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South Africa


South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa, bordering the Atlantic and Indian oceans and is surrounded by, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho to the north. South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the economy is the largest in Africa. A wide variety of climatic zones exist in this country due to its location. The northwest part of the country, contains the extreme desert of southern Namib while in the east, there is lush subtropical climate. The east contains very mountainous terrain with an abundance of rainfall while further inland, there are several, vast rather flat plateaus. This causes a wide variation in climate depending on what region of the country you are in. South Africa is the only nation in the world with three capital cities: Cape Town, the legislative capital, Pretoria, the administrative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital. There is a bicameral parliament which includes: the National Council of Provinces with ninety members and the National Assembly with four hundred members. The President is the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly and the government is formed in the National Council of Provinces. Elections for both chambers are held every five years. South Africa has such wide ethnic diversity; there is not just one single culture that is prominent. There is wide diversity in food, music and dance. In this country there are eleven different languages spoken and therefore there are eleven official names of the country, one in each language. In 1995, South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. In 2007, the Rugby World Cup was held in France and South Africa beat the reigning champions, England, in the final. Other popular sports in South Africa include: soccer, cricket, and boxing.

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Quick Facts

Population: 48,810,427
Capital: Pretoria
Per-capita GDP: $ 11100
Size: 1,219,090 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 02:00 hours) Kaliningrad

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
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Country Specific Info.

Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and www.Wikipedia.org.
Please report errors or concerns to questions@abroadoffice.net.

Xavier University of Louisiana Center for Intercultural and International Programs