South Africa


South Africa Destinations Travel Guide

Language: English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Sotho and etc.

Currency: Rand (ZAR)

Calling call: +27


South Africa, officially Republic of South Africa (in Afrikaans: Republiek van Suid-Afrika, in English: Republic of South Africa, along with other official names) is a sovereign country of Southern or Southern Africa whose form of government is the parliamentary republic. Its territory is organized in 9 provinces. Its capital is made up of three cities: Pretoria, headquarters of the executive power; Bloemfontein, seat of the judiciary: and Cape Town, seat of the legislature, and the most populous city in the country is Johannesburg, which is also one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world. It has 2798 kilometers of coastline in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It is bordered on the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, on the east by Mozambique and Swaziland, while Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South African territory.


South Africa is known for its diversity of cultures, languages ​​and religious beliefs, for what is known as the nation of the rainbow. Eleven languages ​​are recognized as official by the Constitution of South Africa. Two of the eleven languages ​​are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language that comes directly from Dutch and is spoken by the majority of the white and mestizo population, and English. Although English has an important role in public and commercial life, it is, nevertheless, the fifth language by native speakers. South Africa is an ethnically diverse country. 79.5% of the South African population is black, which is divided into different ethnic groups that speak different Bantu languages, nine of which are official. It also has the largest communities of inhabitants of European and Indian origin, as well as multiracial communities of the continent.


Travel Destinations in South Africa

Blyde River Canyon is a massive geological formation in a Mpumalanga Province in South Africa. With a length of 15 mi (24 km) and a depth of 2,640 ft (800 m) Blyde River Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA.

Cango Caves are underground tunnels with a total length of 3.3 mi (5.3 km), although only one forth are actually open to the public.

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a protected area located 280 km North of Durban in South Africa. It covers an area of 385 sq mi (960 km²).

Tugela Falls is a second largest waterfall in the World after Angel Falls in Venezuela. The best time to visit this magnificent natural wonder is between June and September.

Kruger National Park is a protected area in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in the North- east corner of South Africa.


Languages ​​and official names

Due to the fact that South Africa has 11 official languages ​​(the third country in terms of the number of official languages ​​after India and Bolivia), South Africa has 11 official names:
Republiek van Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans),
Republic of South Africa (English),
IRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika (Southern Ndebele),
IRiphabliki yaseMzantsi Afrika (scythe),
IRiphabliki yaseNingizimu Afrika (Zulu),
Rephaboliki ya Afrika-Borwa (Northern Sotho),
Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa (Sesotho),
Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa (Tswana),
IRiphabhulihi yeNingizimu Afrika (Swazi),
Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe (Venda),
Riphabliki ra Afrika Dzonga (tsonga).

Despite such a wide range, some South Africans avoid the use of official names, preferring to call the country Azania - these are mostly Negroids who seek to distance themselves from the European colonial heritage.

Iscamto Creole (formerly known as Tzotzital, literally “thieves' language”), widely spoken among black urban youth in the townships (large towns with black population) of Gauteng province in the east of the country (mainly in Soweto), has no official recognition and is banned school. However, young people often speak Tzotsital better than their own ethnic languages. From this language comes the name of the title character of Tsotsi, a South African film that won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.



South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. The length of the coastline of the country is 2798 km. South Africa has an area of ​​1'221'038 km² and ranks 24th in the world according to this indicator. The highest point in South Africa is Mount Njesuti in the Dragon Mountains.

South Africa has a variety of climatic zones, from the dry Namib Desert to the subtropics in the east near the border with Mozambique and the coast of the Indian Ocean. To the east, the terrain rises rapidly, forming the Drakensberg Mountains and merging into a large inland plateau called the veld.

On the east coast to 30 ° S. sh. savannah and gallery forests along the rivers predominate, to the south - subtropical forests and shrubs. The interior is occupied by the deserted Kalahari savannah, semi-deserts and Karoo deserts.

From animals there are golden moles, aardvarks, jumping antelope, brown hyena. Elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, lions, ostriches are more rare.


