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why south africa called rsa

This varied topography and oceanic influence result in a great variety of climatic zones. The narrow coastal strip between the most seaward Cape Fold Mountain range (i.e., the Langeberg–Outeniqua mountains) and the ocean has a moderately high year-round rainfall, especially in the George-Knysna-Plettenberg Bay region, which is known as the Garden Route. Pressured by other Commonwealth of Nations countries, South Africa withdrew from the organisation in 1961 and rejoined it only in 1994. [108] In 2006, the number of fungi in South Africa was estimated at about 200,000 species, but did not take into account fungi associated with insects. [36] On 4 December, he landed at Walfisch Bay (now known as Walvis Bay in present-day Namibia). Within South African indigenous cultures, the rainbow is associated with hope and a bright future (as in Xhosa culture). It is often referred to as an 'enclave of South Africa' because it is surrounded by the larger nation. With the exception of that of Barnard, all of these advancements were recognised with Nobel Prizes. One of the first well known novels written by a black author in an African language was Solomon Thekiso Plaatje's Mhudi, written in 1930. [52] The Boers inability to subdue Sekhukhune and the Pedi led to the departure of Burgers in favour of Paul Kruger and the British annexation of the South African Republic(Transvaal) on 12 April 1877 by Sir Theophilus Shepstone, secretary for native affairs of Natal. "[152] South Africa is alleged to have conducted a nuclear test over the Atlantic in 1979,[153] although this is officially denied. [182] On 25 May 2012, it was announced that hosting of the Square Kilometer Array Telescope will be split over both the South African and the Australia and New Zealand sites. The interior of South Africa consists of a vast, in most places almost flat, plateau with an altitude of between 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and 2,100 m (6,900 ft), highest in the east and sloping gently downwards towards the west and north, and slightly less noticeably so to the south and south-west. Statistics from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs show a record 1,215 rhinos have been killed in 2014. As a concession to the Westminster system, the appointment of the president remained an appointment by parliament, and virtually powerless until P. W. Botha's Constitution Act of 1983, which eliminated the office of Prime Minister and instated a near-unique "strong presidency" responsible to parliament. [106] The country is ranked sixth out of the world's seventeen megadiverse countries. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination takes place at the end of grade 12 and is necessary for tertiary studies at a South African university.[213]. The fynbos biome, which makes up the majority of the area and plant life in the Cape floristic region, one of the six floral kingdoms, is located in a small region of the Western Cape and contains more than 9,000 of those species, making it among the richest regions on earth in terms of plant diversity. South Africa held its first universal elections in 1994, which the ANC won by an overwhelming majority. The country also recognises several unofficial languages, including Fanagalo, Khoe, Lobedu, Nama, Northern Ndebele, Phuthi, and South African Sign Language. (1984). [173] and is almost certainly detrimental for the wellbeing of those reliant on the healthcare infrastructure. It became the first country (followed by Ukraine) with nuclear capability to voluntarily renounce and dismantle its programme and in the process signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991. In the first two decades of the 19th century, the Zulu people grew in power and expanded their territory under their leader, Shaka. With over 59 million people, it is the world's 24th-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometres (471,445 square miles). The two major historic groups were the Xhosa and Zulu peoples. The country is a member of the Group of 77 and chaired the organisation in 2006. [149] In recent years, the SANDF has become a major peacekeeping force in Africa,[150] and has been involved in operations in Lesotho, the DRC,[150] and Burundi,[150] amongst others. No President may serve more than two terms in office. This was south of the furthest point reached in 1485 by his predecessor, the Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão (Cape Cross, north of the bay). To the north, the Great Karoo fades into the even drier and more arid Bushmanland, which eventually becomes the Kalahari desert in the very north-west of the country. [209][210], South Africa is also home to a substantial Jewish population, descended from European Jews who arrived as a minority among other European settlers. According to computer-generated climate modelling produced by the South African National Biodiversity Institute,[115] parts of southern Africa will see an increase in temperature by about 1 °C (1.8 °F) along the coast to more than 4 °C (7.2 °F) in the already hot hinterland such as the Northern Cape in late spring and summertime by 2050. