South AfricaBy the Year 9/10 History Elective Class
Political Information“Traffic in Joburg is the democratic process. Every time you think it’s going to get moving and take you somewhere, you hit another jam.”South Africa is a nation based in the Southern end of Africa and it homes to forty-five million people living in both 1st world and 3rd world lifestyle situations. The government is a constitutional democracy with a bicameral parliament run by a president. In this report you will learn and understand how the South African government runs today and the history of African voting rights.
Political InformationThe South African government is divided into 3 parts.1. The Executive (The Cabinet) is responsible for ruling the countries through different departments. Each is responsible for a different issue e.g. healthcare, education, sport
Political Information2. The Legislature (Parliament): This is where the elected representatives discuss matter and decide on new laws. There are two groups to this. The National assembly is made up of all the members of parliament that got seats in the election. It is their job to represent the public and make sure that the democratic laws are kept. The head of this National assembly is called the Speaker. The second party is called the National Council of Provinces that is made up of nine provinces who each have ten representatives in the council. When a province has a suggestion the council is asked to put it before parliament. Here Parliament can vote and decide on the situation.
Political Information3. Jusiciary (The courts): This is the part of government where those who don’t follow the laws are punished. There are different levels in the courts. The higher court and a lower court. The members on the higher court can overall the decision of the lower court. The Constitution court is one of the most important courts as if Parliament wants to make a new law, it check to see that it does not go against the human rights constitution.
Economic InformationIndustriesSouth Africa has only started to export large amounts of goods of late due to their rise in economy. Now with the countries small amount of land used for agriculture they rely on trading to receive their resources. Some major industries in South Africa are Mining, automobile assembly, metalworking and machinery.
Economic InformationSouth Africa’s largest Industry is mining due to it being the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium. Not to mention the enormous amounts of diamonds found within the countries landscape.
Historical InformationThe first European explorers started to arrive in South Africa in the 1480’s, although they did not settle, but instead used the country to gather supplies. In 1652, a Dutch company called the ‘Dutch East India Company’ created a supply depot in Cape Town and it became a permanent settlement called ‘The Cape Colony’. In 1806, the British defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Bloubergstrand, leading the British to take the Cape Colony from the Dutch.
Historical Information The British and Dutch still fought even after the Dutch were defeated in the Battle of Bloubergstrand. The Boer Wars was a war in South Africa between the British and the descendants of the Dutch settlers called the Boers. The Boers were unhappy that the British had control over the Cape and moved north in search of new land. When the British moved north to Transvaal where the Boers had settled and the Boers rebelled and soon after the First Boer War began. The war only last 3 months December 1880 - March 1881 and was won by
Historical InformationThe war only last 3 months December 1880 - March 1881 and was won by the Boers which was a humiliating to the British. They reached an agreement where the Boers had independence, but were still governed by the British Crown. Gold was discovered in the in the late 1880’s (by an Aussie!) which saw an influx of people from all over the world. The population increased rapidly causing the Boers to rebel once more. The Second Boer War broke out in 1899 and ended in 1902.
Historical InformationIt ended ultimately with a British victory with them taking over all of previously Boer territory forming what we know now as South Africa. South Africa was an is to this day a part of the British Commonwealth, in they supported Britain and fought alongside them in both WWI and WWII.
Geographical InformationA majority of the named mountains in South Africa are contained within the mountain range known as the Drakensburg (Afrikaans: Dragon Mountains, Zulu: Barrier of Spears). The highest point along the Drakensburg ranges is Thabana Ntlenyana, sitting at 3482 metres. The lowest named mountain on the Drakensburg is Isandlwana, resting at 1284 metres.
Geographical Information The Drakensburg range also constitutes the Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world at a drop height of 947 metres, and a large variety of grasslands and wooded forests. The Drakensburg also includes 299 species of non-marine avian species. Other notable peaks in South Africa include Table Mountain, a mountain named for its ostensibly large plateau of rock shaped somewhat like a table, formed of mostly Ordovician quartzitic sandstone (also known as Table Mountain sandstone).
Geographical InformationSouth Africa experiences a wide variety of climatological compared to other African areas that are south of the Saharan desert. However, it is still part of the Southern Hemisphere’s subtropical zone. The western part of the country experiences a Mediterranean style climate with warm to hot summer weather and mild, rainy conditions in winter. This while eastern South Africa experiences sub-tropical and subtropical highland climate which is quite similar to the weather in the west. Both climate types have similar characteristics where they have hot, dry summers and mild, rainy conditions in winter.
Social InformationAs of 2012, South Africa is rank 107 out of 194 countries for literacy rate, which isn’t too bad, if you don’t look at the countries ahead of South Africa. South Africa’s school and university standards are generally too low, with a few exceptions. Also, the fees are too high for the majority, so only one in six students get into university and a third of those drop out within a year. 86.4% of people aged 15 and over are able to read and write, which in comparison to Australia is fairly low; as in Australia 99% of people aged 15 and over are able to read and write.