History of South Africa

A man appeared on the territory of the country in ancient times (as evidenced by finds in caves near Sterkfonteyna, Kromdray and Makapanshat). Nevertheless, there is very little reliable information about the early history of this region. Before the advent of the Bantu tribes (the Limpopo River in the north of the country, they reached the middle of the 1st millennium AD), this territory was inhabited by nomadic cattle-breeding tribes Koi-Koin (Hottentots) and Bushman-gatherers (san). Bantu farmers moved southwest, destroying or assimilating the local population. Around 1050, archaeological evidence of their presence in the current province of KwaZulu-Natal belongs. By the time the Europeans arrived, the Cape of Good Hope area was inhabited by koi-koin, and the Bantu (braid tribes) reached the banks of the Great Fish River. Local peoples were familiar with the extraction of metal ores, the processing and manufacture of tools from iron and copper.

The first written mention of the permanent settlement of the Europeans dates back to April 6, 1652, when Jan van Riebeck, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, founded the settlement on Cape Storm, later called the Good Hope (now Cape Town). In the XVII and XVIII centuries, colonists from the Netherlands arrived in South Africa, as well as French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in their homeland, and settlers from Germany. In the 1770s the colonists encountered a scythe moving from the northeast. A series of clashes ensued, known as border (Kafra) wars and caused mainly by the claims of white immigrants to African lands. Slaves from other Dutch possessions, in particular, Indonesia and Madagascar, were also brought to the Cape Colony. Many slaves, as well as the autochthonous population of the Cape region, mingled with white colonists. Their descendants are called Cape colored and now make up up to 50% of the population in the Western Cape.

British colonization
Great Britain first gained dominance over the Cape Colony in 1795 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: then the Netherlands came under Napoleon’s rule, and the British, fearing that the French would gain control of this strategically important region, sent an army to Kapstad under the command of General James Henry Craig, so that he captured the colony on behalf of the stalter Wilhelm V. The governor of Kapstad did not receive any instructions, however, agreed to obey the British. In 1803, the Amiens Peace was concluded, according to which the Batavian Republic (that is, the Netherlands, as they began to be called after the French conquest) left the Cape Colony behind. After the resumption of the war in 1805, the British again decided to capture the colony. As a result of the battle on the slopes of Table Mountain in 1806, British troops under the command of David Byrd entered the fort of Kapstad.

The British strengthened their presence on the eastern border of the Cape Colony, fighting the scythe by erecting forts along the banks of the Great Fish River. To strengthen their power in these places, the British crown encouraged the arrival of settlers from the mother country.

In 1806, under pressure from various forces within the country, the British Parliament banned slavery, and in 1833 this provision was extended to the colonies. The constant skirmishes at the borders, the abolition of slavery and other disagreements with the British forced many peasants of Dutch origin (called Boers - from the Netherlands. "Boer", which means "peasant") to go to the so-called Great Track deep into the continent, on the high plateau of Veld. There, they encountered the chieftain Ndebele led by Mzilikazi, a former associate of Chaki who fled to the west during the so-called mfekan - the resettlement of peoples caused by internecine wars in Southeast Africa (modern KwaZulu-Natal province). In the end, the Boers founded their states in the continental part of South Africa: the Orange Republic and the Transvaal.

Boer War
The discovery of rich deposits of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) on Witwatersrand led to the economic growth of the colony and an increase in the outflow of capital to Europe, a sharp increase in immigration to the Boer republics and a worsening of the situation of the natives. These events, provoked and encouraged by the British government, eventually led to a conflict between the British and the Boers. In the years 1880-1881, the First Boer War broke out, during which the Boers managed to defend their independence largely due to Britain’s reluctance to wage a protracted colonial war, since the territories of the Orange Republic and Transvaal were not of significant strategic interest, despite the discovery of time deposits of diamonds in the Kimberley area. The Rand Gold Rush (Johannesburg area) began after the First Boer War. It should be noted the small number of British colonial troops in that period. Thus, the annexation of Transvaal by Great Britain in 1877, which was the direct cause of the war, was carried out by an English detachment of only 25 people without a single shot.


At the same time, the British established themselves in Natal and Zululand, winning the war with the Zulus. In 1899-1902, the Second Boer War took place, in which the Boers, despite initial successes, still lost to the better trained and equipped British, who had an overwhelming numerical advantage. After the defeat of their irregulars, the Boers under the command of Louis Botha, Jacob DeLaray and Christian De Wet turned to guerrilla warfare tactics, which the British fought by setting up a network of blockhouses, rounding up Boer women and children in concentration camps, or using armored trains to fight against partisans. Under the terms of the treaty at Vereeniching, the British agreed to pay three million (actually nine million in compensation) for the ruin of Boer farms and agricultural land. In addition, blacks were still denied the right to vote (except in the Cape Colony).

