South Africa: Fact file

Updated March 2019

Name Republic of South Africa
Area 1 219 090 sq km (Frame 2011, 1130)
Major cities Tshwane (administrative capital), Cape Town (legislative capital), Bloemfontein (judicial capital), Johannesburg, eThekwini (Durban), Ekurhuleni (East Rand), Nelson Mandela (Port Elizabeth), Buffalo City (East London), Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg), Emfuleni (Vereeniging- Vanderbijlpark) (Frame 2011,1148)
Boundaries Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho (enclave)
Population 58.288 million, 2019 est (UN Statistical Division 2017)
Pop growth 1.4%, 2018 (UN Statistical Division 2018)
Urbanisation 66.4, 2012 (UN Statistics Division 2014)
Life expectancy Female 67.25, male 60.22 yrs; 2015-2020 est (UN Statistics Division undated 2017b, 2017c)
Infant mortality 30/1000, 2015-2020 est (UN Statistics Division 2017d)
HIV/AIDS prevalence 18.8%, 15-49 yr 2017 est (UN Aids 2017e)
Adult literacy rate 94.37%; 2015 (UNESCO 2019)
Military expenditure 1.07%; 2017 (UN Statistics Division 2019)
Health expenditure 8.8% of GDP; 2017 (UN Statistics Division 2019a)
Legal system Roman-Dutch law, English common law (Lutchman 2018)
Independence 31 May 1910 from Great Britain
GDP US$373.8 billion, 2017 (UN Statistics Division 2019b)
GDP per capita US$6,151 2017 (UN Statistics Division 2019c)
GDP growth rate 0.8%, 2018 (IMF DataMapper 2018a)
Main exports Platinum, gold, diamonds, base metals, minerals, fruit, machinery (Frame 2011, 1152)
Currency 1 Rand = 100 cents
Unemployment Official 27.1%, 2018 (StatsSA 2019a)
Inflation rate 4%, 2018 (StatsSA 2018b)
External debt ratio 55.7% of GDP, 2018 (IMF 2018b)
Infrastructure Railway 31 400 km; road 364 131 km including 239 km motorways; 7 international airpots and three other major domestic ones(Frame 2011, 1172; Airports Company South Africa undated)
Ethnic groups African 80,9%, Coloured 8,8%, White 7,8% and Indian/Asian 2.5% (StatsSA 2018d, 2)
Languages Official Languages: IsiZulu, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, English, isiNdebele, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, siSwati, Xitsonga, Setswana and Tshivenda (Frame 2011, 1131)
Religion Christian 80%, rest Islam, African tradition, Judaism, Hinduism (Frame 2011, 1161)

References

AIRPORTS COMPANY SOUTH AFRICA UNDATED "Airports", [www] http://www.acsa.co.za (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

FRAME, I 2011 (ed) Africa South of the Sahara 2011, Routledge.

IMF 2018a "Real GDP Growth" in IMF DataMapper, [www], https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/NGDP_RPCH@WEO/OEMDC/ADVEC/WEOWORLD (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

IMF 2018b "General government gross debt" IN IMF DataMapper, [www], https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/GGXWDG_NGDP@WEO/OEMDC/ADVEC/WEOWORLD (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

LUTCHMAN, S 2018 "Researching South African Law" IN GlobaLex, [www] http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/South_Africa1.html (accessed 20 Mar 2019).

STATSSA 2019a "Unemployment drops in fourth quarter of 2018", [www], http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=11897 (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

STATSSA 2019b "Falling fuel prices drag inflation down" IN Statistical Release, [www], http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=11931 (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

STATSSA 2018c "Mid-year population estimates" IN Statistical Release, [www], http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022018.pdf (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

STATSSA 2018d "Mid-year population estimates" IN Statistical Release, [www] http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/P03022018.pdf (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UNESCO 2019 "Adult Literacy Rate" in Education and Literacy", [www] http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/za (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2014 "Urban population" IN UNdata, 7 Dec [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=urban+population+&d=WHO&f=MEASURE_CODE%3aWHS9_96 (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2017 "Total population, both sexes combined" IN UNdata, 7 Dec [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=population&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a12 (accessed 1 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2017b "Life expectancy at birth, males (years)" IN UNdata, 7 Dec, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Life+expectancy&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a66 (accessed 1 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2017c "Life expectancy at birth, females" IN UNdata, 7 Dec, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Life+expectancy&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3a67 (accessed 1 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2017d "Infant mortality rate" IN UNdata, 7 Dec, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=MExico&d=PopDiv&f=variableID%3A77%3BcrID%3A484 (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2019 "Military expenditure" IN UNdata, 7 Dec, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=Military+expenditure&d=WDI&f=Indicator_Code%3aMS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2019a "Total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=health+expenditure&d=WHO&f=MEASURE_CODE%3aWHS7_143 (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2019b "GDP by Type of Expenditure at current prices - National currency" IN UNdata, 9 May, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=SNAAMA&f=grID%3a101%3bcurrID%3aNCU%3bpcFlag%3a0 (accessed 26 Mar 2019).

UN STATISTICS DIVISION 2019c "Per capita GDP at current prices" IN UNdata, 15 Feb, [www] http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?q=GDP&d=SNAAMA&f=grID%3a101%3bcurrID%3aUSD%3bpcFlag%3a1 (accessed 4 Mar 2019).

 
 
 
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