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Coat of arms of South Africa
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "!ke e: ǀxarra ǁke(ǀXam)
"Unity in Diversity"
Anthem: National anthem of South Africa
Location of  South Africa{{#invoke:String
Location of  South Africa{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(dark blue)

– in Africa{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(light blue)

Capital{{safesubst:#invoke:list|unbulleted}}
Largest city Johannesburg<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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Official languages <ref group=Note>The Khoi, Nama and San languages languages, South African Sign Language, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu, Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit and "other languages used for religious purposes in South Africa" have a special status (Chapter 1, Article 6 of the South African Constitution).</ref> {{safesubst:#invoke:collapsible list|main}}
Ethnic groups (2014<ref>Mid-year population estimates 2014. Statistics South Africa</ref>) {{safesubst:#invoke:list|unbulleted}}
Demonym South African
Government Unitary constitutional parliamentary republic
 -  President Jacob Zuma
 -  Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house National Council
 -  Lower house National Assembly
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Union 31 May 1910 
 -  Self-governance 11 December 1931 
 -  Republic 31 May 1961 
 -  Current constitution 4 February 1997 
Area
 -  Total 1,221,037 km2 (25th)
471,443 sq mi
 -  Water (%) negligible
Population
 -  2015 estimate 54,956,900<ref name=newpopest>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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 -  2011 census 51,770,560<ref name=census2011-inbrief />:18
 -  Density 42.4/km2 (169th)
109.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
 -  Total {{{1}}} (30th)
 -  Per capita $13,215<ref name=imf2/> (90th)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 -  Total {{{1}}} (35th)
 -  Per capita $5,902<ref name=imf2/> (88th)
Gini (2009)63.1<ref name="wb-gini">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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very high
HDI (2013)Increase 0.658<ref name="HDI">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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medium · 118th
Currency South African rand (ZAR)
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Drives on the left
Calling code +27
ISO 3166 code ZA
Internet TLD .za

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometers of coastline of southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name=safacts>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and on the east by Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation.

South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world.<ref name=safacts/> Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most white and coloured South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth-ranked as a spoken first language.<ref name=safacts/>

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. But the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalizing previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, discriminatory laws began to be repealed or abolished from 1990 onwards.

About 80 percent of South Africans are of sub-Saharan African ancestry,<ref name=census2011-inbrief>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status.<ref name=safacts/> The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (white), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (coloured) ancestry. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have had political representation in the country's constitutional democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the "Rainbow Nation" to describe the country's newly developing multicultural diversity in the wake of segregationist apartheid ideology.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, and is considered to be a newly industrialised country.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="Waugh2000">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world.<ref name=imf2/> In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. However, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Nevertheless, South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, and maintains significant regional influence.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref><ref name="Lynch2010">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>


South Africa sections
Intro  Name  History  Geography  Politics  Provinces  Economy  Demographics  Culture  Education  Health  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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