The war was reflected in the famous works of world literature: in the novels of Louis Boussenard "Captain Head Off" and "The Diamond Thieves", where the Boers were presented as victims of the violent colonization policy of Great Britain, and in the historical work of A. Conan Doyle "War in South Africa", which is more advocating British policy (despite the author's efforts to be impartial, the book was used by the British government for propaganda purposes) and in the Russian novel by an unknown author "Rosa Burger - a Boer heroine, or gold diggers in the Transvaal".

Creation of the Union of South Africa
After four years of negotiations, on May 31, 1910, the Union of South Africa was formed, which included the British Cape Colony, the colonies of Natal, the Orange River and the Transvaal. The union became a dominion of the British Empire. In 1914 South Africa entered the First World War. In 1934, the United Party was formed, which united the South African Party (pro-British) and the National Party (Boer). It collapsed in 1939 over disagreements over whether South Africa should follow Britain into World War II—the right-wing National Party sympathized with the Third Reich and advocated drastic racial segregation.

Independence of South Africa
In 1961, the Union of South Africa became the independent Republic of South Africa, which left the British-led Commonwealth of Nations. The withdrawal was due to the rejection of the policy of apartheid in South Africa by other members of the Commonwealth (South Africa's membership in the Commonwealth was restored in June 1994).


Apartheid and its aftermath

In 1948, the National Party won the election and passed some very strict laws restricting the rights of the black population: the ultimate goal of this policy was to create a "South Africa for whites", while it was supposed to completely deprive blacks of South African citizenship.

During apartheid, blacks were effectively deprived of some or all of the following rights:
for South African citizenship (in most cases this has become a privilege),
participate in elections and be elected,
freedom of movement (negroes were forbidden to go out after sunset, and also to appear in "white" areas without special permission from the authorities, that is, in fact, they were forbidden to visit large cities, since they were in "white" areas),
for mixed marriages
to medical care (this right was not formally taken away from them, but they were forbidden to use medicine “for whites”, while medicine “for blacks” was completely undeveloped, and in some areas was completely absent),
for education (the main educational institutions were in "white" areas),
be hired (employers were officially given the right to use racial discrimination in hiring).


In addition, during apartheid, communist parties were banned - membership in the communist party was punishable by 9 years in prison. The UN has repeatedly recognized apartheid as South African fascism in its resolutions and called on South Africa to stop the policy of racial discrimination. However, the Republic of South Africa ignored these demands. The world community sharply condemned the existing regime and imposed sanctions on South Africa, for example, forbade participation in the Olympic Games. One of the consequences of apartheid was a huge social gap between the descendants of Europeans, who lived according to the best standards of the Western world, and the majority, who were in poverty (though not as deep as in many other African states). All this caused protests, strikes and unrest within the country, which peaked in the mid-1950s, early 1960s, mid-1970s and 1980s, as well as international anxiety, which threatened the country with sanctions. In September 1989, Frederick de Klerk was elected president of the country, who began to take active steps to eliminate the apartheid system. Many laws were repealed, and Nelson Mandela was released from prison. In 1994, the first general elections were held, which were won by the African National Congress, which is still in power.

At the same time, in South Africa, for decades, very tense relations have persisted between various racial and ethnic groups that are not related to the white population of the Republic of South Africa. Thus, for decades, the conflict between representatives of the black majority of the country's population and the Indian community continued, resulting in pogroms and violence against Indians. In the 1940s and 1950s, these events in the province of Natal claimed the lives of hundreds of members of the Indian community. On January 13, 1949, during the attacks of the Zulus on the Indian quarters in the administrative center of the province, Durban, about 150 Indians were killed, several times more were injured, including women and children. Dozens of Indian-owned shops, houses and farms were burned, looted and destroyed. The authorities, including the police and the security service, as a rule did not intervene in the ongoing bloodshed. Similar events took place in Durban in the late 1950s, which made it extremely difficult for Indian and African anti-apartheid organizations to work together.