Social InformationThe literacy rate in South Africa has had little improvement from 1980 to now; in 1980, 85.9% of youth (people aged 15-24) could read and write and by 2012, the percentage had gone up to 86.4%.
Social InformationThe life expectancy in South Africa is considerably low compared to the life expectancy in Australia, in Australia the life expectancy is about 82 years for the entire population, while in south Africa it is about 52 years. In South Africa the life expectancy at birth for a female is 52.78, while in 1960 it was at its lowest, 50.83. In 1990 it was at its highest, 65.35. The life expectancy at birth for males is 51.42, it was at its lowest in 1960, when it was 47.33, the highest it has been was in 1990, when it was 57.93. The infant mortality rate in South Africa is 44.42, ranking it 165th in the world.
Social InformationLanguages: Afrikaans- derived approximately 90-95% from Dutch, is spoken by 13.5% of South Africa English- Variants of proper english are spoken by Zimbabweans, Zambians and Namibians, spoken as home language by approx. 8.2% of South Africa Ndebele- spoken by approx. 2.1% of the population, it originated through the Ndebele people Zulu- spoken by approx. 24% of the total population, it originated through the Zulu tribe Xhosa- spoken by approx. 16% of the population, it is like most bantu languages, with few distinctions Northern Sotho- spoken by approx. 9.1% of the population, it originated through the Limpopo people Sotho- spoken by approx. 7.6% of the population, originated as a primary Bantu languages*. spoken by approx. 9% of the total population, originated as a primary of the Bantu Languages* Tsonga- spoken by approx. 4.5% of the total population, originated through Limpopo and Mpumalanga tribes. Swazi- Spoken by approx. 2.5% of the population, originated as a primary of the bantu languages* Venda- spoken by approx. 2.28% of the population, originated through the Venda people.*Bantu is a collection of South African languages, each language varies, but slightly.
Values/BeliefsThere are many religions in South Africa dating back thousands of years, although the majority of the religions are imported. The san is a group of native bushmen in South Africa who believed in one powerful god and prayed to him either by themselves or through a shaman or healer.The main imported religions are Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism
Values/BeliefsBuddhism originated almost 2500 years ago in India. A man named Siddhartha Gautama was a prince in India but was told he would become a monk. His father was scared and kept him from the world, but one day Siddhartha escaped and choose to become a monk who travelled the world giving peace and joy. He then decided one day after meditating under a tree that he found the answers to the problems of life and became buddha.
Values/BeliefsChristianity is the belief in one powerful God who died on a cross around 2000 years ago and rose again three days later. He was known as Jesus and is what all Christians believe in.Hinduism originated in India and is one of the oldest religions known about, having been created over 4000 years ago.Hindu’s believe in Brahma and many gods and goddesses who show different parts of Brahma.Islam started just over 1400 years ago with the teacher of prophet Muhammad. When he was 40 an angel appeared to him and told him the king of the Jews and Christians was one god Allah.
Values/BeliefsJudaism is the belief that all of the Jews descended from Abraham and that they were promised the land Canaan which is now part of Israel. They have an item called the Torah or holy scripts which teaches them how to live based of the ten commandments.In South Africa there is freedom of religion. All citizens are treated equally, regardless of their religion.The majority of South Africans, whether they are white or coloured are Christians.South Africa has two indigenous religions: The religion of the SAN people and African Traditional Religion.
Values/BeliefsThe San believe there is one God who is powerful and good. They pray to him by themselves or through a healer called a shaman. One of the most important religious rituals is the Trance Dance. During this dance, the women sit in a circle, around a fire and clap to spiritual songs while the men dance. As they do this, the spirit enters the shamans and they go into a trance where it is believed they get special healing powers.
Values/BeliefsAfrican Traditional Religion believes in ancestor worship, treating others kindly and working for the good of the community. It focuses on family and special events in their lives such as birth, initiation, weddings and death. They sacrifice animals for special events and to honour the spirits of the ancestors.
AestheticArt has varied a lot over the ages in South Africa. The extremes of this are the rock art of the ancestors of the current Bushmen or San and the modernistic art of today. During the colonial era, the artists in South Africa concentrated on showing this “new world” in as much accurate detail as they could. Towards the end of the 19th century, artist began to establish a locally rooted art. These artworks were the first glimpse of artistic vision engaging with life as it’s lived in South Africa for its own sake, rather than as a report to the colonial master.
AestheticDuring the apartheid years, black artist were largely ignored and it was left to the white artists to build South African art. Despite this, the time saw a large diversity in art, from landscapes to abstract art. “Sometimes South African are seemed to float above the political issues of the day; at other times it tackled them with vigour and insight.”
ArchitectureThe traditional Zulu homes were made from mud, grass, tree branches and bricks (made from mud). In Zulu culture it is the man’s responsibility to build the houses, to do this they used both their hands and feet. Although it was a man’s duty to build these homes it is known that some women made them as their husbands were working far away.
ArchitectureThe floors were made of cow dung and ant-heap soil to harden the floor. The roofs are thatched that are sewn to wooden poles with rope made from grass.