cyril ramaphosaAs 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 Republics of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia to the north. To the east, South Africa borders the Republic of Mozambique and  the Kingdom of 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 1,219,090 squared kilometers (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 57.5 million people 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 2.3 million people with urban growth rate of 2.97%), Johannesburg the economic powerhouse of South Africa (Johannesburg is also the largest city by population size in South Africa today. Johannesburg has an "estimated" urban population of 10.1 million people with annual growth rate of 2.14%), Cape Town (The second most populous city in South Africa today. According to UN projections, Cape Town has an "estimated" population of 3.78 million people as of 2018), etc.

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

There are several religious and denominational groups in South Africa today. Protestants 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%) and Catholics 7.1%. Other Christian groups (including Adventists) together make up about 36% of the total population. Muslims are 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 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. 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 good 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 brought so much improvement in the lives of millions across the country, the number of people (black, white and brown South Africans) living under the international poverty line, has sadly remained very high especially in the rural and sub-urban communities. Millions of South Africans feel left out by the current administration.

South Africa has an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of about 18.9% (one of the highest in the world today). According to the World Health Organization, more than 7.1 million people were living with HIV in 2016. There were about 270,000 new HIV infections with about 110,000 AIDS-related officially recorded deaths in 2016. Although South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment (ART) program in the world, only about 56% of adults (infected) were on antiretroviral treatment in 2016.

Although living conditions in South Africa are 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 as robbery, rape, and murder) recorded every single day. Just like in America, Brazil, and other racially charged communities around the world, racism and discrimination continue to threaten several lives and properties in South Africa today. Also, XENOPHOBIA, the intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries, is sadly on the rise in South Africa today. 

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

#7 JQ 2020-08-04 05:32
Really? South Africans are 87% literate? Have they ever asked a grade 12 learner to do a comprehension test or to read something? I think not. They might recognize the characters and words on the page but they cannot comprehend the meaning. How is that "literate"? Even with mathematics, you have grade 12 learners who cannot tell you what is 5x5 of 9x9 without a calculator. Most of this is due to education plan focusing on grammar, etc. instead of comprehension, reading, and hearing correctly. Most Grade 12 have an average of less than 50% with an extra 20-30% because it is not home language education. This all started since IQ test ( which tests the basic and general knowledge of the people tested compared to others of the same age) are not used. The department is making education plans by guessing the learners' knowledge, motivation(they assume all leaners really want to learn and more). And they are using culture as an excuse. Just one bit of advise, if a culture does not adapt, it stagnates, and can even die out.
#6 Barry 2019-12-31 22:47
Why is Africa now and always been such a nightmare of a country ? With unbelievable poverty, hate, murders, drugs, diseases and so much more. It’s like the land is cursed or something. Meanwhile it looks so beautiful.
Graham from UK
#5 Graham from UK 2019-09-17 15:57
After visiting Cape Town last year I was blown away by the beauty of South Africa. My message is simple, the population must seek help and guidance from the United Nations, otherwise you will descend into an abyss of war and killing. Your infant democracy will not survive because of the hate of the past. You must move forward in peace and harmony. I hope your leaders can influence the people to a peaceful solution for all South Africans.
Nakamoto Satoshi
#4 Nakamoto Satoshi 2019-09-17 09:53
South Africans need to appoligize to the world, they need to wake up and know they have lost it, the whole African Nations is angry with them.
#3 Leo 2019-08-15 06:11
So yeah the biggest issues are:
Sexual assault/rape. {
(20-25% of adult women)
(90+% of men in prison)
(35+% of children of which most are boys)
Racial violence
Non-functioning municipalities
Lack of clean water and sanitation
Unsustainable (eligible-tax-payer : welfare-recipient) ratio

honestly, it is by the Grace of God people aren't at civil war yet.
A Fellow South African
#2 A Fellow South African 2019-05-16 06:36
Quoting Sphesihle Nkanyiso Nxumalo:
We need to prepare for the war ...


Just some food for thought: Instead of making war we can do what you suggest at the very end of your comment. Let us change ourselves and our perspective toward fellow South Africans (of all races) and start teaching our children to not hate other people simply because of what their forefathers did. If we want to see change in this country then we must first be willing to change ourselves. Just like you said.

If we want to move forward as a country we must forgive the sins of the past. That is a painful process, but the moment we've done it is when the festering wounds from the past will turn into scars that no longer hurt.

Have a good day.
Sphesihle Nkanyiso Nxumalo
#1 Sphesihle Nkanyiso Nxumalo 2018-09-25 10:07
We need to prepare for the war and that we can do through education. We can't expect the government to do everything for us, we can make a change for ourselves, get educated, introduce our own theories we can use to describe the world as Africans. I'm not saying white people are bad but they are well prepared for the war. Lets educate our minds and stop blaming and expecting government to do everything for us. Remember change start within a person and once one can realize that and focus on making a change for the better of a nation rather than self interest, then we gonna be prepared to face the world and make Africa a better continent as a whole.