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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Boers at Spion Kop, 1900.

The Battle of Spion Kop (Dutch: Slag bij Spionkop; Afrikaans: Slag van Spioenkop) was a military engagement between British forces and two Boer Republics—the South African Republic and the Orange Free State—during the campaign by the British to relieve the besieged city Ladysmith during the initial months of the Second Boer War. The battle was fought 23–24 January 1900 on the hilltop of Spion Kop(1), about 38 km (24 mi) west-southwest of Ladysmith.

It resulted in a Boer victory. (Full article...)

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Voortrekker Monument
Credit: John Walker

The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854.

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Madiba's house

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Portrait photograph of Desmond Tutu wearing glasses and a black coat with a clerical collar
c. 2004

Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH GCStJ (7 October 1931 – 26 December 2021) was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.

Tutu was born of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage to a poor family in Klerksdorp, South Africa. Entering adulthood, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Shenxane in 1955, with whom he had four children, including Mpho Tutu van Furth. In 1960, he was ordained as an Anglican priest and in 1962, he moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King's College London. In 1966 he returned to Africa, teaching at the Federal Theological Seminary in South Africa, and then the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In 1972, he became the Theological Education Fund's director for Africa, a position based in London but necessitating regular tours of the African continent. Back in southern Africa in 1975, he served first as dean of St Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg and then as Bishop of Lesotho. From 1978 to 1985, Tutu served as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches. He emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. Although warning the National Party government that anger at apartheid would lead to racial violence, as an activist he stressed non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. (Full article...)

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Wolraad Woltemade
Wolraad Woltemade (c.1708 – 1 June 1773) was born in Hesse-Schoumberg, part of present-day Germany. He migrated to the Dutch Cape Colony at Cape Town with the Dutch East India Company) as a dairyman. He died while rescuing sailors from the wreck of the ship De Jonge Thomas in Table Bay on 1 June 1773.

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A "quarter mutton" bunny with topping
Bunny chow, often referred to simply as a bunny, is a South African fast food dish consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of white bread filled with curry. It originated among Indian South Africans of Durban. Throughout various South African communities one can find different versions of the bunny chow, which uses only a quarter loaf of bread and depending on which part of the country you are in, is sometimes called a scambane, kota ("quarter") or Shibobo; it is a name that it shares with sphatlho, a South African dish that evolved from the bunny chow. (Full article...)

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Nelson Mandela
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.

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Old Cape Town city hall
Credit: Douglas Scott
Taken on the 6th December 2013, the day after Nelson Mandela's death. Preparations begin and crowds begin to gather for a speech to be given in remembrance of Mandela at the old Cape Town City Hall.

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