Statistical information South Africa 1992South%20Africa

Map of South Africa | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

South Africa in the World
South Africa in the World

Economy Bookings

South Africa - Introduction 1992
top of page

Background: After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806 many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races.

South Africa - Geography 1992
top of page


Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 1,221,040 km²
1,221,040 km²; includes Walvis Bay, Marion Island, and Prince
Edward Island

Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries:
4,973 km total; Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km,
Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 1,078 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

Coastline: 2,881 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200 m (depth) or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Disputes: claim by Namibia to Walvis Bay exclave and 12 offshore islands administered by South Africa; South Africa and Namibia have agreed to jointly administer the area for an interim period; the terms and dates to be covered by joint administration arrangements have not been established at this time; and Namibia will continue to maintain a claim to sovereignty over the entire area

Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along coast; sunny days, cool nights

Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain


Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Land use

Land use: arable land: 10%; permanent crops: 1%; meadows and pastures 65%; forest and woodland 3%; other 21%; includes irrigated 1%

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


South Africa - People 1992
top of page

41688360 July 1992 growth rate 2.6 1992; includes the 10 socalled homelands which are not recognized by the US four independent homelands:
Bophuthatswana 2,489,347, growth rate 2.86%;
Ciskei 1,088,476, growth rate 2.99%; Transkei 4,746,796, growth rate 4.13%;

Venda 718207 growth rate 3.81 six other homelands: Gazankulu 803,806, growth rate 3.96%; Kangwane 597,783, growth rate 3.60%; KwaNdebele 373,012, growth rate 3.40%; KwaZulu 5,748,950, growth rate 3.58%; Lebowa 2,924,584, growth rate 3.90%; QwaQwa 288,155, growth rate 3.60%

Nationality: noun - South African(s; adjective - South African

Ethnic groups: black 75.2%, white 13.6%, Colored 8.6%, Indian 2.6%

Languages: Afrikaans, English (both official; many vernacular languages, including Zulu, Xhosa, North and South Sotho, Tswana

most whites and Coloreds and about 60% of blacks are
Christian; about 60% of Indians are Hindu; Muslim 20%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 34 births/1000 population (1992)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1000 population (1992)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1000 population (1992)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures
Current issues note: Walvis Bay is an exclave of South Africa in Namibia; South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 50 deaths/1000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: 62 years male, 67 years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: 4.4 children born/woman (1992)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 76% (male 78%, female 75%) age 15 and over can read and write (1980)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Africa - Government 1992
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of South Africa; abbreviated RSA

Government type: republic

Pretoria (administrative); Cape Town (legislative);
Bloemfontein (judicial)

Administrative divisions:
4 provinces; Cape, Natal, Orange Free State,
Transvaal; there are 10 homelands not recognized by the US - 4 independent (Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei, Venda) and 6 other (Gazankulu, Kangwane,
KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa, QwaQwa)

Dependent areas

Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)

National holiday: Republic Day, 31 May (1910)

Constitution: 3 September 1984

Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18, but voting rights are racially based
House of Assembly whites: last held 6 September 1989 (next to be held by NA March 1995); results - NP 58%, CP 23%, DP 19%; seats - (178 total, 166 elected) NP 103, CP 41, DP 34; note - by February 1992 because of byelections, changes in number of seats held by parties were as follows: NP 102, CP 42, DP 33, vacant 1
House of Representatives Coloreds: last held 6 September 1989 (next to be held no later than March 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (85 total, 80 elected) LP 69, DRP 5, UDP 3, Freedom Party 1, independents 2; note - since the National Party became multiracial, by
February 1992 many representatives from other parties have changed their allegiance causing the following changes in seating:
LP 39, NP 38, Freedom
Party 1, independents 7

House of Delegates Indians:
last held 6 September 1989 (next to be held no later than March 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (45 total, 40 elected) Solidarity 16, NPP 9, Merit People's Party 3, independents 6, other 6; note - due to delegates changing party affiliation, seating as of February 1992 is as follows: Solidarity 25, NPP 7, Merit
People's Party 2, other 5, independents 5, vacancy 1

