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Portal:South Africa

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Introduction

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South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland (Eswatini); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth-ranked as a spoken first language. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalising previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress (ANC) and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990.

Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid. The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, and a newly industrialised country. Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. Nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence.

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The Krugerrand is a South African gold coin, first minted in 1967 to help market South African gold and produced by the South African Mint. By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market. The name itself is a compound of "Kruger" (the man depicted on the obverse) and "rand", the South African unit of currency.

During the great bull market in gold of the 1970s, the gold Krugerrand quickly became the No.1 choice for investors worldwide wanting to buy gold. Between 1974 and 1985, it's estimated that 22 million gold Krugerrand coins were imported into the United States alone.

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Voortrekker Monument
Credit: John Walker

The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854.

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Tswaing impact crater.


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Shaun Morgan
Shaun Morgan Welgemoed (born 21 December 1978) is a South African musician identified as the frontman and main guitarist of the Post Grunge music group Seether.

In the May of the year 1999, Welgemoed became the rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist of a new band, Saron Gas. There were four other members to the band; a female vocalist, a lead guitarist, bassist and drummer. However, when the singer and guitarist did not turn up to the first practice, the band decided to stay as a three-piece, with Welgemoed on lead vocals and guitar. Saron Gas enjoyed moderate success before the bass player decided to quit in January 2000, causing Welgemoed to get in touch with the only other good bass player he knew, Dale Stewart. The band released an album later that year, entitled Fragile.

In January 2002, the band relocated to the United States to sign with Wind-up Records. During this time the band’s original drummer left to return home to South Africa, whilst the two remaining members were left to think of a new band name, at the request of Wind-up. Eventually they settled on Seether, after the Veruca Salt song of the same name. Shaun Morgan and Seether went on to release their debut major-label album, Disclaimer, on 20 August 2002.

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Nelson Mandela
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

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