About South Africa    
 


Malaysia –South Africa Business Council

 

Mandela Day
 
 
 
 

Geography:                       

Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa has a landmass of 1 233 404 km² edged on 3 sides by a nearly 3000km coastline washed by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and it wraps itself around Lesotho and borders 3 sides of Swaziland.
South Africa has 3 capitals: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative and Bloemfontein (Judicial).

Political system:

A well-known fact about South Africa is that since 1994 we have enjoyed democratic government, the apartheid policies of the past overthrown. Our constitution is regarded as an example to the world, and enshrines a wide scope of human rights protected by an independent judiciary. The country is headed by a State President, Jacob Zuma, of the African National Congress (ANC).

Economy:

South Africa has achieved steady economic growth in gross domestic product (GDP) since the late 90s. Regarded as an emerging market, South Africa has a well-developed financial sector and active stock exchange. Financial policies have focused on building solid macroeconomic structures. Our central bank is the Reserve Bank.

Population:

The South African population of more than 51m people is extremely diverse. Africans are in the majority, approx. 80% of the population, followed by the white population approx. 4,4m; the coloured population approx. 4,2 million and the Indian/Asian population at approx. 1,2m.

Currency:

South Africa’s currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R50, R100.

Climate:

South Africa has a temperate climate and is known for its long sunny days, hence the title: ‘Sunny South Africa’. Most of the provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape (winter rainfall). Winter is from May to August; Spring from September to October; Summer from November to February and Autumn from March to April.

Communications:

South Africa has exceptionally well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cell-phone providers provide national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.

Provinces:

There are 9 provinces in South Africa, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal; Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga

National Symbols:

The South African flag is a much-loved symbol of patriotism and other significant national emblems include: National bird: the blue crane; National animal: the springbok; National fish: the galjoen; National flower: the protea and National tree: the yellowwood.

Languages:

South Africa is a multi-lingual country and there are 11 official languages including: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, SiSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’, a Xhosa hymn, composed by Enoch Sontonga in 1899, is South Africa’s national anthem.

Religions:
           
Almost 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority don’t belong to any of the major religions. The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.

Water:

Tap water is potable. However, ensure that you take bottled water with you when travelling to remote rural areas and the bush.

Animals and Plants:

South Africa has been declared one of the 18 megadiverse destinations in the world. As a pioneer and leader in responsible tourism, South Africa has numerous conservation projects to protect its natural heritage – travellers can support and take part in many of these projects. The country is home to the famous Big Five (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo).

Electricity:

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. With a few exceptions (in deep rural areas) electricity is available almost everywhere.

Airports:

The 3 major international airports in South Africa are: OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg), Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport (Durban) as well as 9 regional airports including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Nelspruit.

Travel by Road and Rail:

South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. Speed limits are set at 120 kilometres on highways; 100 kilometers on secondary roads and 60 kilometers in urban areas.

Entry requirements:

South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all foreign visitors and citizens over 1 year of age travelling from an infected area or having been in transit through infected areas. For visa and other requirements, please visit the Consular page or contact us on the numbers provided.

Health and safety:

South Africa is well-known for its medical skill since Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human-human heart transplant in 1967. There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban centers. Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but always check with the game reserves you’re planning to visit and take precautions if necessary. Make sure you have the latest safety tips from the establishment where you will be staying and take common sense precautions as you would when travelling

 
 
 

H.E. Ms S. I Mhlanga
High Commissioner
More Information
South African Revenue Services
South Africa Reserve Bank
Johannesburg
Statistics South Africa
Wines of South Africa
Study in South Africa
Proudly South African
Legal Services in South Africa
South African News
 
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