Country's codes

International phone code for South Africa: +27

Standard ISO 3166-1:

    3 letters: ZAF

    2 letters (internet domain): .ZA

    Digital country code 710

Standard EAN-13 (country barcode): 600-601

Olympic country code: RSA

FIFA code: RSA


Useful country information

Total area:  471,008 sq mi (1,219,912 sq km)

Population (2022 est.): 60.04 million

Administrative capital (2022 est.): Pretoria, 1.501 million; Legislative capital and largest city: Cape Town, 4.862 million. Judicial capital: Bloemfontein, 578,000. No decision has been made to relocate the seat of government. South Africa is demarcated into nine provinces, consisting of the Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu/Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Free State. Each province has its own capital.

Capital City
Pretoria: Capital City Profile

Other large cities: Johannesburg, 3.844 million; Ekurhuleni, 3.357 million; Durban, 3.012 million (2011).

Monetary unit: Rand

Current government officials

Languages: IsiZulu 22.7%, IsiXhosa 16%, Afrikaans 13.5%, Sepedi 9.1%, English 9.6%, Setswana 8%, Sesotho 7.6%, Xitsonga 4.5%, siSwati 2.5%, Tshivenda 2.4%, isiNdebele 2.1%, other 1.6% (2011)

Ethnicity/race: black African 79.2%, white 8.9%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5%, other 0.5% (2011)

Religions: Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001)

National Holiday: April 27, South Africa Freedom Day.


Background:

Often called 'the rainbow nation', South Africa is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Africa. It was inhabited by pastoral Khoekhoe (Khoi), the hunter-gatherer San, the Xhosa, and the Zulu nations and various other indigenous tribes, when Dutch settlers arrived in middle of the 17th century, much to the disadvantage of the Khoekhoe along the southern and western coastal strips.

What followed was an aggressive colonial expansion for centuries mainly of settlers of Dutch, German and French Huguenot origin. In 1795 the British took over the Cape from the Dutch, seven years later the colony was returned to the Dutch government, only to come under British rule again in 1806, this circumstance and the rise to power of the Zulu king Shaka, forcing many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) to trek north and east 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 until the end of the 20th century.

The 1990s brought an end to apartheid with South Africa's transition to democracy and with Nelson Mandela's inauguration as SA's first democratically elected President 1994.


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