Despite the end of apartheid, millions of black South Africans still live in poverty. This is due to the fact that due to historical reasons for the level of education, social responsibility and labor productivity, the majority of indigenous blacks at the current stage are objectively unable to meet the standards of a developed post-industrial society. The level of street crime is extremely high, including the percentage of serious crimes, however, the authorities refuse to give in to the wishes of society and introduce the death penalty. True, the social housing program has yielded certain results, improving the living conditions of many citizens, which has led to an increase in tax collection.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the problem of illegal migration also became very acute in South Africa. After the abolition of apartheid and a significant weakening of control at external borders, a flow of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and other countries of East Africa poured into the country. In total, in South Africa (at the beginning of 2008), according to various experts, from 3 to 5 million illegal migrants. The massive influx of foreigners causes dissatisfaction among the citizens of South Africa. Claims against migrants are mainly that they take away jobs from South African citizens, agreeing to work for lower wages, and also commit various crimes.

In May 2008, mass protests by South Africans against migrants took place in Johannesburg and Durban. Armed with clubs, stones, and bladed weapons, groups of the local population beat and killed migrants. During the week of riots in Johannesburg alone, more than 20 people were killed, thousands fled their homes. Migrants were forced to take refuge from angry local residents in police stations, mosques and churches. The local police actually completely lost control over the situation and were forced to turn to the president of the country with a request to involve the army to restore order. On May 22, 2008, South African President Thabo Mbeki authorized the use of troops to quell unrest in the country. For the first time since the abolition of apartheid, the South African army was used against citizens of their own state.

The consequences of the abolition of apartheid also affected whites, they began to be persecuted, for their own protection, Afrikaners began to unite in communities protected by barbed wire, checkpoints and guards at the entrance. The territories of the white enclaves are patrolled by self-defense units. But experts note a continuing increase in the violent deaths of Afrikaners. Fleeing from arbitrariness, many whites flee to other countries.


Government of South Africa
Form of government
South Africa is a parliamentary-presidential republic. The president in almost all his decisions on most issues must rely on the support of parliament. A South African citizen over 30 years old can become a presidential candidate.

South Africa has a bicameral parliament, consisting of the National Council of Provinces (upper house - 90 members) and the National Assembly (400 members). Members of the lower house are elected by proportional voting system: half of the deputies go on national lists, half - on provincial ones. Each province, regardless of population, sends ten members to the National Council of Provinces. Elections are held every five years. The government is formed in the lower house, and the leader of the party that has received the majority in it becomes president (now this post is occupied by Cyril Ramaphosa).

South Africa's current ruling party, the African National Congress, received 65.9% of the vote in the 2009 general election and 66.3% of the vote in the 2006 municipal election. Its main rival is the Democratic Alliance party (16.7% in 2009, 14.8% in 2006). The leader of the Democratic Alliance is Helen Zille. The New National Party, the successor to the apartheid National Party, declined rapidly after 1994 and merged with the ANC on April 9, 2005. Also represented in Parliament are the Freedom Party-Inkata (4.6%), representing mainly Zulu voters, and the People's Congress (7.4%).

South African Ministry of Basic Education
South African Ministry of the Interior
South African Ministry of Higher Education and Training
Ministry of State Enterprises of South Africa
South African Ministry of Health
Ministry of Arts and Culture of South Africa
Ministry of Corrections of South Africa
Ministry of Cooperative Management and Traditional Affairs of South Africa
Ministry of Science and Technology of South Africa
Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans of South Africa
Ministry of Public Works of South Africa
South African Ministry of the Environment
South African Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Police of South Africa
Ministry of Communications of South Africa
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Fisheries of South Africa
South African Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform
Ministry of Trade and Industry of South Africa
Ministry of Transport of South Africa
Ministry of Tourism of South Africa
Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa

Armed forces
The National Defense Force was created in 1994 after the first post-Apartheid national elections and the adoption of a new constitution, replacing the South African Defense Force (SADF).

Types of armed forces
Ground Forces (Eng. South African Army).
Naval Forces (Eng. South African Navy).
Air Force (Eng. South African Air Force).


