According to FRANCISCOGARDENING, South Africa or Republic of South Africa is a country located in the southern tip of Africa. It borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland. The Kingdom of Lesotho is located within the Republic of South Africa. Its capitals are Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative).
South Africa is known for its diversity of cultures, languages, and religious beliefs. Eleven languages are recognized as official by the South African Constitution. Two of the eleven languages are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language that comes directly from Dutch and is spoken by the majority of white and mixed-race residents, and English. Although the latter has an important role in public and commercial life, it is nevertheless the fifth language for native speakers.
South Africa is Africa’s leading economy (accounting for 25% of all African GDP), and plays an important role in the development of the region. The South African economy has a large volume of national capital (public and private) in close connection with the large global economic networks.
Its currency is the rand divisible into 100 cents, which is also used in other countries of the Common Monetary Area of South Africa. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the largest in Africa.
An important sector is mining, mainly the extraction of coal and precious minerals and metals such as diamonds, gold and platinum. It is one of the countries with the largest reserves and diversity of mineral wealth.
South Africa also has the most powerful and diversified industry on the entire continent. From the sectors of transformation of agricultural and mineral goods, to the automotive, aeronautical and energy sectors.
An important factor in the South African economy lies in its extraordinary nature, unique in the world, and in its many national parks, which attract people from all over the world.
In South Africa there is a diversity of cultures that have enriched the country’s music, art and cuisine. The racial variety of the country is very wide. At the beginning of the 20th century, 60% of the population was black, 30% white, and the rest mostly mixed-race or South Asian. The predominant religion is Christian: 55% of the Protestant population, 9% Catholic. The rest of the residents are Hindus, Muslims or of other confessions.
But due to apartheid there has been uneven cultural development between the different racial and ethnic groups, historically separated. Among the population of European origin, English culture has emerged as dominant lately after the end of apartheid and international isolation. The old distinction between Afrikaners, more nationalistic and religious, and Anglo-Saxons, more liberal and cosmopolitan, is blurring among the younger and urban generations. In contrast, in rural areas, Afrikaners still resist abandoning traditional culture, isolated for centuries from the evolution of Europe.
- Black urban culture is multi-ethnic and has an increasing influence both at home and abroad, for example among Afro-Americans. It should be noted that an interracial culture is beginning to emerge in urban areas.
- In rural areas with a black majority, there is usually a reaffirmation of the traditions of each ethnic group, in which customs such as polygamy and gifts are common.
- As for other notable ethnic groups, it is the mestizo group that has shown the greatest reaffirmation. This mixed race group makes up 9% of South Africa’s population. People in this group are referred to by the term “colored” (in English, colored), unlike other Anglo-Saxon countries such as the United States or Great Britain, where the term “colored” has fallen into disuse.
South Africa recognizes eleven languages as official languages, although the two main ones are of European origin: English used as a vehicle of communication between all South Africans and Afrikaans derived from Dutch, is used by the Boer and also by the colored ones. The other official languages are Ndebele, Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Northern Sotho, Tswana (these three languages of the Shoto group), Swazi, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.