southafricaSouth Africa is located at the most southern tip of the African continent. It has about 1553 miles coast line along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is ranked as an upper-middle income country in the world, enjoying the largest economy in Africa. However, the country shows high poverty rate due to widespread unemployment and unequal income distribution. South Africa has a highly diversified population of about 51 million people. The country has three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).  There are nine provinces in the country. The provinces are divided into 52 districts, which comprise eight Metropolitan and 44 district municipalities. The district municipalities are sub-divided into 226 local municipalities.

The central region of South Africa is flat, hot and dry, with sparse population, while the eastern coastline is green, with tropical climate. The country, in general, has a temperate climate, but its diverse topography and the effect of oceans create as many as seven climatic zones ranging from Mediterranean, to sub-tropical and semi-desert. The winter season is from June to August. The south-eastern part of South Africa has high mountains, and the country is rich in biodiversity and wild life.

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (April 2013)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson