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South Africa flag
Republic of South Africa
   As can be deduced from the name, South Africa occupies the entire southern part of the Continent and is bounded by both the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans; the country has long been frowned upon internationally due to apartheid against blacks, abolished in 1992. The South African territory is largely characterized by the central plateau, which, depending on the area, has various altitudes, the coastal strip it is generally quite narrow; the economy is centered on the exploitation of mineral resources (diamonds, gold, coal) of which the subsoil is rich.
Government type Parliamentary republic
Area 1,220,813 kmē (471,359 sq mi)
Population 62,028,000 inh. (2022 census)
Population density 51 inh/kmē (132 inh/miē)
Capital Pretoria (1,619,000 pop.) executive
Capital Cape Town (3,433,000 pop., 4,595,000 urban aggl.) legislative
Capital Bloemfontein (504,000 pop.) judicial
Currency South African rand
Human development index 0.713 (109th place)
Languages Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Tsonga, Xhosa, Zulu (all official)
Life expectancy M 65 years, F 71 years
Location in Africa


Botswana and Zimbabwe NORTH
Eswatini and Mozambique NORTH-EAST
Lesotho within the country
Indian Ocean EAST and SOUTH
Atlantic Ocean WEST


Largest cities
Cape Town 3,433,000 pop., 4,595,000 urban aggl.
Durban 3,120,000 pop., 3,452,000 urban aggl.
Johannesburg 2,026,000 pop., 15,551,000 urban aggl.
Soweto 1,695,000 pop.
Pretoria 1,619,000 pop.
Port Elizabeth 968,000 pop., 1,281,000 urban aggl.
Highest mountains
Mafadi 3,450 m (11,319 ft)
Njesuthi 3,408 m (11,181 ft)
Longest rivers
Orange 2,092 km (1,300 mi) total, 1,770 km (1,100 mi) in South Africa
Limpopo 1,800 km (1,118 mi) total, 230 km (143 mi) in South Africa, marks entire border with Zimbabwe
Vaal 1,210 km (752 mi)
Molopo 1,000 km (621 mi), forms a significant section of the border with Botswana
Largest lakes
Lake Saint Lucia 350 kmē (135 sq mi)
Largest islands
Marion Island 290 kmē (112 sq mi)
Prince Edward Island 45 kmē (17.4 sq mi)


   The country is divided into 9 provinces, with that of the Northern Cape which is clearly both the largest, since it alone constitutes 30% of the territory of South Africa, and the least populous, with over 1 million inhabitants; Gauteng, on the other hand, is by far the smallest province, but at the same time the most populated, with just over 15 million people.

   At the last census 4 cities exceeded one million inhabitants, while another 14 reached at least 200,000 people; urban centers are concentrated especially in the Johannesburg area and along the southern coastal strip, with the north-western area practically devoid of cities, due to a less favorable territory and climate than the rest of South Africa.



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Cape Town
Cape Town


Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon

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