Legal system

The legal system of South Africa absorbed elements of three legal families distinguished today at once: Romano-Germanic, Anglo-Saxon and traditional. In general, Romano-Germanic law prevails in modern South Africa, that is, there is the rule of law over all legal decisions and a clear division of law into private and public. The country has a constitution adopted in 1996. It protects and guarantees all internationally recognized human rights. But the law of South Africa has not always been humane and tolerant. For a long time, discrimination against the black population, called "apartheid", found its reinforcement in it. As a result of the fall of the political foundation of apartheid and the subsequent long process of lawmaking in the 1990s, the legal system of South Africa was completely overhauled, and all discrimination on the basis of race was excluded from it. In 1994, the Constitutional Court was established in the country.

Criminal law
South Africa is one of the few countries where English-style criminal law operates. It is not codified. The judicial system consists of the following instances: the Supreme Court of Appeal, high courts and magistrates' courts. The Supreme Court of Appeal is the main court in South Africa for criminal matters. It is located in Bloemfontein, the "judicial capital" of the country. Under the apartheid regime, there were separate local courts for the black population ("courts of chiefs"), in which judges were also predominantly black. At the same time, in the general judiciary, the vast majority of judges were white. Particularly cruel punishments were provided for opponents of the political regime - up to and including the death penalty. It was allowed to detain people for 5 days without trial or investigation. After the fall of apartheid, many norms were revised. In 1994, the Internal Security Act was repealed, in 1995 the death penalty, and in 1997 legal flogging. With a revision of the legal system in the 90s, homosexual marriage was legalized in the country, making it the only country of its kind in Africa.


Administrative division
Now South Africa is a unitary state. The territory of the country is divided into 9 provinces (with their administrative centers):

Western Cape (Cape Town)
Northern Cape (Kimberley)
Eastern Cape (Bisho)
KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg)
Free State (Bloemfontein)
North Western Province (Mafikeng)
Gauteng (Johannesburg)
Mpumalanga (Nelspruit)
Limpopo (Polokwane)

Until 1994, South Africa was a federation and was divided into 4 provinces: Cape, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. This division well reflected the colonial past of the Republic of South Africa. The first was divided into three parts, the last - into four, while part of the territory in the north passed from the Eastern Cape (part of the former Cape) to the North-Western (part of the former Transvaal). The remaining two have practically retained their outlines.

In addition, from 1951 to 1994, so-called bantustans existed in South Africa - autonomies set aside for the residence of certain nationalities. Outside the bantustans, the rights of the black population were significantly limited. Four of them received “independence” (in connection with this, their residents were deprived of South African citizenship), which, however, was not recognized by any state except South Africa:
Bophuthatswana (Tswana) - "independence" since December 6, 1977
Transkei (spit) - "independence" since October 26, 1976
Ciskei (spit) - "independence" since December 4, 1981
Venda (venda) - "independence" since September 13, 1979

Other bantustans were under the jurisdiction of South Africa:
Gazankulu (tsonga)
Kangwane (Swazi)
Kwandebele (Ndebele)
KwaZulu (Zulus)
Lebova (Northern Sotho)
Kwakwa (Southern Sotho)

Pretoria is officially considered the main capital of South Africa, since the country's government is located there. The other two branches of government are located in two other cities: Parliament in Cape Town, the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein. They are also considered capitals. This is due to the fact that South Africa was originally a confederate state, in connection with this, during the formation of the Union of South Africa (from the British possessions with its capital in Cape Town, the Orange Free State with its capital in Bloemfontein and the Republic of South Africa (Transvaal) with its capital in Pretoria), the authorities were evenly distributed among the capitals of the states included in it.

It is sometimes claimed that Pretoria was renamed Tshwane. This is incorrect: Tshwane is the name of the city municipality, an administrative unit that is one level below the province (in this case we are talking about the province of Gauteng). The municipality of Tshwane includes the cities of Pretoria, Centurion (formerly Verwoerdburg), Soshanguwe and a number of smaller areas.



South Africa is the 26th most populous country in the world with 51.8 million people (July 2010 est.). The number of whites in the country is gradually decreasing due to their emigration to North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand - in 1985-2005, about 0.9 million whites left South Africa, mostly under the age of 40 and their children. The proportion of the black population of South Africa is growing due to the influx of black immigrants from other African countries.

Over the past two decades, the population of the country has remained almost unchanged (slight increase) due to high HIV infection, as well as a decrease in the number of whites. One of the central problems is the massive spread of HIV infection (mainly among the black population), in which South Africa ranks first in the world (according to UN data published in 2003 and 2007), while in terms of infection rate South Africa The republic is in fourth place (after Eswatini, Botswana and Lesotho). In total, about 5.7 million people are infected with HIV, which is 11.7% of the adult population of the country (in 2007). Because of AIDS, the death rate in South Africa has long exceeded the birth rate (in 2010, the population decline was 0.05%, with an average fertility of 2.33 births per woman).

Average life expectancy: 50 years for men, 48 years for women.

Ethno-racial composition (according to the 2019 census):
black - 80.7%,
colored (mulattoes) - 8.8%,
whites - 7.9%,
Asians - 2.6%.

The first census in 1911 in South Africa showed that whites at that time were 22%, and by 1980 their figure had dropped to 18%.

Literacy rate of the population aged 15 and over (2003 estimate):
men - 87%,
women - 85.7%.



The religious composition of the population is quite diverse, there is no absolute religious majority in the country, adherents of various religions and worldviews live: adherents of the Zionist churches (10%), Pentecostals (7.5%), Catholics (6.5%), Methodists (6.8% ), Dutch Reformed (6.7%), Anglicans (3.8%), other Christians (36%), atheists (15.1%), Muslims (1.3%), adherents of other religions (2.3% ), undecided (1.4%) (2001 data). In South Africa, there are the Johannesburg and Pretoria and Cape Town metropolises of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church - about 35,000 believers.

Standard of living
The average income of the population is approaching the lower limit of the world average income. However, in general, the economic situation of society is extremely unstable. The apartheid regime that reigned here for a long time and the previous colonialism were reflected in the social and property stratification of society. About 15% of the population lives in the best conditions, while about 50% (mostly blacks) live in relatively poor conditions. Not all residents have electricity and water supply, and poor sanitation in many settlements contributes to the spread of various diseases. Such sharp contrasts lead to tension in the social environment. South Africa has a very high crime rate. It is mainly present in poor areas. The average life expectancy in the country is only 49 years (in 2012), but it has increased significantly since 2000, when it was 43 years.

In South Africa, unemployment is 40%. A third of workers earn less than $2 a day. In terms of education, the country ranks 143rd out of 144. The crime rate is one of the highest in the world. The number of murders is more than 30 per 100,000 people per year.


Economy and national economy

South Africa is the most developed republic on the African continent. GDP for 2015 amounted to $313 billion according to the IMF (33rd place in the world) and $350 billion according to the WB (32nd place in the world). GDP growth was at the level of 5%, in 2008 - 3%. The country is still not among the developed countries of the world, despite the fact that its market is actively expanding. In terms of purchasing power parity for 2015, it ranks 30th in the world according to the IMF (724 billion dollars), according to the World Bank - 29th (704 billion dollars). It has huge reserves of natural resources. Telecommunications, electric power industry, financial sphere are widely developed. As of Q1 2019, South Africa has the highest average wage among all African countries R20855 (€1324), on par with Taiwan (NT$47868, about €1368). South Africa did not have a minimum wage. In November 2018, the President of South Africa signed into law a minimum wage law. From January 1, 2019, it is R20 ($1.46) per hour and R3500 ($256.86) per month. For agricultural workers the rate is R18 ($1.32) per hour and for domestic workers R15 ($1.10) per hour. Effective March 1, 2022, the minimum wage in South Africa is R23.19 ($1.59) per hour, R185.52 ($12.72) per day and R4000 ($274.19) per month, and for workers employed under The Expanded Public Works Program rate is R12.75 ($0.87) per hour.

Currency: South African rand, equal to 100 cents. There are coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, 1, 2, 5 rand, banknotes - 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rand.

Main import items: oil, foodstuffs, chemical products. Main export items: diamonds, gold, platinum, machinery, vehicles, equipment. Imports ($91 billion in 2008) exceed exports ($86 billion in 2008).

After (January 1, 1998) diplomatic relations with China were established, trade with China increased from $3 billion in 1998 to $60 billion in 2012.

It ranks 39th in the Forbes ranking of countries for ease of doing business.

It is a member of the international organization of ACT countries.

Work force
Of the 54.9 million people in South Africa, only 18 (not exactly) million people are able to work. Unemployed - 23% (in 2008).

