dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information


2 definitions found
 for South Africa
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  South Africa
      n 1: a republic at the southernmost part of Africa; achieved
           independence from the United Kingdom in 1910; first
           European settlers were Dutch (known as Boers) [syn: South
           Africa, Republic of South Africa]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

  South Africa
  
     Introduction South Africa
     -------------------------
                              Background: After the British seized the Cape of
                                          Good Hope area in 1806, many of the
                                          Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked
                                          north to found their own republics.
                                          The discovery of diamonds (1867) and
                                          gold (1886) spurred wealth and
                                          immigration and intensified the
                                          subjugation of the native
                                          inhabitants. The Boers resisted
                                          British encroachments, but were
                                          defeated in the Boer War (1899-
                                          1902). The resulting Union of South
                                          Africa operated under a policy of
                                          apartheid - the separate development
                                          of the races. The 1990s brought an
                                          end to apartheid politically and
                                          ushered in black majority rule.
    
     Geography South Africa
     ----------------------
                                Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip
                                          of the continent of Africa
                  Geographic coordinates: 29 00 S, 24 00 E
                          Map references: Africa
                                    Area: total: 1,219,912 sq km
                                          land: 1,219,912 sq km
                                          note: includes Prince Edward Islands
                                          (Marion Island and Prince Edward
                                          Island)
                                          water: 0 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of
                                          Texas
                         Land boundaries: total: 4,862 km
                                          border countries: Botswana 1,840 km,
                                          Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km,
                                          Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km,
                                          Zimbabwe 225 km
                               Coastline: 2,798 km
                         Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM
                                          territorial sea: 12 NM
                                          continental shelf: 200 NM or to edge
                                          of the continental margin
                                          exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
                                 Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along
                                          east coast; sunny days, cool nights
                                 Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by
                                          rugged hills and narrow coastal
                                          plain
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
                                          highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
                       Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron
                                          ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates,
                                          tin, uranium, gem diamonds,
                                          platinum, copper, vanadium, salt,
                                          natural gas
                                Land use: arable land: 12.13%
                                          permanent crops: 0.77%
                                          other: 87.1% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 13,500 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: prolonged droughts
            Environment - current issues: lack of important arterial rivers or
                                          lakes requires extensive water
                                          conservation and control measures;
                                          growth in water usage outpacing
                                          supply; pollution of rivers from
                                          agricultural runoff and urban
                                          discharge; air pollution resulting
                                          in acid rain; soil erosion;
                                          desertification
              Environment - international party to: Antarctic-Environmental
                              agreements: Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
                                          Resources, Antarctic Seals,
                                          Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
                                          Climate Change, Desertification,
                                          Endangered Species, Hazardous
                                          Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
                                          Dumping, Marine Life Conservation,
                                          Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
                                          Protection, Ship Pollution,
                                          Wetlands, Whaling
                                          signed, but not ratified: none of
                                          the selected agreements
                        Geography - note: South Africa completely surrounds
                                          Lesotho and almost completely
                                          surrounds Swaziland
    
     People South Africa
     -------------------
                              Population: 43,647,658
                                          note: South Africa took a census
                                          October 1996 that showed a
                                          population of 40,583,611 (after an
                                          official adjustment for a 6.8%
                                          underenumeration based on a
                                          postenumeration survey); estimates
                                          for this country explicitly take
                                          into account the effects of excess
                                          mortality due to AIDS; this can
                                          result in lower life expectancy,
                                          higher infant mortality and death
                                          rates, lower population and growth
                                          rates, and changes in the
                                          distribution of population by age
                                          and sex than would otherwise be
                                          expected (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.6% (male 6,943,761;
                                          female 6,849,745)
                                          15-64 years: 63.4% (male 13,377,011;
                                          female 14,300,850)
                                          65 years and over: 5% (male 816,222;
                                          female 1,360,069) (2002 est.)
                  Population growth rate: 0.02% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 20.63 births/1,000 population (2002
                                          est.)
                              Death rate: 18.86 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                                          est.)
                      Net migration rate: -1.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/
                                          female
                                          total population: 0.94 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 61.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                                          est.)
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 45.43 years
                                          female: 45.68 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 45.19 years
                    Total fertility rate: 2.38 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 19.94% (2000 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 5.2 million (2000 est.)
                                    AIDS:
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 300,000 (2000 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: South African(s)
                                          adjective: South African
                           Ethnic groups: black 75.2%, white 13.6%, Colored
                                          8.6%, Indian 2.6%
                               Religions: Christian 68% (includes most whites
                                          and Coloreds, about 60% of blacks
                                          and about 40% of Indians), Muslim
                                          2%, Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians),
                                          indigenous beliefs and animist 28.5%
                               Languages: 11 official languages, including
                                          Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi,
                                          Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda,
                                          Xhosa, Zulu
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 85%
                                          male: 86%
                                          female: 85% (2000 est.)
    
