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 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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Three artillerymen crouch behind a small 2.5 inch "Screw Gun" employed in the defence of Kimberley

The Siege of Kimberley took place during the Second Boer War at Kimberley, Cape Colony (present-day South Africa), when Boer forces from the Orange Free State and the Transvaal besieged the diamond mining town. The Boers moved quickly to try to capture the area when war broke out between the British and the two Boer republics in October 1899. The town was ill-prepared, but the defenders organised an energetic and effective improvised defence that was able to prevent it from being taken.

Outside Kimberley, the Boers treated the occupied territory as part of one of the republics, appointing a ‘landdrost’ (magistrate) and changing the name of the neighbouring town of Barkly West to Nieu Boshof. Read more...

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Human Skull

  • ...that the oldest remains of modern humans were found in the Klasies River Caves in the Eastern Cape. They are well over 100,000 years old.
  • ...that Pietermaritzburg 's city hall is the largest red brick building in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • ...that in eastern South Africa, scientists have found traces of blue-green algae dating back 3,500 million years. This is some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth.

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This is a Good article, an article that meets a core set of high editorial standards.

Archbishop-Tutu-medium.jpg

Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH GCStJ (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the 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; politically, he identifies as a socialist.

Tutu was born of mixed Xhosa and Motswana heritage to a poor family in Klerksdorp, British Imperial South Africa. Entering adulthood, he trained as a teacher and married Nomalizo Leah Tutu, with whom he had several children. In 1960, he was ordained as an Anglican priest and in 1962 moved to the United Kingdom to study theology at King's College London. In 1966 he returned to southern Africa, teaching at the Federal Theological Seminary 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, taking an active role in opposition to South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule. From 1978 to 1985 he was general-secretary of the South African Council of Churches, emerging as one of South Africa's most prominent anti-apartheid activists. 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. Read more...

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Neill Blomkamp
Neill Blomkamp (born 17 September 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a South African-Canadian film and advertisement writer and director. Blomkamp employs a documentary-style, hand-held, cinéma vérité technique, blending naturalistic and photo-realistic computer-generated effects. He is best known as the co-writer and director of critically acclaimed District 9 and the upcoming science fiction film Elysium. He is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Time named Blomkamp as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2009. Forbes magazine named him as the 21st most powerful celebrity from Africa.

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A potjie on a log fire

In South Africa, a potjiekos /ˈpɔɪkkɒs/, literally translated "small-pot food", is a dish prepared outdoors. It is traditionally cooked in a round, cast iron, three-legged pot, the potjie, descended from the Dutch oven brought from the Netherlands to South Africa in the 17th century and found in the homes and villages of people throughout southern Africa. The pot is heated using small amounts of wood or charcoal or, if fuel is scarce, twisted grass or even dried animal dung. Small LPG gas cylinders (typically 3-5 kg) with a cooker top designed specifically for the potjie is also widely used in households in South Africa. Read more...

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Nelson Mandela
Pride in our country is a common bond between us all. It is the essence of our new patriotism.

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A panorama of the Johannesburg CBD at sunrise looking east across the M1 highway.
Credit: Dylan Harbour
Johannesburg CBD at sunrise.

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The following are images from various South Africa-related articles on Wikipedia.

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