South Africa lies in the warm temperate zone of theSouthern Hemisphere . This region experiences a mildclimate . This is due to the altitude of the plateau, thepresence of oceans on three sides and the cold Benguelacurrent which flows along the west coast .In the High Veld, the summers are warm and wet and theday temperature reaches upto 22 °C . Most of the rainfalloccurs during the summer and it decreases from south tonorth and also from east to west . The winters are cold anddry and the temperatures vary from 5 °C and 10 °C . Julyis the coldest month. Rainfall is scanty and droughts canoccur during June ,July and August.
There are limited forests in this region due to semi – aridclimatic conditions . A major part of the Plateau is coveredwith grass . Red grass grows in bush Veld. Acacia and muralgrows in the high Veld.The bush lands and the grasslands in the High Veld haveone major handicap – the elevation of the grazing lands isbetween 1000 m and 2000 m, this results in frost for aperiod of about 100 days in a year.
The Veld is rich in minerals. Gold is found in theWitwatersrand. The mining of gold and diamondshave attracted the Europeans to South Africa.The discovery of iron and steel industry.Johannesburg the gold capital of the world, is animportant industrial and commercial centre.Kimberley is famous for diamonds.