, while it was steadily rising until the mid-1990s. Much of this could be attributed to the AIDS pandemic and the government's failure to take steps to address it.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> South Africa's most prevalent biome is grassland, particularly on the Highveld, where the plant cover is dominated by different grasses, low shrubs, and acacia trees, mainly camel-thorn and whitethorn.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The reasons cited by many expats are South Africa's family values, the weather and a better quality of life.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Organized political activity among Africans started with the establishment of the African National Congress in 1912. Jan Christiaan Smuts brought the nation into World War II on the Allied side against Nationalist opposition, and South Africa became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945, but he refused to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> Apartheid--racial separation--dominated domestic politics as the Nationalists gained power and imposed greater restrictions on Bantus (black Africans), Asians, and Coloreds (in South Africa the term meant any nonwhite person).<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> Apartheid's grip on South Africa began to give way when F. W. de Klerk replaced P. W. Botha as president in 1989. De Klerk removed the ban on the ANC and released its leader, Nelson Mandela, after 27 years of imprisonment. The Inkatha Freedom Party, a black opposition group led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, which was seen as collaborating with the apartheid system, frequently clashed with the ANC during this period.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> On June 2, 1999, Thabo Mbeki, the pragmatic deputy president and leader of the ANC, was elected president in a landslide, having already assumed many of Mandela's governing responsibilities. In his first term, Mbeki wrestled with a slumping economy and a skyrocketing crime rate. South Africa, the country with the highest number of HIV-positive people in the world (6.5 million in 2005), has been hampered in fighting the epidemic by its president's highly controversial views.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> The defeat of the Boers in 1902 led in 1910 to the Union of South Africa, composed of four provinces, the two former republics, and the old Cape and Natal colonies.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> South Africa is demarcated into nine provinces, consisting of the Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu/Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Free State. Other large cities: Durban/Pinetown, 2,396,100; Johannesburg, 1,675,200; East Rand, 1,378,792 (part of Johannesburg metro. area, 2000 est.)<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave within the southeast part of South Africa, which occupies an area nearly three times that of California.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>

South Africa is a world-class destination to suit all your business travel needs including incentive travel, conferencing, company training, meetings and events.<a href="http://www.southafrica.net/" TARGET="_blank" [1]</a> Brand South Africa provides a range of resources to help individuals and organisations promote the country.<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> Until 1994 South Africa was ruled by a white minority government which was so determined to hang onto power that it took activists most of the last century before they succeeded in their fight to get rid of apartheid and extend democracy to the rest of the population. Politics: President Thabo Mbeki is to step down at the end of his second term in 2009.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> South Africa faces major problems, but having held three successful national elections as well as local polls since the end of white rule, a democratic culture appears to be taking hold, allowing people at least some say in the search for solutions.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Diversity is a key feature of South Africa, where 11 languages are recognised as official, where community leaders include rabbis and chieftains, rugby players and returned exiles, where traditional healers ply their trade around the corner from stockbrokers and where housing ranges from mud huts to palatial homes with swimming pools.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Very much Africa's superpower, South Africa has the continent's biggest economy, with strong financial and manufacturing sectors. It is a leading exporter of minerals and tourism is a key source of foreign exchange.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> South Africa is the continent's major media player, and its many broadcasters and publications reflect the diversity of the population.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

South Africa is an exhilarating and complex country. With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there is undoubtedly an abundance of energy and a sense of progress about the place.<a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa/" TARGET="_blank" [6]</a>

As expected, on April 15, 2004, the African National Congress won South Africa's general election in a landslide, taking about 70% of the vote, and Thabo Mbeki was sworn in for a second term. In December 2007, African National Committee delegates chose Jacob Zuma as their leader, ousting Mbeki, who had been in control of the party for the last ten years.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> Thabo Mbeki: South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki: South Africa's President - Thabo Mbeki In honor of South Africa's Freedom Day, a profile of the President by Paul Evenson.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>

