South Africa Population: 55,380,210

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 History
The fossil record indicates humans have inhabited South Africa since prehistoric times, and during the modern era the region was settled by Khoisan and Bantu peoples. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of present-day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners, also called "Boers" (farmers) at the time) trekked north to found their own republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Afrikaners resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second South African War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid – billed as "separate development" of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 following the end of apartheid ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa has since struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in housing, education, and health care. Jacob ZUMA became president in 2009 and was reelected in 2014, but was forced to resign in February 2018 after numerous corruption scandals and gains by opposition parties in municipal elections in 2016. His successor, Cyril RAMAPHOSA, has made some progress in reigning in corruption and restructuring state-owned enterprises, though many challenges persist. In May 2019 national elections, the country’s sixth since the end of apartheid, the ANC won a majority of parliamentary seats, delivering RAMAPHOSA a five-year term to continue anti-corruption measures and efforts to attract foreign investment.

 Geography
    South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Eswatini
Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Geographic coordinates: 29 00 S, 24 00 E
Area: total: 1,219,090 sq km
land: 1,214,470 sq km
water: 4,620 sq km

note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)

Size comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land Boundaries: total: 5,244 km border countries (6): Botswana 1969 km, Lesotho 1106 km, Mozambique 496 km, Namibia 1005 km, Eswatini 438 km, Zimbabwe 230 km
Coastline: 2,798 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Land use: agricultural land: 79.4% (2011 est.) arable land: 9.9% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 69.2% (2011 est.) forest: 7.6% (2011 est.)
other: 13% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 16,700 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: prolonged droughts volcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano
Current Environment 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; deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; desertification; solid waste pollution; disruption of fragile ecosystem has resulted in significant floral extinctions
International Environment Agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
Ethnic groups: black African 80.9%, colored 8.8%, white 7.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2018 est.) note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry
Languages: isiZulu (official) 24.7%, isiXhosa (official) 15.6%, Afrikaans (official) 12.1%, Sepedi (official) 9.8%, Setswana (official) 8.9%, English (official) 8.4%, Sesotho (official) 8%, Xitsonga (official) 4%, siSwati (official) 2.6%, Tshivenda (official) 2.5%, isiNdebele (official) 1.6%, other (includes Khoi, Nama, and San languages) 1.9% (2017 est.) note: data represent language spoken most often at home
Religions: Christian 86%, ancestral, tribal, animist, or other traditional African religions 5.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other 1.5%, nothing in particular 5.2% (2015 est.)
Population: 55,380,210 (July 2018 est.) note: 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28.18% (male 7,815,651 /female 7,793,261)
15-24 years: 17.24% (male 4,711,480 /female 4,837,897)
25-54 years: 42.05% (male 11,782,848 /female 11,503,831)
55-64 years: 6.71% (male 1,725,034 /female 1,992,035)
65 years and over: 5.81% (male 1,351,991 /female 1,866,182) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 44.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 12.9 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.4 years
male: 27.2 years
female: 27.6 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.97% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 19.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 66.4% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 1.97% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 9.227 million Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni)
4.43 million Cape Town (legislative capital)
3.134 million Durban
2.378 million PRETORIA (capital)
1.231 million Port Elizabeth
765,000 Vereeniging (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 138 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 29.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 33.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 64.1 years male: 62.7 years
female: 65.6 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.26 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 54.6% (2016)
Physicians density: 0.91 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 81.4% of population
total: 93.2% of population

unimproved:
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 18.6% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 69.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 60.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 66.4% of population (2015 est.)

unimproved:
urban: 30.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 39.5% of population (2015 est.)
total: 33.6% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 18.8% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 7.2 million (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 110,000 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 28.3% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 5.9% (2016)
Education expenditures: 6.1% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 93.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 13 years female: 14 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 53.4% male: 49.2% female: 58.8% (2018 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape
Independence: 31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 22 August 1934 (Status of the Union Act); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule)
National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved by Constitutional Court 4 December 1996, effective 4 February 1997 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly of Parliament; passage of amendments affecting constitutional sections on human rights and freedoms, non-racism and non-sexism, supremacy of the constitution, suffrage, the multi-party system of democratic government, and amendment procedures requires at least 75% majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council of Provinces, and assent by the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting the Bill of Rights, and those related to provincial boundaries, powers, and authorities requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council, and assent by the president; amended many times, last in 2013 (2017)
Legal system: mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 15 February 2018); Deputy President David MABUZA (26 February 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; Jacob ZUMA resigned the presidency on 14 February 2018

