Statistical information South Africa 1994South%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 1994
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. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.

South Africa - Geography 1994
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 area total: 1,219,912 km²
Land: 1,219,912 km²

Land boundaries: total 4,750 km, Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 855 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

Coastline: 2,798 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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%

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

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: subject to prolonged droughts

Note: South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland

South Africa - People 1994
top of page

Population: 43,930,631 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.62% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:South African(s)

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

Languages: eleven official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu

Religions: Christian (most whites and Coloreds and about 60% of blacks), Hindu (60% of Indians), Muslim 2%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.62% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 33.58 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 7.53 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.16 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage threatens to outpace supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 47.1 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 65.11 years
Male: 62.37 years
Female: 67.94 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.37 children born/woman (1994 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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1980)
Total population: 76%
Male: 78%
Female: 75%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Africa - Government 1994
top of page

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

Government type: republic

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

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Eastern Transvaal, Kwa Zulu/Natal, Northern Cape, Northern Transvaal, Northwest, Orange Free State, Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging, Western Cape
Note: previously the administrative divisions consisted of 4 provinces; Cape, Natal, Orange Free State, Transvaal; there were 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: 27 April 1994 (interim constitution, replacing the constitution of 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

Executive branch: chief of state and head of government:Executive President Nelson MANDELA (since 10 May 1994); Deputy Executive President Frederik W. DE KLERK (since 10 May 1994); Deputy Executive President Thabo MBEKI (since 10 May 1994)
Note: any political party that wins 20% or more of the National Assembly votes in a general election is entitled to name a Deputy Executive President

Legislative branch: the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Medical Services of the former South Africa, the armed forces of the former homelands, and the ANC and PAC military components; the initial strength of the SANDF has been set at about 100,000 active duty members with plans to reduce it to about 40,000 by 1997; it is manned mostly by nonwhites, but the higher officer grades are held by whites; the South African Police (SAP) have incorporated the police forces of the former homelands since the elections of 1994; a National Peacekeeping Force (NPKF) to ensure peaceful proceedures during the 1994 elections was established briefly from the military components of the principal political factions, but was dissolved on 2 June 1994, following the elections.
National Assembly: elections held 26-29 April 1994 (next to be held NA); results - ANC 62.6%, NP 20.4%, IFP 10.5%, FF 2.2%, DP 1.7%, PAC 1.2%, ACDP 0.5%, other 0.9%; seats - (400 total) ANC 252, NP 82, IFP 43, FF 9, DP 7, PAC 5, ACDP 2
Senate: the Senate is composed of members who are nominated by the nine provincial parliaments (which are elected in parallel with the National Assembly) and has special powers to protect regional interests, including the right to limited self-determination for ethnic minorities; seats - (90 total) ANC 61, NP 17, FF 4, IFP 5, DP 3
Note: when the National Assembly meets in joint session with the Senate to consider the provisions of the Constitution, the combined group is referred to as the Constitutional Assembly

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: BIS, CCC, ECA, GATT, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO (suspended), ICC, IDA, IFC, IMF, INTELSAT, IOC, ISO, ITU (suspended), LORCS, OAU, SACU, UN, UNCTAD, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO (suspended), ZC

Diplomatic representation
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Princeton N. LYMAN
From the us chancery: 3,051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048
From the us consulates general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
From the us embassy: 877 Pretorius St., Arcadia 0083
From the us mailing address: P.O. Box 9,536, Pretoria 0001
From the us FAX: [27] (12) 342-2,244 or 2,299

Flag descriptionflag of South%20Africa: two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band which splits into a horozontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side, embracing a black isoceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes
Note: prior to 26 April 1994 the flag was 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 1994
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 for the remainder of the 1990s will be driven largely by the new government's attempts to improve black living conditions and to set the country on an aggressive export-led growth path. The shrinking economy in recent years has absorbed less than 5% 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: 1.1% (1993 est.)

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: NA%; accounts for about 40% of GDP

Labor force: 13.4 million economically active (1990)
By occupation services: 35%
By occupation agriculture: 30%
By occupation industry: 20%
By occupation mining: 9%
By occupation other: 6%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 50% (1994 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues:$26.3 billion

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: $24.3 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
Commodities: gold 27%, other minerals and metals 20-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3%
Partners: Italy, Japan, US, Germany, UK, other EC countries, Hong Kong

Imports: $18.1 billion (f.o.b., 1993)
Commodities: machinery 32%, transport equipment 15%, chemicals 11%, oil, textiles, scientific instruments
Partners: Germany, US, Japan, UK, Italy

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $17 billion (1993 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rand (R) per US$1 - 3.4551 (March 1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990), 2.6166 (1989)

South Africa - Energy 1994
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 180 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 4,100 kWh (1991)

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 1994
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Africa - Military 1994
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: 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 1994
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 886
Usable: 718
With permanentsurface runways: 140
With runways over 3659 m: 5
With runways 2440-3659 m: 10
With runways 1220-2439 m: 213

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 213,273 GRT/201,043 DWT, container 4, vehicle carrier 1

Ports and terminals

South Africa - Transnational issues 1994
top of page

Disputes international: the dispute with Namibia over Walvis Bay and 12 offshore islands has been resolved and these territories were transferred to Namibian sovereignty on 1 March 1994; Swaziland has asked South Africa to open negotiations on reincorporating some nearby South African territories that are populated by ethnic Swazis or that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment center of heroin and cocaine; cocaine consumption on the rise


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it