Portal:South Africa

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Unity in Diversity

Introduction

Flag of South Africa
Map of the South Africa within Africa.

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 Eswatini, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.

Hintsa Ka Phalo
Chief Hintsa OF The Gcaleka Xhosa

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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1 oz Krugerrand 2017 Bildseite.png

The Krugerrand (/ˈkrɡərænd/; Afrikaans: [ˈkry.ərˌrant]) is a South African coin, first minted on 3 July 1967 to help market South African gold and produced by Rand Refinery and the South African Mint. The name is a compound of Paul Kruger, the former President of the South African Republic (depicted on the obverse), and rand, the South African unit of currency. On the reverse side of the Krugerrand is a pronking springbok, South Africa's national animal.

By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for more than 90% of the global gold coin market and was the number one choice for investors buying gold. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, Krugerrands fell out of favor as some western countries forbade import of the Krugerrand because of its association with the apartheid government of South Africa. (Full article...)

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Sir George Colley at the Battle of Majuba Hill
The Illustrated London News's depiction of Major-General Sir George Pomeroy Colley of the British Army at the Battle of Majuba Hill, which was fought on 27 February 1881 near Volksrust, South Africa, during the First Boer War. The battle was the third successive victory for the South African Republic and led to the signing of the Pretoria Convention to end the war. Colley was the first governor of the Colony of Natal as well as High Commissioner for South Eastern Africa. He was killed during the battle.

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The SS Waratah which vanished off the coast of South Africa

  • ...that there are more than 2,000 shipwrecks, dating back at least 500 years, off the South African coast. More than one of these, including the Waratah (pictured), simply vanished without a trace.
  • ...that Dr. Christiaan Barnard, at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, performed the first human heart transplant in the world in 1967. He was also the first to do a "piggyback" transplant in 1971, and he was the first to do a heart-lung transplant.
  • ...that The vast majority of South African coal exports are shipped through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT). With the capacity to export 79.4 mmst annually, RBCT is the world's largest coal export facility

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"Mannenberg" is a Cape jazz song by South African musician Abdullah Ibrahim, first recorded in 1974. Driven into exile by the apartheid government, Ibrahim had been living in Europe and the United States during the 1960s and '70s, making brief visits to South Africa to record music. After a successful 1974 collaboration with producer Rashid Vally and a band that included Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen, Ibrahim began to record another album with these three collaborators and a backing band assembled by Coetzee. The song was recorded during a session of improvisation, and includes a saxophone solo by Coetzee, which led to him receiving the sobriquet "Manenberg".

The piece incorporates elements of several other musical styles, including marabi, ticky-draai, and langarm, and became a landmark in the development of the genre of Cape jazz. The song has been described as having a beautiful melody and catchy beat, conveying themes of "freedom and cultural identity." It was released under Ibrahim's former name Dollar Brand on the vinyl album Mannenberg – Is Where It's Happening. Named after the township of Manenberg, it was an instant hit, selling tens of thousands of copies within a few months of its release. It later became identified with the struggle against apartheid, partly due to Jansen and Coetzee playing it at rallies against the government, and was among the movement's most popular songs in the 1980s. The piece has been covered by other musicians, and has been included on several jazz collections. (Full article...)

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De Klerk in 1990

Frederik Willem de Klerk OMG DMS (/də ˈklɜːrk, də ˈklɛərk/, Afrikaans: [ˈfriədərək ˈvələm də ˈklɛrk]; born 18 March 1936) is a retired South African politician, who served as state president of South Africa from 1989 to 1994 and as deputy president from 1994 to 1996. As South Africa's last head of state from the era of white-minority rule, he and his government dismantled the apartheid system and introduced universal suffrage. Ideologically a conservative and an economic liberal, he led the National Party from 1989 to 1997.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa to an influential Afrikaner family, de Klerk studied at Potchefstroom University before pursuing a career in law. Joining the National Party, to which he had family ties, he was elected to parliament and sat in the white-minority government of P. W. Botha, holding a succession of ministerial posts. As a minister, he supported and enforced apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged white South Africans. (Full article...)

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Ouma Rusks bowl.jpg
Ouma (commonly referred to as Ouma Rusks) is a South African rusk made from a traditional buttermilk recipe. It was first produced in the rural town of Molteno, in the Eastern Cape, by Elizabeth Ann Greyvenstyn in 1939, in response to an initiative by the town's pastor to help the entrepreneurial efforts of the women in his congregation. The brand currently dominates the relatively-small local rusk market, and is manufactured in the same town it was first produced. (Full article...)

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Donald Currie
Amongst the influences which are to affect the future of South Africa, I think the first to be mentioned is Education.
Donald Currie, Esq. GCMG (7 June 1877)

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The following are images from various South Africa-related articles on Wikipedia.

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