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20 Facts About South Africa

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South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa.

'Reverse apartheid': South Africa's white slums by euronews (in English)

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It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and on the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho.

Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.

Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics, and including several countries.

Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers.

South Africa's deadly Trojan Horse by CBS Evening News

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South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 56 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation.

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It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere.

The Old World consists of Africa, Europe, and Asia, regarded collectively as the part of the world known to Europeans before contact with the Americas.

The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of the earth that is east of the prime meridian and west of the antimeridian.

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About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status.

The Bantu languages, technically the Narrow Bantu languages, constitute a traditional branch of the n*gg*r–Congo languages.

Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara desert.

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The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian, and multiracial ancestry.

Multiracial is defined as made up of or relating to people of many races.

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South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions.

A multinational state is a sovereign state that comprises two or more nations.

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Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world.

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Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most white and coloured South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth-ranked as a spoken first language.

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states.

Coloureds are a multiracial ethnic group originating in colonial South Africa, who possess ancestry from European, African and Asian ethnic groups.

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

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The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century.

A coup d'état, sometimes translated as "blow of state" or "hit of state", but the literal translation is "stroke of the state" – as in the swiping or stroke of a sword; plural: coups d'état,, also known simply as a coup, putsch, or an overthrow, is the illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus.

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However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994.

Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections.

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During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics.

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The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation.

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa between 1948 and 1991, when it was abolished.

Segregation is the separation of humans into ethnic or racial groups in daily life.

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After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, discriminatory laws began to be repealed or abolished from 1990 onwards.

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Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" – not the private concern or property of the rulers – and where offices of state are elected or appointed, rather than inherited.

A parliamentary republic is a type of republic that operates under a parliamentary system of government where the executive branch derives its legitimacy from and is accountable to the legislature.

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South Africa is often referred to as the "Rainbow Nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid.

Rainbow nation is a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa's first fully democratic election in 1994.

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The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country.

The category of newly industrialized country is a socioeconomic classification applied to several countries around the world by political scientists and economists.

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programs.

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Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world.

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In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa.

Theories that invoke purchasing power parity assume that in some circumstances it would cost exactly the same number of, for example, US dollars to buy euros and then to use the proceeds to buy a market basket of goods as it would cost to use those dollars directly in purchasing the market basket of goods.

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However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day.

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