The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.
South Africa has the largest population of people of European descent in Africa,one of the largest Indian population outside of Asia, as well as the largest Coloured (of mixed European, Asian and African descent) community in Africa, making it one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the continent. Racial and ethnic strife between the black majority and the white minority have played a large part in the country's history and politics. The National Party began introducing the policy of apartheid after winning the general election of 1948; however, it was the same party under the leadership of F.W. de Klerk who started to dismantle it in 1990 after a long struggle by the black majority, as well as many white, coloured and Indian South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular free and fair elections have been held since 1994, making it a regional power and among the most stable and liberal democracies in Africa.
South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It has the second largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, and the 34th-largest in the world. By purchasing power parity, South Africa has the 7th highest per capita income in Africa. Although being the second largest economy, South Africa has the most sophisticated economy in the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country. The country is considered to be a newly industrialized country according to the World Bank classifications.
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The Union Buildings viewed from the Gardens
The Union Buildings (Afrikaans: Uniegebou) form the official seat of the South African Government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa. The imposing buildings are located in Pretoria, atop Meintjieskop at the northern end of Arcadia, close to historic Church Square and the Voortrekker Monument. The large gardens of the Buildings are nestled between Government Avenue, Vermeulen Street East, Church Street, the R104 and Blackwood Street. Fairview Avenue is a closed road where only officials can enter to the Union Buildings. Though not in the centre of Pretoria, the Union Buildings occupy the highest point of Pretoria, and constitute a South African national heritage site.
The Buildings are one of the centres of political life in South Africa; "The Buildings" and "Arcadia" have become metonyms
for the South African government. It has become an iconic landmark of Pretoria and South Africa in general, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and an emblem of democracy. Read more...
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The Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the semicentenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaners' identity and pride in their language.
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This is a Good article, an article that meets a core set of high editorial standards.
Jan Willem Spruyt (4 July 1826 – 8 September 1908), also known as Jan Willem Spruijt and Jan Willem Landskroon Spruijt (birthname), was a South African civil servant, lawyer and statesman of Dutch descent. Spruyt was government secretary (1856–1862) and several times acting state president of the Orange Free State, and state secretary of the South African Republic (1866–1869).
Spruyt grew up in the Netherlands, studied law, but did not complete his studies, and worked as a schoolteacher, before coming to South Africa. Here he practised as law agent in private practice in both Boer republics. Soon after his arrival he was also quickly enrolled in the administration of the Orange Free State, and attained a powerful position as government secretary. In this capacity he stood in for state president M.W. Pretorius several times in the period 1860–1862.
In the third quarter of the nineteenth century several many Afrikaner politicians and government officials served in both Boer republics. So did Spruyt, who finished his career as state secretary of the South African Republic. Read more...
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Chad Guy Bertrand le Clos
, OIS (born 12 April 1992) is a South African
swimmer who is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games
champion as well as the Commonwealth record holder in the 50 and 100 meter butterfly. He won gold in the 200 meter butterfly and silver in the 100 meter butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London
. He also won five medals at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics
He attended Westville Boys' High School in Durban, South Africa, matriculating in 2010. He has been swimming from a very young age, and when he started competing at the age of 10 he already had a few years of training under his belt.
Le Clos was conferred the silver Order of Ikhamanga on 27 April 2013 in absentia. In a statement by the Chairperson of the National Orders Advisory Council, Dr. Cassius Lubisi, le Clos was conferred the honour "For his excellent achievements on the international swimming stage, especially at the London Olympics in 2012, thus placing South Africa in high standing globally in the field of Aquatic sports."
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A close-up view of a personal-sized Gatsby sandwich prepared with calamari
is a South African submarine sandwich
typically sold as a foot-long sandwich sliced into four portions. It is a popular sandwich in the Western Cape
province, with many fast food and takeaway
restaurants, stores and food stands purveying them. One large sandwich may be shared among several people. The Gatsby is also sometimes mistakenly referred to by the nickname AK‑47, which is a variant of the sandwich made in Johannesburg, in part due to how it can be held in one's arm in a similar manner to the firearm. It has been described as a "filling, budget meal", a standard menu item in Cape Town
corner stores, and as a significant part of the heritage and a cultural symbol of Cape Flats
, where it originated. Read more...
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General images -
The following are images from various South Africa-related articles on Wikipedia.
Meat on a traditional South African braai
Khoisan men demonstrating how to start a fire by rubbing sticks together.
Painting of the Sharpeville massacre of March 1960
Indian indentured labourers arriving in Durban
King Moshoeshoe with his advisors
The statue of Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town, in Heerengracht Street.
Boer Voortrekkers depicted in an early artist's rendition
Statue of Bartolomeu Dias at the High Commission of South Africa in London. He was the first European navigator to sail around the southernmost tip of Africa.
Johannesburg before gold mining transformed it into a bustling modern city
Looking out over the floodplains of the Luvuvhu River (right) and the Limpopo River (far distance and left)
"For use by white persons" – sign from the apartheid era
An array of traditional South African cuisine
Map of the black homelands in South Africa at the end of apartheid in 1994
View of Table Bay with ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), c. 1683.
Generals Smuts (right) and Botha were members of the British Imperial War Cabinet during World War I.
Frederik W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, two of the driving forces in ending apartheid
Cecil John Rhodes, co-founder of De Beers Consolidated Mines at Kimberley
Nicolaas Waterboer, Griqualand ruler, 1852-1896
This map illustrates the rise of the Zulu Empire under Shaka (1816–1828) in present-day South Africa. The rise of the Zulu Empire under Shaka forced other chiefdoms and clans to flee across a wide area of southern Africa. Clans fleeing the Zulu war zone included the Soshangane, Zwangendaba, Ndebele, Hlubi, Ngwane, and the Mfengu. A number of clans were caught between the Zulu Empire and advancing Voortrekkers and British Empire such as the Xhosa .
Simon's Town harbour and naval base in South Africa was used by the Allies during World War II.
The British Empire is red on the map, at its zenith in 1919. (India highlighted in purple.) South Africa, bottom centre, lies between both halves of the Empire.
Church on Greenmarket Square in Cape Town, South Africa with a banner memorialising the Marikana massacre
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