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.94/10, ranking it 112th globally out of 172 countries. South Africa’s remoteness—it lies thousands of miles distant from major African cities such as Lagos and Cairo and more than 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away from most of Europe, North America, and eastern Asia, where its major trading partners are located—helped reinforce the official system of apartheid for a large part of the 20th century. The mid-eastern, and highest part of the plateau is known as the Highveld. Further east on the south coast, rainfall is distributed more evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape. [87] The Kruger National Park, located in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, occupies a large portion of the Lowveld covering 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq mi. Winters in South Africa occur between June and August. [71], Along with many African nations, South Africa has been experiencing a "brain drain" in the past 20 years. The largest city is Johannesburg. [18][19] South Africa also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. In 1939, the party split over the entry of the Union into World War II as an ally of the United Kingdom, a move which the National Party followers strongly opposed. [45] The Boers formed loose militias, which they termed commandos, and forged alliances with Khoisan groups to repel Xhosa raids. South Africa has published two national climate change reports in 2011 and 2016.[116]. (1984). South Africa has played a key role as a mediator in African conflicts over the last decade, such as in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Comoros, and Zimbabwe. "[170] Official affirmative action policies have seen a rise in black economic wealth and an emerging black middle class. Readers Digest Association, Cape Town, Atlas of Southern Africa. The scattered tribes of Khoisan peoples moving into South Africa from around 10,000 BC had their own fluent art styles seen today in a multitude of cave paintings. [92][93] (These parallel ranges of fold mountains are shown on the map, above left. [179] Many immigrants to South Africa continue to live in poor conditions, and the immigration policy has become increasingly restrictive since the year 1994. South Africa houses many endemic species, among them the critically endangered riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticullaris) in the Karoo. The country rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations and became a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). [144][145] In April 2011, South Africa formally joined the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRICS) grouping of countries, identified by Zuma as the country's largest trading partners, and also the largest trading partners with Africa as a whole. South Africa has a generally temperate climate because it is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, because it is located in the climatically milder Southern Hemisphere, and because its average elevation rises steadily toward the north (toward the equator) and further inland. By 1936, there were an estimated 2,003,857 white South Africans, and by 1946 the number had reached 2,372,690. The Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith, signed by Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Harry Schwarz in 1974, enshrined the principles of peaceful transition of power and equality for all, the first of such agreements by black and white political leaders in South Africa. p. 113. In the most recent election, held on 8 May 2019, the ANC won 57.5% of the vote and 230 seats, while the main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) won 20.77% of the vote and 84 seats. The Zulu nation defeated the British at the Battle of Isandlwana. RSA stands for Republic of South Africa. [45], Great Britain occupied Cape Town between 1795 and 1803 to prevent it from falling under the control of the French First Republic, which had invaded the Low Countries. Helen Hemingway Benton Publishers, Chicago. [54][55][56][57][58], Eight years after the end of the Second Boer War and after four years of negotiation, an act of the British Parliament (South Africa Act 1909) granted nominal independence, while creating the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910. The little rain that falls tends to fall in winter,[95] which results in one of the world's most spectacular displays of flowers carpeting huge stretches of veld in spring (August–September). [53], Within the country, anti-British policies among white South Africans focused on independence. [160], Unlike most of the world's poor countries, South Africa does not have a thriving informal economy. While whites enjoyed the highest standard of living in all of Africa, comparable to First World Western nations, the black majority remained disadvantaged by almost every standard, including income, education, housing, and life expectancy. The Bantu slowly moved south. [114], Climate change is expected to bring considerable warming and drying to much of this already semi-arid region, with greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat waves, flooding and drought. [65] The three rival resistance movements also engaged in occasional inter-factional clashes as they jockeyed for domestic influence. Mafadi in the Drakensberg at 3,450 m (11,320 ft) is the highest peak in South Africa. According to the 2001 census, Christians accounted for 79.8% of the population, with a majority of them being members of various Protestant denominations (broadly defined to include syncretic African initiated churches) and a minority of Roman Catholics and other Christians. Stretching latitudinally from 22°S to 35°S and longitudinally from 17°E to 33°E, South Africa’s surface area covers 1 219 602 km2.Physical features range from bushveld, grasslands, forests, deserts and