65% of the working population is employed in the service sector, 26% in industry, 9% in agriculture (in 2008).

Branches of the national economy
Extractive industry
South Africa owes much of its accelerated development to its wealth of natural resources. About 52% of exports are from the mining industry. Manganese, platinum group metals (Bushveld complex), gold, chromites, tungsten, aluminoglucates, vanadium and zirconium are widely mined. Coal mining is very developed - South Africa ranks third in the world in the use of coal for electricity generation (due to the lack of oil, about 80% of the generation of all electricity in the Republic of South Africa is based on coal combustion). In addition, the country has concentrated reserves of diamonds, asbestos, nickel, lead, uranium and other important minerals.

Since most of the country has an arid climate, only 15% of its area is suitable for agriculture. However, it can be said that, unlike most other countries in Africa, where soil erosion occurs, these 15% are used wisely - advanced agrotechnical achievements of the Republic of South Africa and the leading countries of the world are used to protect soils and efficient agriculture. This led to surprising results: South Africa fully meets domestic food needs, and is also one of the leading (and by some parameters, the leading) suppliers of agricultural products - the country exports about 140 types of fruits.

In South Africa, there are three zones for winemaking. The Northwest (Northern Cape) and East Coast (KwaZulu-Natal) are not considered to be the best wine sources, as they have a very hot and arid climate. But the South-West of South Africa (Western Cape) has a wonderful climate for winemaking.

animal husbandry
Meat and dairy production is concentrated in the north and east of the Free State province, in the hinterland of Hoteng province and in the southern part of Mpumalanga province. Meat breeds are common in the Northern and Eastern Cape. The arid areas of the Northern and Eastern Capes, the Free State and Mpumalanga have sheep farming areas. Skins of astrakhan sheep are supplied to the world market.

Goats are bred in large numbers, mainly - 75% - Angora, whose wool is highly valued in the West (up to 50% of the world's mohair production is in South Africa). The other most common breed is the Boer goat, which is bred for meat. In terms of goat wool shearing (92 thousand tons per year), the Republic of South Africa ranks 4th in the world.


Compared to predominantly extensive sub-sectors such as cattle and sheep raising, poultry and hog raising are more intensive and prevalent on farms near the major cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

In recent years, mainly in the Free State province, ostrich breeding has been actively developing. The export from South Africa of meat, skin and feathers of this bird is gradually increasing.

In terms of fish catch (about 1 million tons per year), South Africa occupies a leading position in Africa. The main fishery objects are sardines, herring, hake, anchovies, sea bass, mackerel, cod, Cape salmon, mackerel, monkfish. In addition, shrimp, lobsters, tuna, lobsters, oysters, octopuses, sharks, whose fins are in demand in Southeast Asia, as well as the Cape seal are caught. Fishing is carried out mainly off the western coast of South Africa, washed by the Benguela Ocean Current, in a fishing zone 200 nautical miles wide. About 40% of the catch falls on freshwater fish caught in the rivers Elands, Limpopo and others, as well as by breeding in artificial reservoirs.

The main zone is the southern part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Natural forests occupy 180,000 hectares, that is, only 0.14% of the country's territory. Most of the commercial wood comes from forest plantations, which cover only 1% of the territory of South Africa. Approximately half of the forest "plantations" are planted with pine, 40% with eucalyptus and 10% with mimosa. Yellow and ebony, Cape laurel, assegai and camassi are also grown. Trees reach marketable condition in an average of 20 years - in contrast to trees growing in the Northern Hemisphere, where this process lasts from 80 to 100 years. The annual volume of wood entering the market is 17 million m³. More than 240 woodworking and timber industry enterprises operate in South Africa.

Agriculture accounts for 35-40% of all exports, which is 5% of South Africa's GDP.

In 2010, 8.1 million tourists visited the country, and the tourism industry generated more than $8.7 billion in revenue.

International trade
The foreign trade of South Africa is very diversified - as of 2010, no country controls more than 15% of either the exports or imports of the African state.

Main export partners (2010): China (11.3%), USA (10.1%), Japan (8.9%), Germany (8.2%), UK (5.1%), India (4.3%), the Netherlands (3.3%), Switzerland (3.2%), Zimbabwe (2.9%), Mozambique (2.7%).

