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South Africa (2001)

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South Africa 2001 year

 South Africa
Administrative divisions 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Northern Province, Western Cape
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.)
Agriculture - products corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Airports 741 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
10 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
262 (2000 est.)
Area total:
1,219,912 sq km

1,219,912 sq km

0 sq km

includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of Texas
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.
Birth rate 21.12 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$31.1 billion

$34.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA billion (FY01/02)
Capital Pretoria; note - Cape Town is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center
Climate mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Coastline 2,798 km
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
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of South Africa

conventional short form:
South Africa

Union of South Africa

Currency rand (ZAR)
Death rate 16.77 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $25.6 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Delano E. LEWIS, Sr.

877 Pretorius Street, Pretoria

mailing address:
P. O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001

[27] (12) 342-1048

[27] (12) 342-2244

consulate(s) general:
Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Makate Sheila SISULU

3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 232-4400

[1] (202) 265-1607

consulate(s) general:
Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
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
Economic aid - recipient $676.3 million
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.
Electricity - consumption 172.393 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 3.884 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 2.457 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 186.903 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Njesuthi 3,408 m
Environment - 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
Environment - 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

signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups black 75.2%, white 13.6%, Colored 8.6%, Indian 2.6%
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)
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 appointed by the president

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)

ANC-IFP governing coalition
Exports 3.884 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $30.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports - partners UK, Italy, Japan, US, Germany
Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March
Flag description two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band which 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

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
GDP purchasing power parity - $369 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


65% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $8,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 29 00 S, 24 00 E
Geography - note South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
Highways total:
358,596 km

59,753 km (including 1927 km of expressways)

298,843 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
45.9% (1994)
Illicit drugs transshipment center for heroin, hashish, marijuana, and possibly cocaine; cocaine consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries; illicit cultivation of marijuana
Imports 2.457 billion kWh (1999)
Imports $27.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery, foodstuffs and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments
Imports - partners Germany, US, UK, Japan
Independence 31 May 1910 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate 2.4% (2000 est.)
Industries mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
Infant mortality rate 60.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.3% (2000 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 44 (2000)
Irrigated land 12,700 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts
Labor force 17 million economically active (2000)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total:
4,750 km

border countries:
Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 855 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

15% (1993 est.)
Languages 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Legal system based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly (400 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional representation to serve five-year terms) and the National Council of Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected by each of the nine provincial legislatures for five-year terms; has special powers to protect regional interests, including the safeguarding of cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities); note - following the implementation of the new constitution on 3 February 1997 the former Senate was disbanded and replaced by the National Council of Provinces with essentially no change in membership and party affiliations, although the new institution's responsibilities have been changed somewhat by the new constitution

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
Life expectancy at birth total population:
48.09 years

47.64 years

48.56 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


81.7% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Map references Africa
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
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.)
Military - note the National Defense Force continues to integrate former military, black homelands forces, and ex-opposition forces
Military branches South African National Defense Force or SANDF (includes Army, Navy, Air Force, and Medical Services), South African Police Service or SAPS
Military expenditures - dollar figure $2 billion (FY00/01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.5% (FY99/00)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
11,469,812 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
6,977,328 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
466,399 (2001 est.)
National holiday Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Nationality noun:
South African(s)

South African
Natural hazards prolonged droughts
Natural resources gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Net migration rate -1.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 931 km; petroleum products 1,748 km; natural gas 322 km
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]
Political pressure groups and leaders Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI, general secretary]; South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]; South African National Civics Organization or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE, national president]; note - COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the ANC
Population 43,586,097

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.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 0.26% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mosselbaai, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha
Radio broadcast stations AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 13.75 million (1997)
Railways total:
21,431 km

narrow gauge:
20,995 km 1.067-m gauge (9,087 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge (1995)
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%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.6 male(s)/female

total population:
0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa

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

2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 5.075 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular over 2,000,000 (1999)
Television broadcast stations 556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997)
Terrain vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Total fertility rate 2.43 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 30% (2000 est.)
Waterways NA
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