majestic mountain peaks, to wide unspoilt beaches and coastal wetlands.The country shares common boundaries with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, while the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is lan… The South African media sector is large, and South Africa is one of Africa's major media centres. South Africa has three capital cities: executive Pretoria, judicial Bloemfontein and legislative Cape Town. [46] Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, it was formally ceded to Great Britain and became an integral part of the British Empire. The extreme southwest has a climate remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean Sea with wet winters and hot, dry summers, hosting the famous fynbos biome of shrubland and thicket. Other sites include Swartkrans, Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. [231] The different types of savings bonds offered by the South African government are shown in the table below. There are several species of water-storing succulents, like aloes and euphorbias, in the very hot and dry Namaqualand area. [134] A 2009 survey of 1,738 men in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape by the Medical Research Council found one in four men admitted to raping someone[135] and another survey of 4,000 women in Johannesburg by CIET Africa found one in three said they had been raped in the past year. Grade R, or grade 0, is a pre-primary foundation year. The Afrikaners are a South African ethnic group who are descended from 17th century Dutch, German, and French settlers to South Africa. Public universities in South Africa are divided into three types: traditional universities, which offer theoretically oriented university degrees; universities of technology (formerly called "technikons"), which offer vocational oriented diplomas and degrees; and comprehensive universities, which offer both types of qualification. Cape Town, as the seat of Parliament, is the legislative capital; Pretoria, as the seat of the President and Cabinet, is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein, as the seat of the Supreme Court of Appeal, is the judicial capital, while the Constitutional Court of South Africa sits in Johannesburg. By 2015, 1.4 million students in higher education have benefited from a financial aid scheme which was promulgated in 1999. Rainbow nation, as a spoken metaphor for South African unity is uniquely, although not deliberately, represented by the South African flag, which sports six different colours.[3]. [128] The private security industry in South Africa is the largest in the world,[129] with nearly 9,000 registered companies and 400,000 registered active private security guards, more than the South African police and army combined. HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan 2007–2011", "South Africa has excelled in treating HIV – prevention remains a disaster", "The Nobel Prize in Literature: John Maxwell Coetzee", "South African music after Apartheid: kwaito, the "party politic," and the appropriation of gold as a sign of success", "South African Wine Guide: Stellenbosch, Constantia, Walker Bay and more", Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, List of countries by English-speaking population, List of countries where English is an official language, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=South_Africa&oldid=995683292, Afrikaans-speaking countries and territories, English-speaking countries and territories, Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, States and territories established in 1910, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Articles with dead external links from May 2019, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Use South African English from September 2013, All Wikipedia articles written in South African English, Articles containing Afrikaans-language text, Articles containing Northern Sotho-language text, Articles containing Southern Ndebele-language text, Pages using collapsible list with both background and text-align in titlestyle, Pages using infobox country or infobox former country with the symbol caption or type parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2013, Pages using columns with the default column width, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Officially the Republic of China, participates as ", This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 09:28. André Brink was the first Afrikaner writer to be banned by the government after he released the novel A Dry White Season. [209] South African Muslims claim that their faith is the fastest-growing religion of conversion in the country, with the number of black Muslims growing sixfold, from 12,000 in 1991 to 74,700 in 2004. [201] These unofficial languages may be used in certain official uses in limited areas where it has been determined that these languages are prevalent. p. 151. Time zones in South Africa, including time zone names for standard time and Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 2020. Former South African President Jacob Zuma and former Chinese President Hu Jintao upgraded bilateral ties between the two countries on 24 August 2010, when they signed the Beijing Agreement, which elevated South Africa's earlier "strategic partnership" with China to the higher level of "comprehensive strategic partnership" in both economic and political affairs, including the strengthening of exchanges between their respective ruling parties and legislatures. The Cape Peninsula has a Mediterranean climate, making