<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/about/democracy/freedomday2008.htm" class="title_lk_cs"> Speaking at South Africa's Freedom Day celebrations in Landsdowne, Cape Town, President Thabo Mbeki called for "all hands on deck" to tackle the challenges facing the country.<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> You've got three minutes to spare? Here's why South Africa's going to surprise you.<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a> The National Council of Provinces is the other house; it aims to make sure that the interests of South Africa's nine provinces are represented at a national level.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>

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  • The term " Coloured " is still largely used for the people of mixed race descended from slaves brought in from East and Central Africa, the indigenous Khoisan who lived in the Cape at the time, indigenous African Blacks, Whites (mostly the Dutch / Afrikaner and British settlers) as well as an admixture of Javanese, Malay, Indian, Malagasy and other European (such as Portuguese ) and Asian blood (such as Burmese ).<a href="#hdng1">(More...)</a>

  • English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life - but only the fifth most spoken home language.<a href="#hdng2">(More...)</a>



<a name="hdng1"></a>The term " Coloured " is still largely used for the people of mixed race descended from slaves brought in from East and Central Africa, the indigenous Khoisan who lived in the Cape at the time, indigenous African Blacks, Whites (mostly the Dutch / Afrikaner and British settlers) as well as an admixture of Javanese, Malay, Indian, Malagasy and other European (such as Portuguese ) and Asian blood (such as Burmese ). <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> In 1487, Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to reach the southernmost tip of Africa. When he returned to Lisbon carrying news of the discovery, which he called Cabo das Tormentas (Cape of Storms) due to the stormy conditions he had encountered in the region, his royal sponsor, John II of Portugal, chose a different name, Cabo da Boa Esperan"a or Cape of Good Hope, for it promised a sea route to the riches of India then being sought by Portugal.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

In recent years, the SANDF has become a major peacekeeping force in Africa, and has been involved in operations in Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi, amongst others. It has also participated as a part of multi-national UN peacekeeping forces.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The Boers' attempt to ally themselves with German South-West Africa provided the British with yet another excuse to take control of the Boer Republics. The Boers resisted fiercely, but the British eventually overwhelmed the Boer forces, using their superior numbers, improved tactics and external supply chains. During this war, the British used controversial concentration camps and scorched earth tactics, forcing whole families into crowded tents and burning their houses.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

The agricultural industry contributes around 10% of formal employment, relatively low compared to other parts of Africa, as well as providing work for casual labourers and contributing around 2.6% of GDP for the nation.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The country also recognises eight non-official languages: Fanagalo, Khoe, Lobedu, Nama, Northern Ndebele, Phuthi, San and South African Sign Language. These non-official languages may be used in certain official uses in limited areas where it has been determined that these languages are prevalent. Their populations are not such that they require nationwide recognition.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Settlements of Bantu -speaking peoples, who were iron -using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River by the fourth or fifth century (see Bantu expansion ) displacing and absorbing the original KhoiSan speakers. They slowly moved south and the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

Further east on the country's south coast, rainfall is distributed more evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape. This area is popularly known as the Garden Route.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Previously known as the South African Defence Force (SADF), the new force is an all volunteer army and consists of the forces of the old SADF, as well as the forces of the African nationalist groups, namely Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA), and the former Bantustan defence forces.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The SANDF is subdivided into four branches, the South African Army, the South African Air Force, the South African Navy, and the South African Military Health Services.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

