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South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) 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 surrounds the kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and 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. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (white), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (coloured) ancestry.
South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. 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. 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 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. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. 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. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990.
Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. Nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence.

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  1. Joe Link

    International  Why the DA supports private gun ownership for self-defence

    Why the DA supports private gun ownership for self-defence
  2. P7M13

    White farmers in South Africa

    When @ATCclears posted about this earlier this year, I asked a South African colleague, who returns home ever year, how things were there. He just sent this to me. IMO, it's lengthy, but worth the watch. Seems to me it's a country steeped in a history of violence, falling over a cliff into...
  3. RicInOR

    International  South Africa - Turn in your weapons

    Gunpowder Magazine - South Africa Calls for 300,000 Gun Owners to Turn Over Their Weapons ... not based on good intentions South Africa Calls for 300,000 Gun Owners to Turn Over Their Weapons Ruling urges some 300 000 gun owners to turn in their guns "The Constitutional Court of South...
  4. ATCclears

    The gated world of South Africa

  5. ATCclears

    Cape Town issues 90-day warning on water supply

    "Cape Town may become the first large city in the world to run out of water, as officials warn there are fewer than 90 days left before the supply runs dry. The city’s mayor Patricia De Lille said residents had until 22 April until “day zero”, when authorities have estimated the water supply...
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