South Africa (Officially the Republic of South Africa) is a country located at the southern tip of Africa bordering the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the People's Republic of Namibia to the north, the People's Republic of Mozambique and Swaziland (South Africa almost completely surrounds Swaziland) to the east. 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 1,219,090squared kilometers (about 4,620sq km covered by water) with about 2,798 km of coastline.
The Republic of South Africa has a population of about 49 million people with the population growth rate around 0.38%. About 62% of the total population of South Africa live in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Pretoria the administrative capital of South Africa (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 is a multi-racial country with several ethnic and racial groups living together. Black Africans the most dominant racial group make up about 79% of the total population. Whites 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 groups in South Africa today with Christianity being the most dominant. Protestants the most dominant religious group(s) 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, Muslims 1.5% of the total population, other Christians form 36% of the total populations, other religious groups form 2.3% with the unspecified and none religious people forming about 16.5% of the total population.
Although just about 8.2% of the total population can speak English Language, there are about 10 other official languages spoken in South Africa today. IsiZulu (official) 23.82% of the total population speak, IsiXhosa (official) 17.64%, Afrikaans (official) 13.35% of the total population do speak and understand, Sepedi (official) 9.39%, Setswana (official) 8.2%, Sesotho (official) 7.93%, Xitsonga (official) 4.44%, siSwati (official) 2.66%, Tshivenda (official) 2.28%, isiNdebele (official) 1.59%, other non-official languages spoken in South Africa today 0.5%.
South Africa being the most advanced country in all of Africa is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as 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.
Despite being the most advanced country in all of Africa (with high literacy rate and abundance of natural resources), millions of people (including poor White South Africans) continue to live in extreme poverty and hunger today especially at the outskirts of big cities and towns (In places like Soweto a lower-class-populated urban area of the city of Johannesburg). South Africa used to be a very favorable place for several of its White Citizens (who enjoyed several privileges) during the time of apartheid. However, today's South Africa seems quite different. There are several Whites (and Blacks) who 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 African countries in terms of living conditions (such as the availability of social amenities), 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 including murders, rape, assaults, etc. recorded every single year. 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.
Just like in almost all African countries today, corruption, poor governance, mismanagement of public funds, etc. continue to tear South Africa into pieces.
Nelson Mandela the first black president of South Africa sacrificed his life for the betterment of his country. Nelson Mandela without any doubt achieved more than anyone could think of. Nelson Mandela transformed not just his beloved country South Africa but the world in general. Although today's South Africa is much better than the yesterday's apartheid chained South Africa, much more needs to be done in order to better the living conditions of the average South African.