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The country was divided into 9 provinces (states) in 1994 when we had our first
democratic elections and Mr. Nelson Mandela became president. The provinces are:
Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga,
North West, Limpopo and Gauteng. Each province has its own capital and the country has
three capital cities, namely Pretoria the administrative capital, Bloemfontein the judicial
capital and Cape Town the legislative capital.

The population is about 45,3 million people and is made up of 13 different groups, namely
the Zulu, Xhosa, Shangaan, Ndebele, Swazi, Pedi, South Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Khoisan,
Coloured, Asian and White. To mix things up even more, we have 11 official languages of
which English is the most commonly spoken. Afrikaans is mainly spoken between your
white and coloured people and it is derived from Dutch, German and French.

South Africa has 6 neighbouring countries, namely Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique,
Swaziland, Lesotho and unfortunately poor old Zimbabwe. Its 2700-kilometer coastline
includes four of Africa's largest harbours - Durban and Richards Bay along the Indian
Ocean and Cape Town and Saldanha Bay along the Atlantic Ocean.

South Africa has a moderate climate with three rainfall regions, the majority of the
country has summer rainfall, the South Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with
winter rain and a very small area along the south eastern coastline know as the "Garden
Route" has all year round rainfall. Summer is basically from October to April and winter is
June, July and August.

South Africa has a two tear government, a national government with a democratically
elected president and each province has its own provincial legislature. Since the political
change of 1994 the South African society has made great strides towards a democratic,
socially more equitable and economically more globally competitive country. It has, in
fact, become a leader in many spheres of international north-south relations. Recent
growth of the South African economy is largely based on the tourism sector, a gradually
diversifying and increasingly competitive manufacturing sector, value-adding beneficiation
of mineral and agricultural raw materials and a sophisticated trading, financial and
professional services sector. Internationally South Africa can be ranked amongst "upper
middle income countries" like Chile, Portugal, Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, Brazil and Poland.

Food for thought:

Qualify for 5 % discount on your self-drive tour through Self ? Drive Southern Africa, if
you email me the correct answer before the answer appears in my next article.

Question:

If you thought of presidents of the world and you thought of a president that was an
actor before he / she became president, who would you think of? Obviously - Ronald
Reagan.

If you thought of presidents of the world and you thought of a president that was a
prisoner before he / she became president, who would you think of? Obviously ? Nelson
Mandela .

But, if you thought of presidents of the world and you thought of a president that was an
actor and a prisoner before he / she became president, who would you think of?



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