     Government South Africa
     -----------------------
                            Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
                                          South Africa
                                          conventional short form: South
                                          Africa
                                          former: Union of South Africa
                                          abbreviation: RSA
                         Government type: republic
                                 Capital: Pretoria; note - Cape Town is the
                                          legislative center and Bloemfontein
                                          the judicial center
                Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free
                                          State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal,
                                          Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern
                                          Cape, Northern Province (may have
                                          become Limpopo), Western Cape
                            Independence: 31 May 1910 (from UK)
                        National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
                            Constitution: 10 December 1996; this new
                                          constitution was certified by the
                                          Constitutional Court on 4 December
                                          1996, was signed by then President
                                          MANDELA on 10 December 1996, and
                                          entered into effect on 3 February
                                          1997; it is being implemented in
                                          phases
                            Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and English
                                          common law; accepts compulsory ICJ
                                          jurisdiction, with reservations
                                Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
                        Executive branch: chief of state: President Thabo
                                          MBEKI (since 16 June 1999);
                                          Executive Deputy President Jacob
                                          ZUMA (since 17 June 1999); note -
                                          the president is both the chief of
                                          state and head of government
                                          elections: president elected by the
                                          National Assembly for a five-year
                                          term; election last held 2 June 1999
                                          (next scheduled for sometime between
                                          May and July 2004)
                                          head of government: President Thabo
                                          MBEKI (since 16 June 1999);
                                          Executive Deputy President Jacob
                                          ZUMA (since 17 June 1999); note -
                                          the president is both the chief of
                                          state and head of government
                                          cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the
                                          president
                                          election results: Thabo MBEKI
                                          elected president; percent of
                                          National Assembly vote - 100% (by
                                          acclamation)
                                          note: ANC-IFP is the governing
                                          coalition
                      Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consisting of
                                          the National Assembly (400 seats;
                                          members are elected by popular vote
                                          under a system of proportional
                                          representation to serve five-year
                                          terms) and the National Council of
                                          Provinces (90 seats, 10 members
                                          elected by each of the nine
                                          provincial legislatures for five-
                                          year terms; has special powers to
                                          protect regional interests,
                                          including the safeguarding of
                                          cultural and linguistic traditions
                                          among ethnic minorities); note -
                                          following the implementation of the
                                          new constitution on 3 February 1997
                                          the former Senate was disbanded and
                                          replaced by the National Council of
                                          Provinces with essentially no change
                                          in membership and party
                                          affiliations, although the new
                                          institution's responsibilities have
                                          been changed somewhat by the new
                                          constitution
                                          elections: National Assembly and
                                          National Council of Provinces - last
                                          held 2 June 1999 (next to be held by
                                          2 August 2004)
                                          election results: National Assembly
                                          - percent of vote by party - ANC
                                          66.4%, DP 9.6%, IFP 8.6%, NP 6.9%,
                                          UDM 3.4%, ACDP 1.4%, FF 0.8%, other
                                          2.9%; seats by party - ANC 266, DP
                                          38, IFP 34, NP 28, UDM 14, ACDP 6,
                                          FF 3, other 11; National Council of
                                          Provinces - percent of vote by party
                                          - NA%; seats by party - ANC 61, NP
                                          17, FF 4, IFP 5, DP 3
                         Judicial branch: Constitutional Court; Supreme Court
                                          of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate
                                          Courts
           Political parties and leaders: African Christian Democratic Party
                                          or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE, president];
                                          African National Congress or ANC
                                          [Thabo MBEKI, president]; Democratic
                                          Alliance (formed from the merger of
                                          the Democratic Party or DP and the
                                          New National Party or NP; note - NP
                                          split from DP in 2001) [Anthony
                                          LEON]; Freedom Front or FF [Dr.
                                          Pieter MULDER, president]; Inkatha
                                          Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu
                                          BUTHELEZI, president]; New National
                                          Party or NP [Marthinus VAN
                                          SCHALKWYK]; Pan-Africanist Congress
                                          or PAC [Stanley MOGOBA, president];
                                          United Democratic Movement or UDM
                                          [Bantu HOLOMISA]
            Political pressure groups and Congress of South African Trade
                                 leaders: Unions or COSATU [Zwelinzima VAVI,
                                          general secretary]; South African
                                          Communist Party or SACP [Blade
                                          NZIMANDE, general secretary]; South
                                          African National Civics Organization
                                          or SANCO [Mlungisi HLONGWANE,
                                          national president]; note - COSATU
                                          and SACP are in a formal alliance
                                          with the ANC
               International organization ACP, AfDB, BIS, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-
                           participation: 24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
                                          ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS,
                                          IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC,
                                          IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, NSG, OAU,
                                          OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD,
                                          UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE,
                                          UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
                                          WToO, WTrO, ZC
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Makate
                                          Sheila SISULU
                                          consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los
                                          Angeles, and New York
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400
                                          chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue
                                          NW, Washington, DC 20008
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Cameron
                                      US: H. HUME
                                          embassy: 877 Pretorius Street,
                                          Pretoria
                                          mailing address: P. O. Box 9536,
                                          Pretoria 0001
                                          telephone: [27] (12) 342-1048
                                          FAX: [27] (12) 342-2244
                                          consulate(s) general: Cape Town,
                                          Durban, Johannesburg
                        Flag description: two equal width horizontal bands of
                                          red (top) and blue separated by a
                                          central green band which splits into
                                          a horizontal Y, the arms of which
                                          end at the corners of the hoist
                                          side; the Y embraces a black
                                          isosceles triangle from which the
                                          arms are separated by narrow yellow
                                          bands; the red and blue bands are
                                          separated from the green band and
                                          its arms by narrow white stripes
                                          note: prior to 26 April 1994, the
                                          flag was actually four flags in one
                                          - three miniature flags reproduced
                                          in the center of the white band of
                                          the former flag of the Netherlands,
                                          which had three equal horizontal
                                          bands of orange (top), white, and
                                          blue; the miniature flags were a
                                          vertically hanging flag of the old
                                          Orange Free State with a horizontal
                                          flag of the UK adjoining on the
                                          hoist side and a horizontal flag of
                                          the old Transvaal Republic adjoining
                                          on the other side
    
