South Africa Profile
South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It has 2,798 kilometres of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans and to the north lie the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland and within it lies Lesotho an enclave surrounded by South African territory.
South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and with closes to 53 million people and is the world’s 24th-most populous nation.
South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions. Two of these languages are of European origin: English and Afrikaans, the latter originating from Dutch and serving as the first language of most white and coloured South Africans. Though English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fourth most-spoken first language.
About 80 % of South Africans are of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa’s largest communities of European, Asian, and multiracial ancestry.
South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and is considered to be a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second largest in Africa and the 28th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa.
South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and is comparable in size to Colombia. Mafadi in the Drakensberg at 3,450 m is the highest peak in South Africa. The country lies between latitudes 22° and 35°S and longitudes 16° and 33°E.
South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north and further inland.
Due to this varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist. The climatic zones range from the extreme desert of the southern Namib in the farthest northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the Mozambique border and the Indian Ocean. Winters in South Africa occur between June and August.
General information about South Africa has been summarized to include the following;
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