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Unity in Diversity

Introduction

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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 Eswatini, and entirely surrounds Lesotho.

Chief Hintsa OF The Gcaleka Xhosa
Chief Hintsa OF The Gcaleka Xhosa

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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Water supply and sanitation in South Africa is characterised by both achievements and challenges. After the end of Apartheid South Africa's newly elected government struggled with the then growing service and backlogs with respect to access to water supply and sanitation developed. The government thus made a strong commitment to high service standards and to high levels of investment subsidies to achieve those standards. Since then, the country has made some progress with regard to improving access to water supply: It reached universal access to an improved water source in urban areas, and in rural areas the share of those with access increased from 66% to 79% from 1990 to 2010.

South Africa also has a strong water industry with a track record in innovation. However, much less progress has been achieved on sanitation: Access increased only from 71% to 79% during the same period. Significant problems remain concerning the financial sustainability of service providers, leading to a lack of attention to maintenance. The uncertainty about the government's ability to sustain funding levels in the sector is also a concern. Two distinctive features of the South African water sector are the policy of free basic water and the existence of water boards, which are bulk water supply agencies that operate pipelines and sell water from reservoirs to municipalities. (Full article...)

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Siege of Mafeking currency
Banknote credit: Townshend & Son; photographed by the National Numismatic Collection
Siege of Mafeking currency was issued by the British commander, Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, during the 217-day siege for the town of Mafeking (now Mahikeng) in South Africa from 13 October 1899 to 17 May 1900, during the Second Boer War. To ease the problems caused by the lack of genuine banknotes, Baden-Powell authorised the issue of siege banknotes in late 1899. Made by Mafeking printers Townshend & Son using woodcut printing, notes were backed by the Standard Bank of South Africa and issued in denominations of one-, two-, three- and ten-shilling coupons, as well as one-pound notes, of which 620 were printed. The intention was that, after the siege was over, these could be exchanged for genuine currency, but in practice few were; most were kept as souvenirs. This picture shows a ten-shilling note from the Siege of Mafeking, dated March 1900; it is now in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

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  • ...that The deepest mine is a gold mine in South Africa. in 1977 the Western Deep Levels Mine reached a depth of 11,749 feet. Most mines descend to about 3,300 feet.
  • ...that South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
  • ...that South Africa has 19,004 miles of railway track - 80% of Africa's rail infrastructure.

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Boerehaat is an Afrikaans word that means "ethnic hatred of Boers" or Afrikaners as they became known after the Second Boer War. The related term Boerehater (English: "Boer-hater" or "Boer hater") has been used to describe a person who hates, prejudices or criticises Boers or Afrikaners.

These terms were initially applied to British people perceived as prejudiced against the Boers, in the context of political conflict between the British and the Boers in southern Africa which culminated in the British defeat of the Boers in the Second Boer War. Accusations of Boerehaat have subsequently been made by numerous Afrikaner nationalists[who?] to exploit historical British prejudice against the Boers for political gain. They have applied the term Boerehater to anyone who criticised them or opposed their interests in the Cape Colony, including English-speaking white South Africans, dissident Afrikaners and black South Africans. (Full article...)

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Mark Richard Shuttleworth
Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur, and space tourist who became the first South African in space. Shuttleworth founded Canonical Ltd. and provides leadership for the Ubuntu operating system. He currently lives on the Isle of Man and holds dual citizenship of South Africa and the United Kingdom.

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Raw boerewors
Raw boerewors
Boerewors, (pronounced [ˈbuːrəˌvɔrs]) is a type of sausage which originated in South Africa. It is an important part of South African, Zimbabwean, Botswana and Namibian cuisine and is popular across Southern Africa. The name is derived from the Afrikaans words boer ("farmer") and wors ("sausage"). According to South African government regulation, boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat, and always contain beef, as well as lamb, pork, or a mixture of lamb and pork. The other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. Boerewors may not contain offal or any "mechanically recovered" meat pulp (as recovered through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated). (Full article...)

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

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