Jacob-ZumaAs its name implies, South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. In fact, the southernmost point of the African continent, Cape Agulhas (about 150 km east of the 'Cape of Good Hope'), is in South Africa.

South Africa borders the Republic of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia to the north. To the east, South Africa borders the Republic of Mozambique and Swaziland (South Africa almost completely surrounds Swaziland). Although Lesotho is a neighboring country, the Republic of Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory.

The Republic of South Africa has a total land area of about 1,219,090sqkm (about 4,620sqkm of which is covered by water) with about 2,798 km of coastline.

The Republic of South Africa has a total population of about 56 million people (as of 2017) with the population growth rate hovering around 1.6%.

About 62% of South Africa's population lives in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Pretoria the administrative capital (Pretoria contains about 1.5 million people), Johannesburg (Johannesburg contains about 3.6 million people), Cape Town (Cape Town contains about 3.4 million people), Ekurhuleni ( about 3.144 million people), Durban (about 2.9 million people), etc.

South Africa (or the "Rainbow" nation) is a multi-racial country with a beautiful blend of several ethnic and racial groups. Black Africans, the most dominant racial group, make up about 79% of the total population. Whites (English, Dutch, etc.) make up about 9.6% of the total population. "Colored" people make up about 8.9% with Asians (mostly Indians) forming about 2.5% of the total population.

There are several religious and denominational groups in South Africa today with Christianity being the most dominant. Protestants, the most dominant denominational group, make up about 36.6% of the total population (this includes Zionist Christians 11.1%, Pentecostals and Charismatics 8.2%, Methodists 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7% and Anglican 3.8%), Catholics make up about 7.1% of the total population. Other Christians (including Adventists) together make up about 36% of the total population. Muslims together make up about 1.5% of the total population. Other religious groups together make up about 2.3% of the population with the unspecified and none religious people forming about 16.5% of the total population.

Although just about 8.2% of the population do speak English Language, English isn't the only official language in South Africa. There are about 10 other official languages written and spoken in South Africa today. IsiZulu (Official. About 23.82% of the population do speak), IsiXhosa (Official. About 17.64% of the population do speak), Afrikaans (Official. About 13.35% of the population speak and write), Sepedi (Official. About 9.39% of the population), Setswana (Official. About 8.2% of the population), Sesotho (Official. About 7.93%), Xitsonga (Official. About 4.44% of the population), siSwati (Official. About  2.66%), Tshivenda (Official. About 2.28%) and isiNdebele (Official. About 1.59% of the population).

South Africa, the most advanced country in Africa today, is blessed with abundance of natural resources including gold, gem diamond, copper, chromium, antimony, platinum, uranium, coal, iron ore, manganese, vanadium, nickel, phosphates, tin, salt, rare earth elements, natural gas, etc.

The Republic of South Africa has a literacy rate of about 86.4% (one of the highest on the continent) which implies about 86.4% of the total population of South Africa above the age 15 can at least read and write which is far better than in most other African countries today. Quality education however, is very hard to come by in some places (especially the rural communities) in South Africa. 

Despite being the most advanced country in Africa today (with a decent literacy rate and abundance of natural resources), millions of people (Black, White, Colored,etc) continue to live in poverty and despair across South Africa today. It is worse especially at the outskirts of big cities and towns (in places like Soweto, a lower-class-populated urban area of the city of Johannesburg). Although the end of Apartheid (One of the most racist systems of government the world has ever witnessed) has generally been great for millions across the country, the number of White South Africans living under the international poverty line has sadly increased (especially in the rural areas) with the end of apartheid and many White South Africans feel left out by the current administration. Several people continue to depend solely on soup kitchens for survival.

South Africa has an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of about 17.8% (one of the highest in the world today). About 5.6 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 310,000 deaths recorded within the same year.

Although life in South Africa is generally better than in most other African countries, the Republic of South Africa (despite a recent drop in crime rates) has one of the highest crime rates in the world today with several violent crimes such murders, rape, assaults, etc. recorded every single day. Just like in America, Brazil, and other racially charged countries around the world, racism and discrimination continue to threaten several lives and properties in South Africa today. Xenophobia (the intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries) also continues to destroy several lives and properties in South Africa today. 

Just like in most other African countries today, corruption, poor governance, misappropriation of public funds, etc. continue to tear South Africa apart. Sadly, Nelson Mandela's dream of an "ideal" society is far from reality in today's South Africa.