head of government: President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 15 February 2018); deputy president David MABUZA (26 February 2018)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 May 2019 (next to be held in May 2024)

election results: Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (ANC) elected president by the National Assembly unopposed
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of: National Council of Provinces (90 seats; 10-member delegations appointed by each of the 9 provincial legislatures to serve 5-year terms; note - the Council has special powers to protect regional interests, including safeguarding cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities) National Assembly (400 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: National Council of Provinces and National Assembly - last held on 8 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANC 29, DA 13, EFF 9, FF+ 2, IFP 1; note - 36 appointed seats not filled National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 57.5%, DA 20.8%, EFF 10.8%, IFP 3.8%, FF+ 2.4%, other 4.7%; seats by party - ANC 230, DA 84, EFF 44, IFP 14, FF+ 10, other 18; composition - men 237, women 163, percent of women 40.8%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court of Appeals (consists of the court president, deputy president, and 21 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges) judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals president and vice president appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), a 23-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes other judges and judicial executives, members of parliament, practicing lawyers and advocates, a teacher of law, and several members designated by the president of South Africa; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the national president on the advice of the JSC and hold office until discharged from active service by an Act of Parliament; Constitutional Court chief and deputy chief justices appointed by the president of South Africa after consultation with the JSC and with heads of the National Assembly; other Constitutional Court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the chief justice and leaders of the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges serve 12-year nonrenewable terms or until age 70

subordinate courts: High Courts; Magistrates' Courts; labor courts; land claims courts
Political parties and leaders: African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE] African Independent Congress or AIC [Mandla GALO] African National Congress or ANC [Cyril RAMAPHOSA] African People's Convention or APC [Themba GODI] Agang SA [Mike TSHISHONGA] Congress of the People or COPE [Mosiuoa LEKOTA] Democratic Alliance or DA [Mmusi MAIMANE] Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF [Julius Sello MALEMA] Freedom Front Plus or FF+ [Pieter GROENEWALD] GOOD [Patricia de LILLE] Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI] National Freedom Party or NFP [Zanele kaMAGWAZA-MSIBI] Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania or PAC [Luthanado MBINDA] United Christian Democratic Party or UCDP [Isaac Sipho MFUNDISI] United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, NSG, OECD (enhanced engagement), OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National symbol(s): springbok (antelope), king protea flower;
national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white
National anthem: name: National Anthem of South Africa
lyrics/music: Enoch SONTONGA and Cornelius Jacob LANGENHOVEN/Enoch SONTONGA and Marthinus LOURENS de Villiers

