Portal:South Africa

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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 Swaziland, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.

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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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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A Rooivalk flying at the Ysterplaat air show in 2006
The Denel Rooivalk (previously designated AH-2 and CSH-2) is an attack helicopter manufactured by Denel of South Africa. Rooivalk is Afrikaans for "Red Kestrel".[1]

The South African Air Force (SAAF) ordered 12 Rooivalks, designated the Rooivalk Mk 1 in SAAF service, the first of was officially handed over in April 2011. The helicopters are flown by 16 Squadron, which is based at AFB Bloemspruit near Bloemfontein.

Due to the SAAF's decades of helicopter experience in the harsh African environment, the Rooivalk has been designed to operate for prolonged periods without sophisticated support. All that is needed to keep the Rooivalk flying is a medium transport helicopter equipped with a basic spares supply plus four groundcrew.

The Rooivalk carries a range of weapons depending on the mission profile. It is generally fitted with a nose-mounted 20 mm cannon and can also carry air-to-air missiles, anti-armour missiles and unguided rockets. The Rooivalk has a fire control system for target acquisition and tracking as well as an advanced navigation system using Doppler radar and GPS. Also incorporated is an electronic countermeasures suite coupled with chaff and flare dispensers.

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Helen Zille
Helen Zille (legal name Otta Helene Maree née Zille; born 9 March 1951) is the Premier of the Western Cape, a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance political party, and a former Mayor of Cape Town.

Zille is a former journalist and anti-apartheid activist, and was one of the journalists who exposed the truth behind the death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko while working for the Rand Daily Mail in the late 1970s. She also worked with the Black Sash and other pro-democracy groups during the 1980s. In the political arena, Zille has worked in all three tiers of government – as the Western Cape province's education MEC (1999–2004), as a Member of Parliament (2004–2006), as Mayor of Cape Town (2006–2009), and as Premier of the Western Cape (2009–present).

Zille's work as mayor, and in particular her successes in tackling crime, drug abuse and unemployment in Cape Town, led to her selection as World Mayor of the Year in 2008 - from a field of 820 candidates. She was also chosen as Newsmaker of the year 2006 by the National Press Club in July 2007, and is a former finalist in the South African Woman of the Year Award. Zille speaks English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa as well as German, the language of her parents.

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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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  1. ^ Frawley, Gerard. The International Directiory of Military Aircraft, p. 71. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2002. ISBN 1-875671-55-2.