Ethnic groups in South Africa
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The ethnic groups in South Africa have a variety of origins. Statistics South Africa asks people to describe themselves in the census in terms of five racial population groups. The 2011 census figures for these categories were Black (South African) at 76.4%, White at 9.1%, Coloured at 8.9%, Asian at 2.5%, and Other/Unspecified at 0.5%.:21
Statistics South Africa provided five racial categories by which people could classify themselves, the last of which, "unspecified/other" drew negligible responses, and these results were omitted. The 2010 midyear estimated figures for the other categories were Black (South African) at 78.4%, White at 10.2%, Coloured at 8.8%, Asian at 2.6%. The first census in South Africa in 1911 showed that whites made up 22% of the population; it declined to 16% in 1980.
Black South Africans
The majority of South Africa and also majority of native South Africans are those classified in South Africa as indigenous Black people, African and Black people of South Africa, but they are not culturally or linguistically homogeneous. The major ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Bapedi (North Sotho), Ndebele, Basotho (South Sotho), Venda, Tsonga, Swazi and BaTswana, all of which predominantly speak South African indigenous languages.
Black South Africans as natives of the Southern African region they are also distributed across the borders with neighbours of South Africa. The Basotho group is also the major ethnic group in Lesotho. The BaTswana ethnic group constitute the majority of the population of Botswana. The Swazi ethnic group is the major ethnic group in Swaziland. A part of the Zulu ethnic group is also found in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, where they are known as the Matabele. These Ndebele people are descendants of the Zulu faction under the warrior Mzilikazi that migrated there. The Tsonga ethnic group is also found in southern Mozambique, they are also known as the Shangaan/Shangana/Shangane/Shangani.
As of the calculations of 2004, there are 34,216,164 Black South Africans and 8,625,050 Black South African households residing in South Africa. The Black South African population density is 29/km². The density of Black South African households is 7/km². Black South Africans make up 79.0% of the total population. The percentage of all Black South African households that are made up of individuals is 19.9%. The average Black South African household size is 4.11 members.
In South Africa, the Black South African population is spread out with 34.0% under the age of 15, 21.6% from 15 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 11.8% from 45 to 64, and 4.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age of a Black African is 21 years. For every 100 Black South African females there are 91.1 Black South African males. For every 100 Black South African females age 18 and over, there are 86.2 Black South African males.
With regard to education, 22.3% of Black South African aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 18.5% have had some primary, 6.9% have completed only primary school, 30.4% have had some high education, 16.8% have finished only high school, and 5.2% have an education higher than the high school level. Overall, 22.0% of Black South Africans have completed high school, and 59% of Black South Africans, aged 25 to 64, have an upper secondary education as their highest level of education. This places South Africa above the G20 average of 32% and the OECD average of 38%.
The percentage of black South African housing units having a telephone and/or mobile phone in the dwelling is 31.1%. The percentage having access to a nearby phone is 57.2%, and 11.7% do not have nearby access or any access. The percentage of black South African households that have a flush or chemical toilet is 41.9%. Refuse is removed from 45.3% of black South African households by the municipality at least once a week, and 11.0% have no rubbish disposal. Some 17.9% of black South Africans have running water inside their dwelling, 51.7% have running water on their property, and 80.2% have access to running water. The percentage of Black South African households using electricity for cooking is 39.3%, for heating, 37.2%, and for lighting, 62.0%. Radios are owned by 68.7% of black South African households while 44.2% have a television, 1.8% own a computer, 40.0% have a refrigerator, and 24.6% have a mobile phone.
The unemployment rate of the black South African population aged 15–65 is 28.1%. The median annual income of black African working adults aged 15–65 is ZAR 12,073. Black South African males have a median annual income of ZAR 14,162 versus ZAR 8,903 for Black South African females.
White South Africans
Europeans in South Africa are predominantly descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European settlers. Culturally and linguistically, they are divided into Boers, who speak Afrikaans, and English-speaking groups. The white population has been on the decrease due to a low birth rate, emigration and as a factor in their decision to emigrate, many cite the high crime rate and the discriminatory affirmative action policies of the government. Since 1994, approximately 400,000 whites have permanently emigrated. Despite high emigration levels, immigrants from Europe have settled in the country. By 2005, an estimated 212,000 British citizens were residing in South Africa. By 2011, this number may have grown to 500,000. Some European Zimbabweans emigrated to South Africa. Some of the more nostalgic members of the community are known in popular culture as "Whenwes", because of their nostalgia for their lives in Rhodesia "when we were in Rhodesia".
Despite high emigration levels, a high level of non-South African white immigrants have settled in the country, in particular from countries such as Britain and Zimbabwe. For example, by 2005, an estimated 212,000 British citizens were residing in South Africa. Since 2003, the numbers of British migrants coming to South Africa has risen by 50%. An estimated 20,000 British migrants moved to South Africa in 2007. There have also been a significant number of White Zimbabwean arrivals, fleeing their home country in light of the economic and political problems currently facing the country.
There have been other white immigration waves to South Africa in recent decades. In the 1970s, many Portuguese residents of African colonies such as Angola and Mozambique came to live in South Africa after the independence of those nations. In addition, the apartheid government encouraged Central European immigration in the 1980s and early 1990s, particularly from Poland and Hungary.
