South Africa has one of the continent’s biggest and most developed economies. It is renowned for its great natural beauty, and cultural diversity, all of which have made the country a favoured destination for travellers since the legal ending of apartheid.
Until 1994, it was ruled by a white minority government, which enforced a separation of races with its policy called apartheid.
The apartheid government eventually negotiated itself out of power after decades of international isolation, armed opposition and mass protests.
The democratically-elected leadership encouraged reconciliation and set about redressing social imbalances, but the economy has struggled.
- Capital: Pretoria (executive), Cape Town (legislative), Bloemfontein (judicial)
- Area: 1,221,037 sq km
- Population: 60.6 million
- Languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Swazi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda, Ndebele
- Life expectancy: 60 years (men) 67 years (women)
|Eastern Cape||Free State||Gauteng||Kwazulu-Natal|