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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Pretoria (administrative capital)
geographic coordinates: 29 12 S, 28 10 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Cape Town (legislative capital); Johannesburg(judicial capital)
Flag descriptiontwo equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band which splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes
Currencyrand (ZAR)
Internet country code.za
Ports and terminalsCape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
Agriculture productscorn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Industriesmining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Geography
LocationSouthern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Coordinates29 00 S, 24 00 E
ContinentAfrica
Area total: 1,219,912 sq km
land: 1,219,912 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Boundaries total: 4,862 km
border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km
Coastline2,798 km
Climatemostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Terrainvast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Natural resourcesgold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Natural hazardsprolonged droughts
People
Population44,187,637
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsblack African 79%, white 9.6%, colored 8.9%, Indian/Asian 2.5% (2001 census)
ReligionsZion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
LanguagesIsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)

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