Cape Town (legislative)
|Official language||English, Afrikaans, Venda, Zulu, Kosa, South Ndebele, Swati, North Soto, Sesotho, Tswana, Tsonga|
|Currency||South African rand|
|Form of government||parliamentary republic|
|Population||54 956 900 people|
Hello dear readers. On the far southern edge of the African continent lies South Africa, a land renowned for its large animals, unique inhabitants and their perennial culture.
And in today’s article, we decided to better acquaint you with this state. In this article, we have collected the most interesting facts about South Africa.
We are all accustomed to the fact that each country has one capital. But if we talk about South Africa, then it is an exception. At the legislative level, South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. Cape Town is the legislative capital. It houses the country’s parliament. Pretoria is the administrative capital. It houses the residence of the president. Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.
Like many African countries, South Africa is a multinational state. South Africa even received the unofficial name “Rainbow Country”. Therefore, it is not surprising that as many as 11 official languages are enshrined here at the legislative level. These languages include Zulu, Kosa, Tsonga, Soto and other indigenous languages. Also, English belongs to the official languages.
The largest diamond in the world was found here. This diamond was named “Cullinan” (after the person who discovered it) and was found in the “Premier” mine. Its mass was 3106.75 carats (621.35 grams). After the cutting of the piece by the European cutter Josef Asher, 9 pieces were obtained (two large and seven smaller), in which the former monolithic “Cullinan” still exists today.
Johannesburg has more trees than any other city in the country. Johannesburg is known as the country’s financial center. However, in addition to the hustle and bustle, many businessmen and office workers, more than six million trees grow there. Many people call Johannesburg a man-made jungle. To see all the beauty of this city, it is enough to climb the hill.
While South Africa accounts for only about 1% of the land area, more than 10% of all discovered species of birds, fish and plants can be found here, as well as about 6% of existing mammals and reptiles.
Here you can find lions, giraffes, elephants, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes and even monkeys running through the trees growing in the suburbs.
The first European settlers to land in South Africa were Dutch traders. They were engaged in the spice trade along the Europe-Far East route. It was the Dutch who founded the Cape Colony (now the city of Cape Town) in 1652.
In 1795 the British captured the Cape Colony. Later, Dutch farmers (Boers), who founded the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, began to flee from the Cape Colony to the north. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the British fought two wars. One with the Zulu for control of the region, and the other with the Boers who had fled earlier. The victory over the Zulu and Boers led to the formation of the South African Union in 1910. The Union of South Africa lasted until 1961. In 1961, the country gained independence and was renamed South Africa.
The national animal of the state is the springbok (or the jumper antelope). This animal is endemic to South Africa.
In 2006, South Africa became the first African country and the fifth country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage. While the rest of the African continent has a fierce attitude towards LGBT people, South Africa is the world leader in terms of the rights of these communities. In 1996, discrimination based on orientation was prohibited at the legislative level. In 1998, LGBT people were allowed to serve in the army. They are also allowed to marry, adopt children, etc.
South Africa is a leader in platinum mining. This country accounts for about 70% of all world platinum production. In terms of platinum production, South Africa bypasses the second country on the list, Russia, more than 5 times.
South Africa is part of the BRICS (BRICS). This abbreviation is formed by the first letters of its five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (in English South Africa). Almost half of the world’s population is represented by the BRICS countries, and this group accounts for a significant part of the global economy.
There is a beach here where you can meet penguins. This is Boulders Beach. Penguins settled here in 1982 and today their colony numbers about 3000 individuals. Access to Boulders Beach is limited as it is home to the largest penguin population in South Africa.
From 1948 to 1991 (43 years old), the political system of apartheid operated in the country. This system implied the division of people along racial lines. Because of this system, black peoples have completely lost their rights. They were placed on reservations, which could only be left with special passes. They were also stripped of almost all their civil rights. The practice of apartheid was commonplace for many European colonies, but after the decolonization of Africa, European human rights organizations began to fight against such a policy. The most significant influence in the fall of apartheid was made by Nelson Mandela and his supporters from the African National Congress. Because of his activities, and Mundella was imprisoned for 27 years. In 1990, he was released amid domestic and international pressure on the government of the state, and 4 years later became the first black president of South Africa.
Vilakazi Street, located in the city of Soweto, is the only street in the world that was home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Nelson Mandella, who won the prize in 1993, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who became the first black bishop of South Africa.
South Africa is the only country in the world that has voluntarily dismantled nuclear weapons, which it itself has built and controlled.
That’s all, dear readers. Thank you for your attention to our site.