SOUTH AFRICAFacts about South AfricaPoor or rich country?
SOUTH AFRICA Full name: Republic of South Africa Population: 50.5 million (UN, 2011) Capitals: Pretoria (executive capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital) Largest city: Johannesburg Area: 1.22 million sq km (470,693 sq miles) Major languages: 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa and Zulu Major religion: Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 54 years (women) Monetary unit: 1 Rand = 100 cents Main exports: Gold, diamonds, metals and minerals, cars, machinery GNI per capita: US $6,090 (World Bank, 2010) International dialling code: +27
Diversity is a key feature of South Africa, where 11 languages are recognized as official, where community leaders include rabbis and chieftains, rugby players and returned exiles, where traditional healers play their trade around the corner from stockbrokers and where housing ranges from mud huts to palatial homes with swimming pools.
Until 1994 South Africa was ruled by a white minority government which was so determined to hang onto power that it took activists most of the last century before they succeeded in their fight to get rid of apartheid and extend democracy to the rest of the population.
Economy: One of continents biggest Apartheid economies. Poverty widespread, high After Botha became first prime minister of crime rate associated with high South Africa, Blacks were excluded from unemployment. Economy moved into any political participation. Starting in 1911 recession in May 2009 the first wave of racial discrimination laws International: Plays a leading role in came into power till 1914. The “Master diplomatic and anti-poverty initiatives and Servant Act” contained that Blacks in Africa. Emerged from international had to work, while at the same time they isolation in 1994 at the end of the were being excluded from any skilled apartheid era. work, which was exclusively reserved for The white government which came to Whites. Blacks were forced to take their power in 1948 enforced a separation of pass everywhere. Their skin colour was races with its policy called apartheid. It noted in their passport. The law with the dictated that black and white most influence on the present was the communities should live in separate Land Act, which reserved 90 % of the areas, travel in different buses and stand country for white ownership. As a result of in their own queues. the suppression the African National The government introduced grand social Congress (ANC) was founded on the engineering schemes such as the forced 8thJanuary,1912. The party organized resettlement of hundreds of thousands resistance and strikes in the following of people. It poisoned and bombed opponents and encouraged trouble in neighboring countries.
RACISM STILL LINGERS IN SOUTH AFRICA In order to build a non-racial new South Africa, the Constitutional Court was set up to guarantee freedom, the Public Protector to protect individuals from all kinds of human rights abuse, the Youth Commission to promote the interests of the young people who are the majority of the South African population, the Commission on Gender Equality to ensure that old discriminatory habits and practices are eradicated through education, and the South African Human Rights Commission to protect and promote all human rights in the country. Moreover, the Employment Equity Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act were also passed by the National Assembly to ensure that all South Africans, especially the black people, are not discriminated when they are engaged in business and social activities. Since the introduction of the new constitution and related anti- racism laws, South Africans living conditions have been generally improved.
NATIONAL DRESS OF SOUTH AFRICA Traditional South African clothing varies between different tribes. However the common garb would be a 2 piece animal hide skirt usually made from buck hide. Some women wear long beaded necklaces which extend over there breasts. In addition, ankle and wrist bead wear is also common. Men in power would pride themselves with extra covering from cheetah skin. That type of dressing would apply to Zulu related tribes including Xhosa. The South Sotho tribe wear a blanket called a seanamarena and a cone shaped hat. There is a booming fashion industry in South Africa with international brands like Guess, Levi, Soviet, Diesel etc crowding the market.
The most popular traditional food of South Africa is mielie pap (also spelled as mieliepap), a corn and meal porridge. It is enjoyed by all the races of Africa. Mostly served as the main course of the meal with meat, this cornmeal mix is also enjoyed as breakfast by some cultural groups. As for serving it during breakfast, mielie pap is served with butter and cheese toppings.TRADITIONAL FOOD DISHES