Statistical information South Africa 1993South%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


South Africa - Introduction 1993
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 1993
top of page

Location: Southern Africa, at the extreme southern tip of the continent

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica, Standard Time Zones of the World

Total: 1,221,040 km²
Land: 1,221,040 km²

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

Coastline: 2,881 km
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Maritime claims

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

Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain salt, natural gas


Natural resources
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 10%
Permanent crops: 1%
Meadows and pastures: 65%
Forest and woodland: 3%
Other: 21%

Irrigated land: 11,280 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


South Africa - People 1993
top of page

Population: 42,792,804 (July 1993 est.)
Growth rate: 2.63% (1993 est.)

Noun: South African(s)
Adjective: South African

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

Afrikaans (official), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa, North
Sotho, South Sotho, Tswana, and many other vernacular languages

Total population: 76%
Male: 78%
Female: 75%

Christian (most whites and Coloreds and about 60% of blacks),
Hindu (60% of Indians), Muslim 20%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.63% (1993 est.)

Birth rate: 33.77 births/1000 population (1993 est.)

Death rate: 7.65 deaths/1000 population (1993 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.15 migrant(s)/1000 population (1993 est.)

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: 48.3 deaths/1000 live births (1993 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 64.81 years
Male: 62.07 years
Female: 67.63 years (1993 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.4 children born/woman (1993 est.)

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


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Africa - Government 1993
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
Conventional short form: South Africa
Abbreviation: RSA

Government type: republic

Capital: 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 white political parties and leaders:
National Party (NP), Frederik W. DE
KLERK (majority party); Conservative Party (CP), leader NA (official opposition party); Democratic Party (DP), Zach DE BEER; Afrikaner Volksunie (AVU), Andries BEYERS

Colored political parties and leaders see note:
Labor Party (LP), Allan
HENDRICKSE (majority party); National Party (NP); Democratic Party (DP);
Freedom Party

Indian political parties and leaders:
Solidarity, J. N. REDDY (majority party); National People's Party (NPP), Amichand RAJBANSI; Merit People's Party
the Democratic Reform Party (DRP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) were disbanded in May 1991

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: 18 years of age; universal, but voting rights are racially based

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:
WIPO, WMO (suspended)

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Princeton N. LYMAN
In the us chancery: 3,051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: 27 (12) 28-4,266
In the us consulates general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
In the us embassy: Thibault House, 225 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
In the us fax: 27 (12) 21-9,278

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 1993
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 and lack of job skills. The main strength of the economy lies in its rich mineral resources, which provide two-thirds of exports. Economic developments in the 1990s will be driven partly by the changing relations among the various ethnic groups. The shrinking economy in recent years has absorbed less than 10% of the more than 300,000 workers entering the labor force annually. Local economists estimate that the economy must grow between 5% and 6% in real terms annually to absorb all of the new entrants.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -2% (1992)

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

Labor force: 13.4 million economically active (1990)
By occupation services: 55%
By occupation agriculture: 10%
By occupation industry: 20%
By occupation mining: 9%
By occupation other: 6%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 45% (well over 50% in some homeland areas) (1992 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $28 billion; expenditures $36 billion, including capital expenditures of $3 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: $23.5 billion (f.o.b., 1992)
Commodoties: gold 27%, other minerals and metals 20-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3%
Partners: Italy, Japan, US, Germany, UK, other EC countries, Hong Kong

Imports: $18.2 billion (f.o.b., 1992)
Commodoties: machinery 32%, transport equipment 15%, chemicals 11%, oil, textiles, scientific instruments
Partners: Germany, 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 - 3.1576 (May 1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990), 2.6166 (1989), 2.2611 (1988)

South Africa - Energy 1993
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 1993
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Africa - Military 1993
top of page

Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: exchange rate conversion - $2.9 billion, about 2.5% of GDP (FY93 budget)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Africa - Transportation 1993
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 899
Usable: 713
With permanentsurface runways: 136
With runways over 3659 m: 5
With runways 2440-3659 m: 10
With runways 1220-2439 m: 221

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

Ports and terminals

South Africa - Transnational issues 1993
top of page

Disputes international: 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it