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Facts About South Africa | South Africa Facts Info Stuff

Here are some interesting facts about South Africa - Category: Introduction - Background: Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the East, founding the city of Cape Town. 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); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together under the Union of South Africa. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in black majority rule.

Category: Government - Flag description: two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles 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

Category: People - Age structure (%): 0-14 years: 29.2% (male 7,147,151/female 7,120,183); 15-64 years: 65.5% (male 16,057,340/female 15,889,750); 65 years and over: 5.3% (male 1,050,287/female 1,518,044) (2008 estimate)

Category: Economy - Electricity - production (kWh): 264 billion kWh (2007)

Category: Geography - Area (sq km): total: 1,219,912 sq km; land: 1,219,912 sq km; water: 0 sq km; note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)

Category: Transportation - Airports: 728 (2007)

Category: Communications - Telephones - mobile cellular: 42.3 million (2007)

Category: Military - Military branches: South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), Joint Operations Command, Military Intelligence, Military Health Services (2008)

Category: Transnational Issues - Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 10,772 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,818 (Somalia); 5,759 (Angola) (2007)

Other random facts about South Africa 

  1. Geography - Land use (%): arable land: 12.1%; permanent crops: 0.79%; other: 87.11% (2005)

  2. Geography - Coastline (km): 2,798 km

  3. Economy - Electricity - consumption (kWh): 241.4 billion kWh (2007)

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Source: CIA - The World Factbook