Main import partners (2010): China (14.4%), Germany (11.4%), USA (7.2%), Japan (5.3%), Saudi Arabia (4.1%), Iran (3.9%), UK (3.8%), India (3.6%), France (3.0%), Nigeria (2.7%).

Economic policy of the state
The economic policy of the state is aimed at stabilizing the economy. According to the statistics of The Heritage Foundation, the republic is in 57th position in the world in terms of economic freedom. South Africa has a relatively high income tax (up to 40% depending on income level).


The culture of the Republic of South Africa, due to traditions, is diverse. First of all, it is a combination of two cultures: traditional and modern.

traditional culture
Many indigenous peoples contributed to it, such as the Bantu, Bushmen and Hottentots. The protea flower is the national symbol of South Africa.


Modern culture

During the colonial period, South African artists, the most important of whom was Thomas Baines, saw it as their task to carefully convey the realities of the new world in the context of European culture in order to convey this information back to the mother country. Only at the end of the 19th century did artists appear, primarily Jan Wollshenk, Hugo Naude and the sculptor Anton van Wou, whose goal was to create a new art based on South African (in this case, Boer) traditions. In the 1920s, Jacob-Hendrik Pirnef brought modernism to South African art.

In the 1930s, black artists began to come to the fore. Gerard Sekoto, who lived in France since 1947, and George Pemba are considered one of the founders of the genre of black urban art.

A striking representative of the developing musical rap culture of South Africa is the group Die Antwoord, who call their style of music zef.



The most popular sports in the country are rugby, football and cricket. The South African rugby team is one of the strongest teams in the world, a three-time winner of the World Cup (1995, 2007, 2019), several times topped the world rankings. Many South African rugby players are included in international halls of fame. Other developed sports include swimming, athletics, golf, boxing, tennis, netball, and the national sport of ringball.

In 1995, South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup, which they won by beating New Zealand in the final.

In 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup. In total, the South African team played three times at the World Cup (1998, 2002 and 2010), never leaving the group - 2 wins, 4 draws and 3 losses in 9 matches. In 1996, South Africa hosted the African Cup of Nations, and the national team, for the first time in history, playing in the final stage of the tournament, managed to win. In 1998, South African footballers took second place in the African Cup of Nations. In the 21st century, South African football players have never even reached the semi-finals. Among the most famous football players from South Africa are Dr. Kumalo, Aron Mokoena, Benny McCarthy, Sean Bartlett, Lucas Radebe.

At the Olympic Games, representatives of South Africa have won more than 80 awards, including more than 25 gold medals. The greatest number of awards was won in athletics, swimming and boxing. From 1962 to 1990, South Africa, after the resolution of the UN General Assembly 1761, which condemned the policy of apartheid, was excluded by the IOC from the Olympic movement, the country's athletes did not compete at the Games. Athletes from South Africa during this period were not allowed to other international competitions.

Considered one of the strongest players in the history of the sport, golfer Gary Player was voted 8th in 2004 by the 100 Greatest South Africans of History, a list that also included cricketers, swimmers, footballers, rugby players and other athletes.

In South Africa, the South African Grand Prix was repeatedly held: in the period 1934-1939. with the participation of the world's leading racers of the pre-war period, and from 1962 to 1993 already as part of the Formula 1 World Championship. World-class racing was held at the East London and Kyalami circuits. South African Jody Scheckter in 1979, speaking for the Ferrari team, became the first and only Formula 1 world champion from Africa. True, the stage, held at the Brands Hatch track, was held as part of the British Formula 1 Championship.

The country hosts an annual multi-day cycling event that brings together leading athletes from around the world.

The South African national ice hockey team participated in tournaments of the second and third divisions.

Every year, since 1921, The Comrades Ultramarathon has been held in the country. The route, 90 km long, passes through the territory of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Comrades is the world's oldest and most massive track and field ultramarathon race. More than 10,000 South African and foreign athletes successfully completed The Comrades in 2009. Competitions are open to both professionals and ordinary runners. The 2000s were triumphant for Russian runners. Such athletes as Tatyana Zhirkova, Leonid Shvetsov, Oleg Kharitonov, Elena and Olesya Nurgaliyev, Marina Myshlyanova rose to the podium.