Statistical information South Africa 1995South%20Africa

Map of South Africa | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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South Africa in the World
South Africa in the World


South Africa - Introduction 1995
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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 1995
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Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica

Total area total: 1,219,912 km²
Land: 1,219,912 km²
Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)

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 the depth of exploitation
Exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east 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

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

South Africa - People 1995
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Population: total:45,095,459 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: total:2.61% (1995 est.)

Noun: South African(s)
Adjective: South African

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

Languages: eleven official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, 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
0-14 years: 40% (female 8,842,764; male 9,091,722)
15-64 years: 56% (female 12,825,617; male 12,508,039)
65 years and over: 4% (female 1,047,285; male 780,032) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: total:2.61% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 33.39 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 7.42 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.17 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 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
Current issues natural hazards: prolonged droughts
Current issues international agreements: party to - Antarctic Treaty, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 45.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 65.42 years
Male: 62.68 years
Female: 68.25 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.35 children born/woman (1995 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 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
Conventional short form: South Africa

Government type: republic

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

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Eastern Transvaal, KwaZulu/Natal, Northern Cape, Northern Transvaal, Northwest, Orange Free State, Gauteng, Western Cape

Dependent areas

Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)

National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)

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 Thabo MBEKI (since 10 May 1994); Deputy Executive President Frederik W. DE KLERK (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
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the Executive President

Legislative branch: bicameral
National Assembly: elections last 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


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Franklin SONN
In the us chancery: 3,051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 232-4,400
In the us consulates general: Beverly Hills (California), Chicago, and New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Princeton N. LYMAN
From the us embassy: 877 Pretorius St., Arcadia 0083
From the us mailing address: P.O. Box 9,536, Pretoria 0001
From the us telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048
From the us FAX: [27] (12) 342-2,244
From the us consulates general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg

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 1995
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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, to set the country on an aggressive export-led growth path, and to cut back the enormous numbers of unemployed. The 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, much less reduce the accumulated total.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1994 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: 32.6% (1994 est.), an additional 11% underemployment

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $26.3 billion
Expenditures: $34 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.5 billion (FY93/94 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: $25.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Commodoties: gold 27%, other minerals and metals 20%-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3%
Partners: Italy, Japan, US, Germany, UK, other EU countries, Hong Kong

Imports: $21.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Commodoties: 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: $18 billion (1994 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rand (R) per US$1 - 3.5389 (January 1995), 3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992), 2.7563 (1991), 2.5863 (1990)

South Africa - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 163 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 3,482 kWh (1993)

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 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: over 4,500,000 telephones; the system is the best developed, most modern, and has the highest capacity in Africa
Local: NA
Intercity: consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber optic cable, and radiocommunication stations; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
International: 1 submarine cable; 3 INTELSAT (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean) earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Africa - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $3.2 billion, 2.8% of GDP (FY93/94)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Africa - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 853
With paved runways over 3047 m: 9
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 5
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 47
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 72
With paved runways under 914 m: 327
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2438 m: 39
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 354

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 9
2438 to 3047 m: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 47
914 to 1523 m: 72
Under 914 m: 327

Airports with unpaved runways
15-24 to 2438 m: 39
914 to 1523 m: 354


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




Merchant marine: total:4 container ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 211,276 GRT/198,602 DWT

Ports and terminals

South Africa - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: 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 for heroin and cocaine; cocaine consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries


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