Communists: South African Communist Party, Chris HANI, secretary general, and Joe SLOVO, national chairman

Executive branch:
state president, Executive Council (cabinet),
Ministers' Councils (from the three houses of Parliament)

Legislative branch:
tricameral Parliament (Parlement) consists of the
House of Assembly (Volksraad; whites), House of Representatives (Raad van
Verteenwoordigers; Coloreds), and House of Delegates (Raad van
Afgevaardigdes; Indians)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation:
WHO, WIPO, WMO (suspended)

Diplomatic representation:
Ambassador Harry SCHWARZ; Chancery at 3,051
Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008; telephone (202) 232-4,400; there are South African Consulates General in Beverly Hills (California),
Chicago, Houston, and New York

Ambassador William L. SWING; Embassy at Thibault House, 225 Pretorius
Street, Pretoria; telephone 27 (12) 28-4,266, FAX 27 (12) 21-92-78; there are US Consulates General in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of South%20Africa: actually four flags in one - three miniature flags reproduced in the center of the white band of the former flag of the Netherlands, which has three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and blue; the miniature flags are a vertically hanging flag of the old Orange Free State with a horizontal flag of the UK adjoining on the hoist side and a horizontal flag of the old Transvaal Republic adjoining on the other side

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

South Africa - Economy 1992
top of page

Economy overview: Many of the white one-seventh of the South African population enjoy incomes, material comforts, and health and educational standards equal to those of Western Europe. In contrast, most of the remaining population suffers from the poverty patterns of the Third World, including unemployment, lack of job skills, and barriers to movement into higher-paying fields. Inputs and outputs thus do not move smoothly into the most productive employments, and the effectiveness of the market is further lowered by international constraints on dealings with South Africa. The main strength of the economy lies in its rich mineral resources, which provide two-thirds of exports. Average growth of less than 2% in output in recent years falls far short of the 5% to 6% level needed to absorb some 300,000 new entrants to the labor force annually. Economic developments in the 1990s will be driven partly by the changing relations among the various ethnic groups.
GDP: exchange rate conversion - $104 billion, per capita $2,600; real growth rate - 0.5% (1991 est.)

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for about 5% of GDP and 30% of labor force; diversified agriculture, with emphasis on livestock; products - cattle, poultry, sheep, wool, milk, beef, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; self-sufficient in food

Industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemical, fertilizer, foodstuffs

Industrial production growth rate: growth rate NA%; accounts for about 40% of GDP

Labor force: 11,000,000 economically active (1989); services 34%, agriculture 30%, industry and commerce 29%, mining 7% (1985)
Organized labor: about 17% of total labor force belongs to a registered trade union (1989); African unions represent 15% of black labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 40% (1991; well over 50% in some homeland areas (1991 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $29.4 billion; expenditures $35.0 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (FY93 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $24.0 billion (f.o.b., 1991)
Commodoties: gold 25-30%, minerals and metals 20-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3%
Partners: Italy, Japan, US, FRG, UK, other EC members, Hong Kong

Imports: $18.8 billion (c.i.f., 1991)
Commodoties: machinery 32%, transport equipment 15%, chemicals 11%, oil, textiles, scientific instruments, base metals
Partners: FRG, Japan, UK, US, Italy

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rand (R) per US$1 - 2.7814 (January 1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990), 2.6166 (1989), 2.2611 (1988), 2.0350 (1987)

South Africa - Energy 1992
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 46,000,000 kW capacity; 180,000 million kWh produced, 4,100 kWh per capita (1991)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

South Africa - Communication 1992
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Africa - Military 1992
top of page

Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: exchange rate conversion - $3.5 billion, about 3% of GDP (FY92)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Africa - Transportation 1992
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

901 total, 732 usable; 132 with permanent-surface runways; 5
with runways over 3,659 m; 10
with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 224
with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil 931 km, petroleum products 1,748 km, natural gas 322 km




Merchant marine:
5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 213,708
GRT/201,043 DWT; includes 4 container, 1 vehicle carrier

Civil air: 90 major transport aircraft

Ports and terminals

South Africa - Transnational issues 1992
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it