     Economy South Africa
     --------------------
                      Economy - overview: South Africa is a middle-income,
                                          developing country with an abundant
                                          supply of resources, well-developed
                                          financial, legal, communications,
                                          energy, and transport sectors, a
                                          stock exchange that ranks among the
                                          10 largest in the world, and a
                                          modern infrastructure supporting an
                                          efficient distribution of goods to
                                          major urban centers throughout the
                                          region. However, growth has not been
                                          strong enough to cut into high
                                          unemployment, and daunting economic
                                          problems remain from the apartheid
                                          era, especially the problems of
                                          poverty and lack of economic
                                          empowerment among the disadvantaged
                                          groups. Other problems are crime,
                                          corruption, and HIV/AIDS. At the
                                          start of 2000, President MBEKI vowed
                                          to promote economic growth and
                                          foreign investment, and to reduce
                                          poverty by relaxing restrictive
                                          labor laws, stepping up the pace of
                                          privatization, and cutting unneeded
                                          governmental spending. The economy
                                          slowed in 2001, largely the result
                                          of the slowing of the international
                                          economy.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $412
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 2.6% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $9,400
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3%
                                          industry: 31%
                                          services: 66% (2000 est.)
           Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 1.1%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 45.9% (1994)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 59.3 (1993-94)
                                   index:
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.8% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 17 million economically active
                                          (2000)
             Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%,
                                          services 45% (1999 est.)
                       Unemployment rate: 37% (2001 est.)
                                  Budget: revenues: $22.6 billion
                                          expenditures: $24.7 billion,
                                          including capital expenditures of
                                          $NA billion (FY02/03)
                              Industries: mining (world's largest producer of
                                          platinum, gold, chromium),
                                          automobile assembly, metalworking,
                                          machinery, textile, iron and steel,
                                          chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
       Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2001 est.)
                Electricity - production: 194.383 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 92.62%
                                          hydro: 0.69%
                                          other: 0% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 6.69%
               Electricity - consumption: 181.521 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 4.549 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 5.294 billion kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits,
                                          vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton,
                                          wool, dairy products
                                 Exports: $32.3 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: gold, diamonds, platinum, other
                                          metals and minerals, machinery and
                                          equipment
                      Exports - partners: EU 33%, US 20%, Japan 6%, Mozambique
                                          2.5% (2001 est.)
                                 Imports: $28.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: machinery, foodstuffs and equipment,
                                          chemicals, petroleum products,
                                          scientific instruments
                      Imports - partners: EU 41%, US 11.4%, Saudi Arabia 7.3%,
                                          Japan 7% (2001 est.)
                         Debt - external: $25.5 billion (2001 est.)
                Economic aid - recipient: $539 million (1999)
                                Currency: rand (ZAR)
                           Currency code: ZAR
                          Exchange rates: rand per US dollar - 11.58786
                                          (January 2002), 8.60918 (2001),
                                          6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999),
                                          5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997)
                             Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
    
