South Africa

South Africa Background Stats

National tree:

Real yellowwood


  • First human settlement > Date: Date or period of the first known or suspected human settlement within each geographic location listed. For further descriptions, please refer to notes.
  • First human settlement > Notes: Description of the first known or suspected human settlement within each geographic location listed. For the date or period of the described settlement, please refer to the according date stat.
  • First human settlement > Place: Location of the first known or suspected human settlement in each country.
  • Full name: Full names (translated to english) of the United Nations member states, as of 2014. For a list of full names in the respective original languages of each country, check this link.
  • Independence day date: Date.
  • Land border length: The length of each country's land border. Islands are listed as having a 0.0 km.
  • National anthems: National anthem.
  • National identity card: Description.
  • Neighboring countries and territories: The countries and territories neighboring each country. "L" means they share only a land border and "M" means they have only maritime boundaries. A blank means they share both.
  • Number of maritime boundary neighbours: Number of states and territories with which each country shares a maritime border. Two countries separated from each other by a body of water have a maritime border with each other.
  • Overview: A geopolitical overview of every sovereign country in the world, briefly examining their recent history and place on the global stage. The texts are taken from the BBC News website.
First human settlement > Date 125,000 BP 2014
First human settlement > Notes Remains found in the Klasies River Caves in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa show signs of human hunting. There is some debate as to whether these remains represent anatomically modern humans . 2014
First human settlement > Place Klasies River Caves 2014
Full name Republic of South Africa 2013
Independence day date December 11 1931
Land border length 4,862 km 2014 35th out of 200
National anthems National anthem of South Africa 2011
National identity card An Identity Document (ID) is issued at age 16 to all citizens; and permanent residents. Although passports and driver's licences are also acceptable forms of identification, banks only accept IDs. Your ID has a barcode, a photo, and your unique ID number. Information (including age and gender but excluding race) is referenced under your ID number: accounts, criminal record, voting history, driver's licence etc. You need an ID in order to apply for a passport, bank account, driver's licence or tertiary studies, as well as to register to vote. In most cases employers will also request a photocopy of your ID in order to process your appointment. Your voting history as well as any firearm licences are documented in your ID booklet. As one's ID may be required for some of the functions listed above, some SA permanent residents, may elect to keep their ID document on their person. 2004
Neighboring countries and territories Botswana (L) Lesotho (L) Mozambique Namibia Swaziland (L) Zimbabwe (L) 2014
Number of maritime boundary neighbours 2 2014 99th out of 171

Diversity is a key feature of South Africa, where 11 languages are recognised as official, where community leaders include rabbis and chieftains, rugby players and returned exiles, where traditional healers ply their trade around the corner from stockbrokers and where housing ranges from mud huts to palatial homes with swimming pools.

The diverse communities, however, have not had much representation for long.

Until 1994 South Africa was ruled by a white minority government which was so determined to hang onto power that it took activists most of the last century before they succeeded in their fight to get rid of apartheid and extend democracy to the rest of the population.

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South Africa Background Profiles (Subcategories)

First human settlement 3

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