1,219,192 square kilometres (470,693 square miles)
46 million (the UN estimate, 2005).
36.8 people per square kilometre
Population of Pretoria
1.98 million (the 2001 official estimate).
Population of Cape
2.89 million (the 2001 official estimate).
Population of Bloemfontein
119,698 (the 2001 official estimate).
Some key geographical facts:
The Republic of South Africa exists at the southern end of the African
is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean
to the west, and is surrounded to the north by Botswana, Namibia,
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland and totally encloses Lesotho.
South Africa has 3 major geographical regions, namely mountains,
plateau and the coastal belt.
high plateau has jagged escarpments which rise above the plains,
Despite 2 major river systems, the Limpopo and the Orange, the majority
of the plateau lacks surface water.
the coastline are rocky coves and sandy beaches, and the vegetation
mountainous regions which run along the coastline from the Cape
of Good Hope to the Limpopo Valley in the north east of South Africa
are split into the Nuweveldberg, Drakensberg and Stormberg ranges.
Following the 1994 elections, South Africa was organised into 9
Western Cape has its provincial and national capital of Cape Town
Eastern Cape has its provincial capital of Bisho
Northern Cape has its provincial capital of Kimberley
KwaZulu-Natal has its provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg
The Free State has its provincial capital of Bloemfontein
The North West Province has its provincial capital of Mmabatho
Limpopo (formerly called the Northern Province) has its provincial
capital of Polokwane (formerly called Pietersburg)
Mpumalanga has its provincial capital of Nelspruit
Gauteng has its provincial capital of Johannesburg
Under the terms of the new Constitution, which
was assumed on 8 May 1996 and entered into force on 4 February 1997,
legislative power is vested in a bicameral Parliament, consisting
of a National Assembly and a National Council of Provinces (formerly
The National Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage under
a system of relative representation and has from 350 to 400 members.
The 90 member National Council of Provinces comprises 6 permanent
delegates and 4 special delegates from each of the provincial legislatures.
The President, who is elected by the National Assembly from among
its members, uses executive power in discussion with the other members
of the Cabinet.
The official languages are Afrikaans, English,
isiXhosa, isiNdebele, isiZulu, Sepedi, Siswati, Sesotho, Setswana,
Tshivenda and Xitsonga.
Most inhabitants practise Christianity of some
form and belong to either Anglican, Catholic and other protestant
denominations, African independent churches or Afrikaner Calvinist
churches. There are also significant Hindu, Jewish and Muslim communities,
and traditional beliefs are still practised widely, sometimes in
conjunction with Christianity.
Greenich Mean Time (GMT) + 2.
220 / 240 volts AC, 250 volts AC (Pretoria), 50Hz. 3 pin round plugs
are in use.