     Communications South Africa
     ---------------------------
          Telephones - main lines in use: more than 5 million (2001)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 7.06 million (2001)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: the system is
                                          the best developed and most modern
                                          in Africa
                                          domestic: consists of carrier-
                                          equipped open-wire lines, coaxial
                                          cables, microwave radio relay links,
                                          fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone
                                          communication stations, and wireless
                                          local loops; key centers are
                                          Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban,
                                          Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and
                                          Pretoria
                                          international: 2 submarine cables;
                                          satellite earth stations - 3
                                          Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2
                                          Atlantic Ocean)
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 347 (plus 243 repeaters),
                                          shortwave 1 (1998)
                                  Radios: 17 million (2001)
           Television broadcast stations: 556 (plus 144 network repeaters)
                                          (1997)
                             Televisions: 6 million (2000)
                   Internet country code: .za
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 150 (2001)
                          Internet users: 2.4 million (2001)
    
     Transportation South Africa
     ---------------------------
                                Railways: total: 20,384 km
                                          narrow gauge: 20,070 km 1.067-
                                          m gauge (9,090 km electrified); 314
                                          km 0.610-m gauge
                                          note: in addition, South Africa has
                                          an electrified 1.065-m gauge
                                          commuter rail system, with a total
                                          length of 1,254 km, which serves
                                          Johannesburg-Pretoria, Cape Town,
                                          Durban, East London, and Port
                                          Elizabeth (2001)
                                Highways: total: 358,596 km
                                          paved: 59,753 km (including 1,927 km
                                          of expressways)
                                          unpaved: 298,843 km (1996)
                               Waterways: NA
                               Pipelines: crude oil 931 km; petroleum products
                                          1,748 km; natural gas 322 km
                       Ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, East London,
                                          Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richards
                                          Bay, Saldanha
                         Merchant marine: total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 271,650 GRT/268,604 DWT
                                          note: includes some foreign-owned
                                          ships registered here as a flag of
                                          convenience: Denmark 3, Netherlands
                                          1 (2002 est.)
                                          ships by type: container 6,
                                          petroleum tanker 2
                                Airports: 740 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 144
                                          over 3,047 m: 9
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 47
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 72
                                          under 914 m: 11 (2001)
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 596
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 304
                                          under 914 m: 258 (2001)
    
     Military South Africa
     ---------------------
                       Military branches: South African National Defense Force
                                          (including Army, Navy, Air Force,
                                          and Medical Services), South African
                                          Police Service
        Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age (2002 est.)
        Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 11,557,242 (2002
                                          est.)
     Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 7,031,337 (2002
                                 service: est.)
             Military manpower - reaching males: 466,399 (2002 est.)
                   military age annually:
           Military expenditures - dollar $1.79 billion (FY01)
                                  figure:
       Military expenditures - percent of 1.6% (FY01)
                                     GDP:
                         Military - note: the National Defense Force continues
                                          to integrate former military, black
                                          homelands forces, and ex-opposition
                                          forces
    
     Transnational Issues South Africa
     ---------------------------------
                Disputes - international: Swaziland continues to press South
                                          Africa into ceding ethnic Swazi
                                          lands in Kangwane region of KwaZulu-
                                          Natal province, that were long ago
                                          part of the Swazi Kingdom
                           Illicit drugs: transshipment center for heroin,
                                          hashish, marijuana, and possibly
                                          cocaine; cocaine consumption on the
                                          rise; world's largest market for
                                          illicit methaqualone, usually
                                          imported illegally from India
                                          through various east African
                                          countries; illicit cultivation of
                                          marijuana
    
                                         
  
  

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org