Currently, South African hardwood trees like Real Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius), stinkwood (Ocotea bullata), and South African Black Ironwood (Olea laurifolia) are under government protection.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Despite the end of apartheid, millions of South Africans, mostly black, continued to live in poverty. This is partly attributed to the legacy of the apartheid system and, increasingly, as what many see as the failure of the current government to tackle social issues, coupled with the monetary and fiscal discipline of the current government to ensure both redistribution of wealth and economic growth.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> During the Apartheid era the majority of commercial and all public-service radio stations and all of the television channels were operated by the South African Broadcasting Corporation ( SABC ), and were subject to strict control and censorship by the government, with a few independent regional stations allowed.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Livestock are also popular on South African farms, with the country producing 85% of all meat consumed.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Since 1994, over one hundred thousand white South Africans have emigrated. Despite high emigration levels, a high level of non-South African white immigrants have settled in the country, in particular from countries such as Britain and Zimbabwe.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> In 1934, the South African Party and National Party merged to form the United Party, seeking reconciliation between Afrikaners and English -speaking "Whites", but split in 1939 over the Union's entry into World War II as an ally of the United Kingdom, a move which the National Party strongly opposed.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Despite the fact that English is recognised as the language of commerce and science, it was spoken by only 8,2% of South Africans at home in 2001, an even lower percentage than in 1996 (8,6%).<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Black South Africans, who speak nine officially recognised languages, and many more dialects, account for nearly 80% of the population.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Unlike when hip hop first bursted on the scene as a politically-driven and rebellious underground movement, South Africans wanted to create a happier vibe. As the post-apartheid fog cleared, South African youth found its "own voice in a style of music known as kwaito and spawning a new (and profitable) industry".<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The Treaty of Vereeniging specified full British sovereignty over the South African republics, and the British government agreed to assume the " 3000000 war debt owed by the Afrikaner governments.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> The government has been accused of not devoting enough time and money to tackle the problem of farm attacks as opposed to other forms of violent crime. Another issue which affects South African agriculture is environmental damage caused by misuse of the land and global climate change.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a> Current South African politics are dominated by the African National Congress (ANC), which received 69.7% of the vote during the last 2004 general election and 66.3% of the vote in the 2006 municipal election.<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank" [2]</a>

The international community as well as most South African leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, have condemned Mbeki's stance.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a> The southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas, located in the Western Cape Province about 100 mi (161 km) southeast of the Cape of Good Hope.<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank" [5]</a>

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<a name="hdng2"></a>English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life - but only the fifth most spoken home language. <a href="http://www.southafrica.info/news/arts/mankunku.htm" class="title_lk_cs"> Jazz legend Winston Mankunku Ngozi is to produce his first DVD. The tenor saxophonist, who became a household name in South African townships following the 1968 recording of "Yakhal' Inkomo", will record live in Cape Town on 2 and 3 May. <a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank" [4]</a>

Thabo Mbeki was born in 1942 into one of the leading families of black politics and was involved in the struggle against apartheid from an early age. His father, Govan, was a leading light in the South African Communist Party. He is constitutionally limited to two terms in office. He is due to step down in 2009. Jacob Zuma, who was sacked as deputy president over corruption allegations, was elected ANC party leader in December 2007, placing him in a good position to become the next president.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> South African presidents are chosen by the 400 members of the directly-elected National Assembly, one of the two houses of parliament.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> Listeners in Johannesburg alone can choose from among some 40 radio services, from the national broadcasts of the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to community stations targeting local neighbourhoods or ethnic groups. The constitution provides for freedom of the press, and this is generally respected.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a> The government aims to transfer 30% of farmland to black South Africans by 2014.<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank" [3]</a>
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<a name="sources"><a href="#" onclick="toggle_visibility('srcs'); return false;" title="Most Informative Documents, used in preparation of this report.">
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1. <a href="http://www.southafrica.net/" TARGET="_blank">Welcome to South Africa</a>
<a href="http://www.southafrica.net/" TARGET="_blank">http://www.southafrica.net/</a>

2. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank">South Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</a>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa" TARGET="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa</a>

3. <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank">BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Country profiles | Country profile: South Africa</a>
<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm" TARGET="_blank">http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1071886.stm</a>

4. <a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank">South Africa's official gateway - investment, travel, country information - SouthAfrica.info</a>
<a href="http://www.southafrica.info/" TARGET="_blank">http://www.southafrica.info/</a>

5. <a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank">South Africa: History, Geography, Government, and Culture -- Infoplease.com</a>
<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107983.html</a>

6. <a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa/" TARGET="_blank">South Africa Travel Guide and Travel Information - Lonely Planet</a>
<a href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa/" TARGET="_blank">http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/south-africa/</a>

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