note: adopted 1994; a combination of "N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrica" (God Bless Africa) and "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" (The Call of South Africa), which were respectively the anthems of the non-white and white communities under apartheid; official lyrics contain a mixture of Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English (i.e., the five most widely spoken of South Africa's 11 official languages); music incorporates the melody used in the Tanzanian and Zambian anthems
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Yoliswa MVEBE (since 1 April 2019)
chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jessica "Jessye" LAPENN (since 16 December 2016)
embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
mailing address: P.O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
telephone: [27] (12) 431-4000
FAX: [27] (12) 342-2299
consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
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 Economy
South Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world. Economic growth has decelerated in recent years, slowing to an estimated 0.7% in 2017. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality - among the highest in the world - remain a challenge. Official unemployment is roughly 27% of the workforce, and runs significantly higher among black youth. Even though the country's modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. Eskom, the state-run power company, is building three new power stations and is installing new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability but has been plagued with accusations of mismanagement and corruption and faces an increasingly high debt burden. South Africa's economic policy has focused on controlling inflation while empowering a broader economic base; however, the country faces structural constraints that also limit economic growth, such as skills shortages, declining global competitiveness, and frequent work stoppages due to strike action. The government faces growing pressure from urban constituencies to improve the delivery of basic services to low-income areas, to increase job growth, and to provide university level-education at affordable prices. Political infighting among South Africa’s ruling party and the volatility of the rand risks economic growth. International investors are concerned about the country’s long-term economic stability; in late 2016, most major international credit ratings agencies downgraded South Africa’s international debt to junk bond status.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $767.2 billion (2017 est.) $757.2 billion (2016 est.) $752.9 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $349.3 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.3% (2017 est.) 0.6% (2016 est.) 1.3% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $13,600 (2017 est.) $13,600 (2016 est.) $13,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 16.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 16.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 16.4% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 59.4% (2017 est.) government consumption: 20.9% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 18.7% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 29.8% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -28.4% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 2.8% (2017 est.) industry: 29.7% (2017 est.) services: 67.5% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 1.2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 22.19 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4.6%
industry: 23.5%
services: 71.9% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate: 27.5% (2017 est.) 26.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 16.6% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 51.3% (2011 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 62.5 (2013 est.) 63.4 (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: 92.86 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 108.3 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 26.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -4.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 53% of GDP (2017 est.) 51.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.3% (2017 est.) 6.3% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$8.584 billion (2017 est.) -$8.237 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $94.93 billion (2017 est.) $75.16 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports - partners: China 9.5%, US 7.7%, Germany 7.1%, Japan 4.7%, India 4.6%, Botswana 4.3%, Namibia 4.1% (2017)
Imports: $89.36 billion (2017 est.) $79.57 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: China 18.3%, Germany 11.9%, US 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, India 4.7% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $50.72 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $47.23 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $156.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $144.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $156.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $136.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $270.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $172.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $735.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $933.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $942.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: rand (ZAR) per US dollar - 13.67 (2017 est.) 14.6924 (2016 est.) 14.6924 (2015 est.) 12.7581 (2014 est.) 10.8469 (2013 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 234.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 207.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 16.55 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 10.56 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 50.02 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 85% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 4% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 10% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 2,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 404,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 15 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 487,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 621,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 105,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 195,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 906.1 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 5.069 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 4.162 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 572.3 million Mt (2017 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 91,878,275
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 168 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: the system is the best-developed and most modern in Africa; mobile Internet accounts for about 95% of Internet connections; 94% with access to WiMAX/LTE services; 5G trials; LTE-A services launched for commercial use (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 7 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular 168 telephones per 100 persons; 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 (2018)

international: country code - 27; the SAT-3/WASC and SAFE fiber-optic submarine cable systems connect South Africa to Europe and Asia; the EASSy fiber-optic cable system connects with Europe and North America; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean)
Broadcast media: the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operates 4 TV stations, 3 are free-to-air and 1 is pay TV; e.tv, a private station, is accessible to more than half the population; multiple subscription TV services provide a mix of local and international channels; well-developed mix of public and private radio stations at the national, regional, and local levels; the SABC radio network, state-owned and controlled but nominally independent, operates 18 stations, one for each of the 11 official languages, 4 community stations, and 3 commercial stations; more than 100 community-based stations extend coverage to rural areas
Internet country code: .za
Internet users: total: 29,322,380
percent of population: 54% (July 2016 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 566 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 144
(2013) over 3,047 m: 11 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 65 (2013)
under 914 m: 9 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 422
(2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 258 (2013)
under 914 m: 132 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 94 km condensate, 1293 km gas, 992 km oil, 1460 km refined products (2013)
Railways: total 20,986 km
(2014) standard gauge: 80 km 1.435-m gauge (80 km electrified) (2014)
narrow gauge: 19,756 km 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified) (2014) other: 1,150 km (passenger rail, gauge unspecified, 1,115.5 km electrified) (2014)
Roadways: total 750,000 km
(2016) paved: 158,124 km (2016)
unpaved: 591,876 km (2016)
Merchant marine: total 88

by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 1, oil tanker 6, other 79 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay container port(s) (TEUs): Durban (2,699,978) (2017) LNG terminal(s) (import): Mossel Bay
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 Military
Military branches: South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), South African Military Health Services (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.07% of GDP (2016) 1.09% of GDP (2015) 1.11% of GDP (2014) 1.12% of GDP (2013) 1.13% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 59,480 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers), 27,113 (Somalia), 17,726 (Ethiopia), 5,273 (Republic of the Congo) (2018),
Illicit drugs: transshipment center for heroin, hashish, and cocaine, as well as a major cultivator of marijuana in its own right; cocaine and heroin consumption on the rise; world's largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries, but increasingly producing its own synthetic drugs for domestic consumption; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region and the size of the South African economy
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook
 

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