South Africa

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Here the barman is an alarmingly thin Afrikaaner youth with a pallid spotty face, pale blue eyes, a crew cut and what I have come to think of as an AWB expression. He ignored my greeting, didn't trouble to open my Castle [beer], then resumed reading something under the counter. When he was summoned to the black bar I peered at his reading matter, a glossy 'Guns and Other Weapons' periodical costing R8.50.

Devla Murphy: 'South from the Limpopo'. (1994)


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Overview: South Africa

Mr Malema had certainly not lost any time. He launched the EFF in mid October at Marikana, the place where 34 striking miners were shot by police in 2012. The canny choice of venue was characteristic of Mr Malema’s ability to grab the political headlines. On a number of issues he was preaching to the converted; South Africa’s youth unemployment, at over 50 per cent, is frighteningly high and represents a major weakness for the ANC. South Africa’s next general elections were scheduled for April 2014; for the first time some two million new voters would join the electorate, an obvious, and easy, target for Mr Malema’s Chávez style populism. Mr Malema’s biggest challenge was the political apathy that seemed to be endemic to South Africa’s youth. 


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Profile: South Africa

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Republic of South Africa
Head of State: President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (ANZ) (from 9 May 2009; re-elected 21 May 2014)
Head of government: President Jacob Zuma (ANZ) (from 7 May 2009; re-elected 21 May 2014)
Ruling party: African National Congress (ANC) (since 1994; re-elected 7 May 2014)
Area: 1,127,200 square km
Population: 54.00 million (2014)
Capital: Cape Town (legislative); Johannesburg (financial); Pretoria (to be renamed Tshwane) (administrative); Bloemfontein (judicial)
Official language: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, SiSwati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.
Currency: Rand (R) = 100 cents
Exchange rate: R13.79 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$6,483 (2014)
GDP real growth: 1.53% (2014)
GDP: US$350.08 billion (2014)
Labour force: 20.23 million (2014)*
Unemployment: 25.10% (2014)
Inflation: 6.07% (2014)
Balance of trade: -US$6.37 billion (2014)
Annual FDI: US$5.72 billion (2011)
* estimated figure

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