Facts about South Africa

South Africa - Map Locator Geography Social Studies

Slightly less than twice the size of Texas (in the United States), South Africa borders Botswana, Lesotho (which it completely surrounds), Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland (which it almost completely surrounds) and Zimbabwe.

The country became independent on the 31st of May, 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. 

Thereafter, on the 31st of May, 1961, the country was declared a republic and on the 27th of April, 1994, majority rule was implemented.  

The country's government is now located in three main cities: 

  • Pretoria (the administrative capital);
  • Cape Town (the legislative capital); and
  • Bloemfontein (the judicial capital).

South Africa has nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North-West and Western Cape.

According to the 2001 South African census:

1.  Its population (of just over 49 million) has the following components:  "Black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5%."

2.  Its people speak the following languages:  "IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2%."

3.  Its population professes the following faiths:  "Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1%."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 18, 2019

Media Credits

Map online, courtesy CIA web site.

Quoted information, online at the CIA web site - "The World Factbook" - regarding South Africa.


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"Facts about South Africa" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 18, 2019.
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