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South Africa (2005)

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 South Africa
Administrative divisions 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Western Cape
Age structure 0-14 years: 30.3% (male 6,760,137/female 6,682,013)

15-64 years: 64.5% (male 13,860,727/female 14,750,496)

65 years and over: 5.2% (male 893,360/female 1,397,403) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Airports 728 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 144

over 3,047 m: 10

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 51

914 to 1,523 m: 67

under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 584

1,524 to 2,437 m: 34

914 to 1,523 m: 300

under 914 m: 250 (2004 est.)
Area 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)
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 18.48 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $47.43 billion

expenditures: $52.54 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
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

former: Union of South Africa

abbreviation: RSA
Death rate 21.32 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $27.01 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Jendayi E. FRAZER

embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Pretoria

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

telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048

FAX: [27] (12) 342-2244

consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Barbara Joyce Mosima MASEKELA

chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400

FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international South Africa has placed military along the border to stem the thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing to find work and escape political persecution; managed dispute with Namibia over the location of the boundary in the Orange River
Economic aid - recipient $487.5 million (2000)
Economy - overview South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural 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 lower South Africa's high unemployment rate; and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as means to increase job growth and household income.
Electricity - consumption 189.4 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 6.95 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 7.873 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 202.6 billion kWh (2002)
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 outpacing 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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups black African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)
Exchange rates rand per US dollar - 6.4597 (2004), 7.5648 (2003), 10.5407 (2002), 8.6092 (2001), 6.9398 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: President Thabo MBEKI (since 16 June 1999); Executive Deputy President Phumzile MLAMBO-NGCUKA (since 23 June 2005); 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 Phumzile MLAMBO-NGCUKA (since 23 June 2005); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term; election last held 24 April 2004 (next to be held April 2009)

election results: Thabo MBEKI elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100% (by acclamation)

note: ANC-IFP is the governing coalition
Exports 6.95 billion kWh (2002)
Exports $41.97 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA
Exports - commodities gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment (1998 est.)
Exports - partners US 10.2%, UK 9.2%, Japan 9%, Germany 7.1%, Netherlands 4% (2004)
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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 3.6%

industry: 31.2%

services: 65.2% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $11,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.5% (2004 est.)
Geographic coordinates 29 00 S, 24 00 E
Geography - note South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
Highways total: 275,971 km

paved: 57,568 km (including 2,032 km of expressways)

unpaved: 218,403 km (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.1%

highest 10%: 45.9% (1994)
Illicit drugs transshipment center for heroin, hashish, marijuana, and 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; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region
Imports 7.873 billion kWh (2002)
Imports $39.42 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs (2000 est.)
Imports - partners Germany 14.2%, US 8.5%, China 7.5%, Japan 6.9%, UK 6.9%, France 6%, Saudi Arabia 5.6%, Iran 5% (2004)
Independence 31 May 1910 (from UK); note - South Africa became a republic in 1961 following an October 1960 referendum
Industrial production growth rate 5.5% (2004 est.)
Industries mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Infant mortality rate total: 61.81 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 65.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 57.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4.5% (2004 est.)
Irrigated land 13,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Constitutional Court; Supreme Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate Courts
Labor force 16.63 million economically active (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total: 4,862 km

border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km
Land use arable land: 12.08%

permanent crops: 0.79%

other: 87.13% (2001)
Languages IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)
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

elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held 14 April 2004 (next to be held NA 2009)

election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 69.7%, DA 12.4%, IFP 7%, UDM 2.3%, NNP 1.7%, ACDP 1.6%, other 5.3%; seats by party - ANC 279, DA 50, IFP 28, UDM 9, NNP 7, ACDP 6, other 21; National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA
Life expectancy at birth total population: 43.27 years

male: 43.47 years

female: 43.06 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86.4%

male: 87%

female: 85.7% (2003 est.)
Location Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Merchant marine total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 31,505 GRT/37,091 DWT

by type: container 1, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Denmark 1)

registered in other countries: 7 (2005)
Military - note with the end of apartheid and the establishment of majority rule, former military, black homelands forces, and ex-opposition forces were integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF); as of 2003 the integration process was considered complete
Military branches South African National Defense Force (SANDF): Army, Navy, Air Force, Joint Operations, Joint Support, Military Intelligence, Military Health Service (2004)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3.172 billion (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.5% (2004)
National holiday Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Nationality noun: South African(s)

adjective: 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 -0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines condensate 100 km; gas 1,052 km; oil 847 km; refined products 1,354 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE, president]; African National Congress or ANC [Thabo MBEKI, president]; Democratic Alliance or DA (formed from the merger of the Democratic Party or DP and the Freedom Alliance or FA) [Anthony LEON]; 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 44,344,136

note: 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 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 50% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate -0.31% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
Radio broadcast stations AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters), shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 20,872 km

narrow gauge: 20,436 km 1.065-m gauge (10,436 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge

note: includes a 1,210 km commuter rail system (2004)
Religions Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: the system is the best developed and most modern in Africa

domestic: 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

international: country code - 27; 2 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 4.844 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 16.86 million (2003)
Television broadcast stations 556 (plus 144 network repeaters) (1997)
Terrain vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Total fertility rate 2.24 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 26.2% (2004 est.)
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