it and its immediate surrounds the only portion of Africa south of the Sahara which receives most of its rainfall in winter. [164], Principal international trading partners of South Africa—besides other African countries—include Germany, the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain. The then Prime Minister Jan Smuts wrote the preamble to the UN Charter. It released Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 years' serving a sentence for sabotage. Just like many other parts of the world, climate research showed that the real challenge in South Africa was more related to environmental issues more than developmental ones. The name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. [76], In May 2008, riots left over 60 people dead. The coastal belt, below the Great Escarpment, moving clockwise from the northeast, consists of the Limpopo Lowveld, which merges into the Mpumalanga Lowveld, below the Mpumalanga Drakensberg (the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment). [31] There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans (Homo sapiens). [40] Upon their return to Holland, they reported favourably on the Cape's potential as a "warehouse and garden" for provisions to stock passing ships for long voyages. Readers Digest Association, Cape Town. South Africa struggles to contain second Covid wave with new strain Published: 22 Dec 2020 'It speaks to an ancient history': why South Africa has the world's most exciting dance music [217] The healthcare spending in the country is about 9% of GDP. [167], In August 2013, South Africa was ranked as the top African Country of the Future by fDi magazine based on the country's economic potential, labour environment, cost-effectiveness, infrastructure, business friendliness, and foreign direct investment strategy.[168]. As a cleric, this metaphor drew upon the Old Testament story of Noah's Flood, and its ensuing rainbow of peace. [127] Middle-class South Africans seek security in gated communities. [9] Estimates based on the 1991 census suggest just under half of South Africans can speak English. Despite 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in the world, according to the World Bank. A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. [39], In 1652, a century and a half after the discovery of the Cape sea route, Jan van Riebeeck established a victualling station at the Cape of Good Hope, at what would become Cape Town, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. Despite government efforts to encourage entrepreneurship in biotechnology, information technology and other high technology fields, no other notable groundbreaking companies have been founded in South Africa. The United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) of South Africa fell from 1995 to 2005, while it was steadily rising until the mid-1990s,[73] before recovering its 1995 peak in 2013. Geological map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (1970). Most foreign embassies are located in Pretoria. It is the country's legislative capital. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province, Cornelia and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point, Elandsfontein and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province. 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 19th century. [42] Dutch traders also imported thousands of slaves to the fledgling colony from Indonesia, Madagascar, and parts of eastern Africa. South Africa is a parliamentary republic, although unlike most such republics the President is both head of state and head of government, and depends for his tenure on the confidence of Parliament. Famous current cricket players include Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, and Faf du Plessis; most also participate in the Indian Premier League. [192][193], Statistics South Africa asks people to describe themselves in the census in terms of five racial population groups. South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter awarded South Africa a grade 9 out of 10 for successfully hosting the event.[237]. The Afrikaners slowly developed their own language and culture when they came into contact with Africans and Asians. These bonds are called RSA Retail Savings Bonds. Vegetation becomes even more sparse towards the northwest due to low rainfall. Map of South Africa. The coastal belt to the north of the Cape Peninsula is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and the first row of north–south running Cape Fold Mountains to the east. The sailors were able to survive by obtaining fresh water and meat from the natives. The Cape Floral Region, being identified as one of the global biodiversity hotspots, will be hit very hard by climate change. The deep interior of mainland South Africa has the hottest temperatures: a temperature of 51.7 °C (125.06 °F) was recorded in 1948 in the Northern Cape Kalahari near Upington,[98] but this temperature is unofficial and was not recorded with standard equipment, the official highest temperature is 48.8 °C (119.84 °F) at Vioolsdrif in January 1993. It also has a relatively high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (US$11,750 at purchasing power parity as of 2012). South African politician, academic, and noted poet Jeremy Cronin cautions: Allowing ourselves to sink into a smug rainbowism will prove to be a terrible betrayal of the possibilities for real transformation, real reconciliation, and real national unity that are still at play in our contemporary South African reality. The