Fun facts about South Africa

south africa

These South African facts include information on the country’s history, statistics, and the most impressive touristic spots. There’s also some interesting facts about South Africa that may surprise you. Test yourself on how many of these South African facts you know.

1. Their are nine provinces in South Africa

South Africa has nine provinces, each with its own history, landscape, population, languages, economy, cities and government.

South Africa’s nine provinces are the Eastern Cape, the Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape, North West and the Western Cape.

Before 1994, South Africa had four provinces: the Transvaal and Orange Free State, previously Boer republics, and Natal and the Cape, once British colonies.

In 1910 these four states were united into a single country, the Union of South Africa. This became the Republic of South Africa in 1960.

In the 1970s and eighties, under the apartheid doctrine of “separate development”, the map of South Africa was spattered with the odd outlines of the “homelands”.

These unsustainable states were set up on disjointed parcels of land with no economic value. Laws were passed to make black South Africans citizens of these barren regions, denying black people’s citizenship of South Africa as a whole.

2.South Africa has three capital cities

Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative), and Bloemfontein (Judicial). There are nine provinces in total: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, ZwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Each has its own government.

3.There are 11 official languages, each with equal status, in South Africa

At least thirty-five languages indigenous to South Africa are spoken in the Republic, eleven of which are official languages of South AfricaNdebelePediSothoSwatiTsongaTswanaVendaXhosaZuluAfrikaans, and English, which is the primary language used in parliamentary and state discourse, though all official languages are equal in legal status. Unofficial languages are protected under the Constitution of South Africa, though few are mentioned by any name. South African Sign Language has legal recognition but is not an official language, despite a campaign and parliamentary recommendation for it to be declared one

4.South Africa has three capital cities

Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative), and Bloemfontein (Judicial). There are nine provinces in total: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, ZwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Each has its own government.

5.The Dutch and the British fought over South Africa.

Between 1899 and 1902, the British Army fought a bitter colonial war against the Boers in South Africa. Although outnumbered, the Boers were a skilled and determined enemy. After initial setbacks and a long period of guerrilla warfare, the British eventually prevailed, but not without adopting controversial tactics.

The first Europeans settlers were Dutch traders on the Europe-Far East spice route who founded Cape Colony (now Cape Town) in 1652. The British seized Cape Colony in 1795 and a few years later the Dutch farmers (boers) fled north to claim lands and establish the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

6. Almost 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian

Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. No single denomination predominates, with mainstream Protestant churches, Pentecostal churches, African initiated churches, and the Catholic Church all having significant numbers of adherents. Importantly, there is significant and sustained syncretism with African Traditional Religion among most of the self-professed Christians in South Africa.

7.South Africa is the Rainbow Nation.

Mzansi, as the locals call South Africa, is a fusion of diverse cultures and vibrant people. Born out of a painful past of racial segregation under an apartheid government, the rainbow nation – fondly named so by Archbishop Desmond Tutu post-apartheid – is a beautiful African country.

It successfully transitioned to democracy from a system of apartheid that divided people according to their race, favouring white people and oppressing other racial groups. After historic elections in 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected and first black president of South Africa.

South Africa is part of BRICS.

This is an acronym referring to an association of the top five main emerging world markets. Consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, BRICS represents 42% of the world’s population. South Africa is also part of the G-20, an international forum for the world’s top 20 economies.

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