As of the census of 2001, there are 4,293,638 Whites and 1,409,690 White households residing in South Africa. The White population density is 4/km². The density of White households is 1.16/km². Whites make up 9.6% of the total population.
The percentage of all White households that are made up of individuals is 19.1%. The average White household size is 3.05 members. In South Africa, the White population is spread out with 19.0% under the age of 15, 15.1% from 15 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age of a White is 35 years. For every 100 White females there are 94.0 White males. For every 100 White females age 18 and over, there are 91.1 White males.
With regards to education, 1.4% of Whites aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 1.2% have had no more than some primary school education, 0.8% have only completed primary school, 25.9% have had no more than some high school education, 41.3% have finished only high school, and 29.8% have an education higher than the high-school level. Overall, 70.7% of Whites have completed high school.
The percentage of White housing units having a telephone and/or mobile phone in the dwelling is 95.4%. The percentage having access to a nearby phone is 4.4%, and 0.2% do not have nearby access or any access. The percentage of White households that have a flush or chemical toilet is 98.7%. Refuse is removed from 90.8% of White households by the municipality at least once a week, and 0.5% have no rubbish disposal. Some 87.2% of White have running water inside their dwelling, 95.6% have running water on their property, and 99.4% have access to running water. The percentage of White households using electricity for cooking is 96.6%, for heating, 93.2%, and for lighting, 99.2%. Radios are owned by 94.7% of White households while 92.6% have a television, 46.0% own a computer, 97.6% have a refrigerator, and 74.6% have a mobile phone.
The unemployment rate of the White population aged 15–65 is 4.1%. The median annual income of White working adults aged 15–65 is ZAR 65,000 White males have a median annual income of ZAR 81,701 versus ZAR 52,392 for White females.
Coloured South Africans
It is important to denote that this ethnicity is not by default to people of multiracial heritage in South Africa, therefore many multiracial South Africans do identify by any ethnic heritage they may be from i.e. Africans, Whites, Asians etc., in the same matter, some people with little or no multiracial heritage do identify as a Coloured ethnic. However, during Apartheid this ethnicity was by law anyone who is of multiracial heritage or determined to be Coloured by the government. This ethnicity doesn't necessarily have an ethnic language nor of specific race but they are contemporarily South African cultured and rather stem their traditional and historical identity from the sense of community of Coloured people, e.g. Cape Coloureds. They are not all culturally or linguistically homogeneous but many from those who identify as Coloured usually speak Afrikaans as a first language.
In detail, Coloureds descend from indigenous African people (South African Bantu-speaking peoples, South African Khoisan (mostly those who lived in the Cape Peninsula) and Africans not of South African descent), Griqua multiracials, White groups (mainly British and Dutch colonists/foreigners) and Asian groups (Javanese, Malay, Indian, Malagasy and other concerned Asian ethnicities) mainly of slaves brought in South Africa.
Khoisan refers to two separate groups. The Khoikhoi, who were called Hottentots by the Europeans, were pastoralists and extensively integrated into the colonial economy, many converting early to Christianity; the San people, called Bushmen by the Europeans, were hunter-gatherers. The Khoisan groups as a minority completes the rest of the native South African population and they do not classify themselves as 'African' or Black South African. In the 2011 census for example, the overwhelming majority of the San community in Platfontein originating from the northern parts of Namibia and southern Angola opted to be classified as 'Other' and many from those claiming to be descendants of Namaqualand Khoikhoi classify themselves as Coloured.
Within the Coloured community, more recent immigrants will also be found i.e. Coloureds from the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); Namibia and immigrants of mixed descent from India (such as Anglo-Indians) who were welcomed to the Cape when India and Burma received their Independence.
In 2008, the Pretoria High Court has ruled that Chinese South Africans who arrived before 1994 are to be reclassified as Coloureds. As a result of this ruling, about 12,000–15,000 ethnically Chinese citizens who arrived before 1994, numbering 3%–5% of the total Chinese population in the country, will be able to benefit from government BEE policies.
Asian South Africans
The major part of the South African Asian population are descendants from India (see Indian South Africans); many of them descended from indentured workers brought in the nineteenth century to work on the sugar plantations of the eastern coastal area then known as Natal. There is also a significant group of Chinese South Africans (approximately over 300,000 individuals) and Vietnamese South Africans (approximately 50,000 individuals). Asian South African extends to those of Japanese, Korean, Pakistani and many other South Africans of Asian descent.
The majority of the Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in Natal in the late 19th and early 20th century. They came from different parts of the Indian subcontinent, adhered to different religions and spoke different languages. Others however came independently for work purposes and business interests.
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Others pointed out that the repeal of the Population Registration Act in 1991 removed any legal basis for specifying 'race'. The Identification Act of 1997 makes no mention of race. On the other hand, the Employment Equity Act speaks of 'designated groups' being 'black people, women and people with disabilities'. The Act defines 'black' as referring to 'Africans, coloureds and Indians'. Apartheid and the racial identification which underpinned it explicitly linked race with differential access to resources and power. If the post-apartheid order was committed to remedying this, race would have to be included in surveys and censuses, so that progress in eradicating the consequences of apartheid could be measured and monitored. This was the reasoning that led to a 'self-identifying' question about 'race' or 'population group' in both the 1996 and 2001 population censuses, and in Statistics SA's household survey programme.
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