Statistical information South Africa 2001South%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

Sightseeing Pass

South Africa - Introduction 2001
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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 2001
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Location: Southern Africa at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

Geographic coordinates: 29 00 S 24 00 E

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 1,219,912 km²
Land: 1,219,912 km²
Water: 0 km²
Note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 4,750 km
Border countries: (6) 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
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic 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

Extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m

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%
Permanent pastures: 67%
Forests and woodland: 7%
Other: 15% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 12,700 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: prolonged droughts

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

South Africa - People 2001
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Note: South Africa took a census October 1996 which showed a population of 40,583,611 (after an official adjustment for a 6.8% underenumeration based on a postenumeration survey); estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 0.26% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)

Noun: South African
Adjective: South African

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

Languages: 11 official languages including Afrikaans English Ndebele Pedi Sotho Swazi Tsonga Tswana Venda Xhosa Zulu

Religions: Christian 68% (includes most whites and Coloreds about 60% of blacks and about 40% of Indians) Muslim 2% Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians) indigenous beliefs and animist 28.5%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 32.01% (male 7,023,639; female 6,928,559)
15-64 years: 63.11% (male 13,264,654; female 14,244,484)
65 years and over: 4.88% (male 798,914; female 1,325,847) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.26% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 21.12 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 16.77 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.73 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 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
International agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.02 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male/female
Total population: 0.94 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 60.33 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 48.09 years
Male: 47.64 years
Female: 48.56 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.43 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 19.94% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 4.2 million (1999 est.)
Deaths: 250,000 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 81.8%
Male: 81.9%
Female: 81.7% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

South Africa - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
Conventional short form: South Africa
Former: Union of South Africa
Abbreviation: RSA

Government type: republic

Capital: Pretoria; note - Cape Town is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape Free State Gauteng KwaZulu-Natal Mpumalanga North-West Northern Cape Northern Province Western Cape

Dependent areas

Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)

National holiday: Freedom Day 27 April (1994)

Constitution: 10 December 1996; this new constitution was certified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996 was signed by then President MANDELA on 10 December 1996 and entered into effect on 3 February 1997; it is being implemented in phases

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: President Thabo MBEKI (since 16 June 1999); Executive Deputy President Jacob ZUMA (since 17 June 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Thabo MBEKI (since 16 June 1999); Executive Deputy President Jacob ZUMA (since 17 June 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 2 June 1999 (next scheduled for sometime between May and July 2004)
Election results: Thabo MBEKI elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100% (by acclamation)
Note: ANC-IFP governing coalition

Legislative branch
Elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held 2 June 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
Election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 66.4%, DP 9.6%, IFP 8.6%, NP 6.9%, UDM 3.4%, ACDP 1.4%, FF 0.8%, other 2.9%; seats by party - ANC 266, DP 38, IFP 34, NP 28, UDM 14, ACDP 6, FF 3, other 11; National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - ANC 61, NP 17, FF 4, IFP 5, DP 3

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts

Political parties and leaders: African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE president]; African National Congress or ANC [Thabo MBEKI president]; Democratic Alliance (formed from the merger of the Democratic Party or DP and the New National Party or NP) [Anthony LEON leader]; Freedom Front or FF [Constand VILJOEN president]; Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI president]; Pan-Africanist Congress or PAC [Stanley MOGOBA president]; United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Makate Sheila SISULU
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 fax: [1] (202) 265-1607
In the us consulates general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Delano E. LEWIS, Sr.
From the us embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
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
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 had three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and blue; the miniature flags were 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 2001
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Economy overview: South Africa is a middle-income developing country with an abundant supply of resources well-developed financial legal communications energy and transport sectors a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However growth has not been strong enough to cut into the 30% unemployment and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era especially the problems of poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. Other problems are crime corruption and HIV/AIDS. At the start of 2000 President MBEKI vowed to promote economic growth and foreign investment and to reduce poverty by relaxing restrictive labor laws stepping up the pace of privatization and cutting unneeded governmental spending.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 3% (2000 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: 5%
Industry: 30%
Services: 65% (1999 est.)

Agriculture products: corn wheat sugarcane fruits vegetables; beef poultry mutton wool dairy products

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 17 million economically active (2000)
By occupation agriculture: 30%
By occupation industry: 25%
By occupation services: 45% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 30% (2000 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 1.1%
Highest 10: 45.9% (1994)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $31.1 billion
Expenditures: $34.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA billion (FY01/02)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 5.3% (2000 est.)

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: $30.8 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: gold diamonds other metals and minerals machinery and equipment
Partners: UK Italy Japan US Germany

Imports: $27.6 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: machinery foodstuffs and equipment chemicals petroleum products scientific instruments
Partners: Germany US UK Japan

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $25.6 billion (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rand per US dollar - 7.60 (March 2001) 6.93983 (2000) 6.10948 (1999) 5.52828 (1998) 4.60796 (1997) 4.29935 (1996)

South Africa - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 186.903 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 92.74%
By source hydro: 0.39%
By source nuclear: 6.87%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 172.393 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 3.884 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 2.457 billion kWh (1999)

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 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: over 2,000,000 (1999)

Telephone system
General assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa
Domestic: consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
International: 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .za

Internet users: 1.82 million (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

South Africa - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2 billion (FY00/01)
Percent of gdp: 1.5% (FY99/00)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

South Africa - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 741 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 142
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: 71
With paved runways under 914 m: 10 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 599
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 33
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 304
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 262 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 142
Over 3047 m: 9
2438 to 3047 m: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 47
914 to 1523 m: 71
Under 914 m: 10 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 599
15-24 to 2437 m: 33
914 to 1523 m: 304
Under 914 m: 262 (2000 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 931 km; petroleum products 1748 km; natural gas 322 km

Total: 21,431 km
Narrow gauge: 20,995 km 1.067-m gauge (9,087 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge (1995)


Waterways: NA

Merchant marine
Total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 271,650 GRT/268,604 DWT
Ships by type: container 6, petroleum tanker 2 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

South Africa - Transnational issues 2001
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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

Iberostar Hotels

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