+27 is the dialing code for South Africa.
At the bottom of Africa lies South Africa. The country is embraced by the Atlantic in the west and the Indian Ocean in the east. With 50 million residents, South Africa is Africa’s largest economy. Several years of economic growth and political stability have created a prosperous colored middle class. At the same time, poverty elsewhere is widespread and unemployment is high. The large gaps lead to political tensions.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of South Africa, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa and is almost three times the size of Sweden. In the north, the country borders Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and in the northeast to Mozambique and Swaziland.
In the south-west, south and south-east, an approximately 300 km long coast runs towards the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean respectively. At Godahoppsudden in the south, two ocean currents with different temperatures meet, which characterize the climate and vegetation on the coasts of South Africa. The warm current comes from the north along the east and south coasts and the cold comes from below the Antarctic and follows the west coast all the way up to Angola.
South Africa is mainly a plateau country. The Free State Province (formerly the Orange Free State) in the central part and the Northern Cape province in the west consist of vast plains.
|Cultivated land||79.4 %|
|Land area||1219090 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.33 m|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||64.8 %|
|Death rate||9.91 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||63.87 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||60.83 years|
|Birth rate||20.75 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||32.99 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||23900 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||2674.8 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||1170 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||46.9 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||150 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||165 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||25.9% of the workforce|
|GDP||13200 per resident|
|Primary occupations||9 %|
|Secondary profession||26 %|
|Tertiary professions||65 %|
The Western Cape Province in the southwest is mountainous. The provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Northern Province (all former Transvaal) are largely made up of plateau landscapes with savannas and steppes. From the foothills surrounding the high plateaus in the east, the landscape descends towards the coast in terraces with subtropical vegetation. There lies the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the small mountain kingdom of Lesotho, completely surrounded by South Africa.
The country’s longest river, the Orange River, flows through the plateau on its way west, forming a northern border with Namibia, before it opens into the Atlantic. The flow varies greatly and in some dry years the river can be in the west.
The summers, which are warm and fall between November and April, receive the most rainfall. An exception is the coastal area in the west and southwest, where it rains most during the winter. Thunderstorms and hail storms are common inland.
The rains in South Africa are irregular and unpredictable. Two thirds of the country has annual rainfall of less than 500 mm, a minimum for successful agriculture without irrigation. In the north and northwest there is the most favorable climate with hot summers and dry, mild winters.
The temperature varies depending on altitude and latitude.
1 221 037 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho
Capital with number of residents
1.72 million, Cape Town (Parliament) 3.65 million and Bloemfontein (Supreme Court) 610,000
Other major cities
Johannesburg 3.67 million, Durban 2.88 million, Port Elizabeth 1.18 million (2010) 2
Injasuti (3408 m asl)
Covenants are excluded
The trade union movement Cosatu excludes its largest union, the metal worker union Numsa, which has come on a collision course with the ruling ANC. At the same time, seven other trade unions are temporarily suspending their membership in Cosatu in solidarity with Numsa. After the exclusion, Numsa announces that the movement intends to form a political organization, the United Front.
Police confirm that an investigation has been initiated into the circumstances surrounding the renovation of President Zuma’s house in Nkandla (see March).
Trial is postponed
The planned corruption trial against opposition politician Julius Malema is postponed until August 2015.
Chaos during parliamentary debate
A parliamentary debate ends in chaos and police are called in when members of the EFF openly show their dissatisfaction with President Zuma. During the debate, Zuma is grilled for using tax money to renovate his home (see Mars). “Pay back the money” scans the EFF MPs who also turn on their benches. Zuma leaves the room and the debate is suspended. A few days later, the Ombudsman reviewing public spending demands that Zuma explain within two weeks why he should not have to repay the money.
Strike is canceled
The five-month strike in the platinum mines is canceled.
Zuma is being treated in hospital
President Jacob Zuma, who was recently sworn in for a second presidential term, is being cared for in hospitals and the installation figure for the nation is postponed. The reason is stated to be overwork. Jacob Zuma is 72 years old.
Strike leads to extensive loss
The strike in the country’s platinum mines, which includes 70,000 workers, is now estimated to have cost companies about SEK 10 billion. As a result of the strike, the IMF writes down its growth forecast for 2014 from 2.8 to 2.3 percent.
The ANC makes its worst choice so far when South Africa celebrates 20 years as a democracy. Dissatisfaction with economic development and political corruption scandals is believed to be behind the election result of 62.15 percent, which is a decrease of close to four percent compared to the 2009 election. The opposition party Democratic Alliance receives 22.2 percent of the vote, which is an increase of just over five percent then the last election. The increase is believed to be due to the fact that the DA received many votes from Cope, a former breakout party from the ANC, which after collecting 7 percent of the votes in 2009 this year receives less than one percent. Julius Malema’s party EFF receives 6.35 percent of the vote. The result means that the ANC and the EFF together reach a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and thus can make changes to the constitution if they succeed in agreeing.
Zuma is asked to repay money
A report by the ombudsman reviewing public spending states that President Zuma has taken personal gain when his private residence in Nkandla has been renovated. The redevelopment called a “security update” has cost US $ 24 million and includes the construction of an amphitheater and a swimming pool. The Ombudsman says in the report that Zuma should repay the money for those parts of the renovation that are obviously not linked to security. The deal carries more on Zuma’s popularity than previous scandals and many are advocating for Zuma to leave the presidential post in favor of his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Electoral movements are merged
The two opposition parties Democratic Alliance and Agang merge their electoral movements and launch Agang party leader Mamphela Ramphele as candidate for the presidential post. The collaboration breaks down after only a few weeks.
Strike in the platinum industry
The platinum industry is paralyzed when 70,000 members of the Amsu mining union go on strike. The workers demand entry salaries of SEK 12,500 a month, which corresponds to approximately SEK 8,100. South Africa is the world’s largest producer of platinum and platinum accounts for 17 percent of the country’s total exports.
Corruption against corruption
ANC launches an election manifesto promising power against corruption. Among other things, public officials should not be allowed to do business with the state. The party also promises to create six million new jobs by 2019 through public investment. In order to create growth, the ANC wants to follow the development plan up to 2030 (National Development Plan) that was previously launched. The plan is criticized for being very similar to a previous development plan from 1996 (Gear), which according to the opposition has helped to maintain large economic gaps in the country.