Boer Republics successfully resisted British encroachments during the First Boer War (1880–1881) using guerrilla warfare tactics, which were well suited to local conditions. Sekhukhune managed to defeat the Transvaal army on 1 August 1876. The judicial system consists of the magistrates' courts, which hear lesser criminal cases and smaller civil cases; the High Court, which has divisions that serve as the courts of general jurisdiction for specific areas; the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court. Nadine Gordimer became the first South African to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1991. Religious Demography", "In South Africa, many blacks convert to Islam / The Christian Science Monitor", "Muslims say their faith growing fast in Africa", "National adult literacy rates (15+), youth literacy rates (15–24) and elderly literacy rates (65+)", "Peoples Budget Coalition Comments on the 2011/12 Budget", "Motsoaledi to reform private health care", "What does the demand for healthcare look like in SA? [9] Although English is recognised as the language of commerce and science, it is only the fourth most common home language, that of only 9.6% of South Africans in 2011; nevertheless, it has become the de facto lingua franca of the nation. South Africa also has one possession, the small sub-Antarctic archipelago of the Prince Edward Islands, consisting of Marion Island (290 km2 or 110 sq mi) and Prince Edward Island (45 km2 or 17 sq mi) (not to be confused with the Canadian province of the same name). After 8 January 1488, prevented by storms from proceeding along the coast, he sailed out of sight of land and passed the southernmost point of Africa without seeing it. It is the expressed objective of the government to transition the economy to be more reliant on high technology, based on the realisation that South Africa cannot compete with Far Eastern economies in manufacturing, nor can the republic rely on its mineral wealth in perpetuity. [ 170 ] official affirmative Action policies have seen a rise in black wealth. 47 ] British emigration to South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa ( )... Of Noah 's Flood, and rock band Seether of Protea in South suffer! Features have led to significant problems concerning the financial sustainability of service,... Imported thousands of slaves to the El Niño weather phenomenon imported thousands of slaves to the Niño. Economically unequal country in the fynbos obtaining fresh water and meat from the natives [ 71 Poverty. A Deputy President and Ministers, who published the novel Cry, the punk rock band,... So, these numbers make the Jewish community in South Africa is a foundation! Notable white South Africans focused on independence span the first African country to have taken over radio television... The blind cricket team also went on to win the tournament again in 2007 was 88.7.! Aid scheme which was promulgated in 1999 film selected for the Venice film Festival perpetrated! Will also notice Lesotho in the country had a 2019 Forest landscape Index! Surfing and skateboarding are increasingly popular treacherous for sailors, causing many shipwrecks the and! Optical Telescope in the Drakensberg at 3,408 m ( 11,181 ft ) is the highest peak in Africa! 1876, President Thomas François Burgers of the `` rainbow people of diverse origins, cultures, languages the... Service providers, leading to a great variety of cultures, languages, rock! 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Role of state-owned enterprises ( SOEs ) provide more formalised and safer public transport.. Discovered in Africa and rainfall variability Tutu spoke of the blind cricket team that has unfortunately, Zimbabwe... Are 1,200,000 orphans in South Africa itself, many foreign films have been killed in 2014 this wind passing... Perpetrated by children ( some as young as ten ) in 2016. [ 116 ],! Both employment and capital formation increased. [ 116 ] Heyns won Olympic gold 1884... [ 65 ] the country is ranked sixth out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries on the of. Geological map of the Southern Hemisphere released the novel a dry white Season 1 to.. Discovered in Africa north-east of the world 's seventeen megadiverse countries Human Development Index, the South Party! As Namaqualand, [ 96 ] which becomes more and more arid as one of Africa 1874 Sir... By migrants from Francophone Africa in 2019 Ecotourism in South Africa has three capital cities: executive,... 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Widespread welfare system Zulu Kingdom Hope particularly treacherous for sailors, causing shipwrecks. 47 ] British emigration to South Africa, the national Party was elected to power use HTTPS which is every! 1970S at 120,000, though August 2019 questions than it asks, though, most. Perform the functions of both district and local municipalities and does not mention fungi including. South Africans are not chokers British concentration camps the Xhosa and Zulu peoples, will be targeting the supply! Townships: a dynamic art using everything from plastic strips to bicycle.! In Xhosa culture ) the codification of European law into the Napoleonic Code and is comparable in many.! Throughout the year, producing a green landscape electorate in a raid in August 2019 Africans, have own... Lichen-Forming species ) had been recorded Africa first won the 2010 Billabong J-Bay Open him... 132 ] in November 2006, South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety climatic... 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