South Africa Population, Politics and Economy
Population in South Africa
According to directoryaah, South Africa is often referred to as the rainbow nation because there are only a few countries where so many different people of all races and skin colors are at home as here. With around 54 million residents, it is the most populous state in southern Africa.
Until 1991 the constitution divided the population of South Africa into four major classes, blacks, whites, coloreds and Asians. Although this classification no longer exists by law, many South Africans still count themselves as belonging to one of the groups and government statistics continue to use these categories. Dark-skinned Africans make up around 70% of the population. According to their origin, these can be divided into Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele. There are also several million refugees from Zimbabwe and other parts of the continent, some of whom live illegally in South Africa.
The residents, who come from Europe, represent around 9% of the population of South Africa and are mainly descendants of Germans, British, French and Dutch. This means that the country has the largest population of European descent on the entire continent. However, the number of whites in South Africa has been falling continuously since the 1990s. Another ethnic group is the so-called “Colored People” with around 9% of the population. The people of this population group have European and non-European roots, are mostly descendants of the first settlers, their slaves and European immigrants.
A wide range of different national languages are in use in South Africa. About 0.7% of blacks and 59% of whites speak Afrikaans as their mother tongue, the mother tongue of the Coloreds is predominantly Afrikaans. English is spoken by 0.5% of all blacks and around 40% of whites at home. The other tribal languages such as South Ndebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, North Sotho, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga are spoken by the black Bantu population as their mother tongue. Only around 0.3% of the black population and 1% of whites speak none of the eleven official national languages as their mother tongue.
As multicultural the South African population is, the religious groups and communities in South Africa are just as diverse. Most South Africans are Christians, but there are countless different churches in the country whose affiliations are not uniformly regulated and therefore difficult to oversee. With around 2.5 million members, the Afrikaans-speaking Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NG Kerk, Dutch Reformed Church) is the largest religious community in the country. A total of 75% of the population can be assigned to a Christian denomination. The majority of Christians belong to so-called “Independent Black Churches”, which have their roots on the one hand in the Christian-Protestant faith, but on the other hand also in traditional African ideas, such as the cult of ancestors.
In addition to Christianity, South Africa also has an influential Jewish community and a Hindu community in Durban. There are also around 350,000 Muslims in South Africa, mainly on the Cape.
Politics and economics in South Africa
South Africa is the economically most stable and most successful country in Africa. Although only 2.4 percent of South African GDP comes from agriculture, the country is the third largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. The main products that are produced are grain (mainly corn and wheat), sugar cane, fruit and vegetables, meat and wine. In addition, South Africa has rich natural resources and mineral resources, especially in the Witwatersrand region, which made the country famous and rich. The diamond deposits near Kimberley and the gold and precious metal enrichments of the Witwatersrand sediments near Johannesburg as well as the rich ore deposits of uranium, platinum, palladium, chromium, nickel, vanadium, tin and other metals in the pluton of the world-famous Bushfeld complex should be mentioned in particular between Pretoria and Pietersburg.
Many other economic sectors such as finance and transport are also well developed and help the country to achieve economic stability. In addition, there has been a tourism boom in southern Africa with fully organized visitor programs in recent years, from which South Africa mainly benefits. In addition to the monetary income, the improvement of the entire infrastructure of South Africa is positive for the country. The road network in particular has seen major improvements. The intensity of tourism is mainly directed towards the coastal regions of South Africa and well-known sights such as the Kruger National Park. For the 2010 soccer world cup, significant investments were made in the country’s infrastructure, primarily through the construction of stadiums and traffic routes.
According to ebizdir, despite the economic growth and success, there are still social injustices and political misconduct in the country. Relatively high unemployment, crime and corruption are among the major problems in South Africa. The economic and political consequences for the population groups disadvantaged by apartheid policy have not yet been adequately eliminated. Large proportions of the poorer black population still live under precarious conditions in slums, the so-called townships, and unemployment among the black population is around 50%. In order to solve the problem of injustice in the country, the “Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment” (short B-BBEE or BBBEE; German about “Broad-based economic strengthening of blacks”) was created,
Transport network in South Africa
In South Africa there is left-hand traffic. The country has a well-developed network of roads and highways. The longest motorway is National Route 3 between Johannesburg and Durban. The entire road network covered around 358,596 km in 1996, of which only 59,753 km are paved. However, this is not a problem for our enduros and land rovers; on the contrary, driving on the slopes in South Africa is really fun.
Rail traffic on the approximately 24,000 km rail network in South Africa is primarily used to transport goods. Long-distance passenger transport services, for which the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is responsible in South Africa, run regularly between the major cities as well as on some branch lines. S-Bahn trains are also in use in the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg / Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth / East London. Because of the Cape Gauge used in South Africa, rail traffic is not particularly fast.
Long-distance traffic in South Africa is also served by international bus lines such as Intercape Mainliner, Translux, Greyhound Coach Lines, Intercape or the Baz buses.
The most important airport in South Africa is OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg. It is the busiest airport in Africa and the hub of the largest African airline SAA (South African Airways). It is also the airport of the capital Pretoria.
The second largest airport in South Africa is Cape Town International Airport (CPT), which opened in 1955. The airport, 22 km from the city center of Cape Town, is to have a direct underground connection to Cape Town in the future.