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(See reference map VII)


1,222,480 km2 (includes enclave of Walvis Bay, 1,124 km2; Transkei, 44,000 km2, and Bophuthatswana, 38,000 km2); 12% cultivable, 2% forested, 86% desert, waste, or urban

Land boundaries: 2,044 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 2,881 km, including Transkei


Population: 30,021,000 (July 1982), including Bophuthatswana, Transkei, and Venda, average annual growth rate 2.4%; Bophuthatswana 1,347,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.4%; Transkei 2,390,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.2%; Venda 374,000 (July 82), average annual growth rate 2.4%

Nationality: noun—South African(s); adjective—South African

Ethnic divisions: 69.9% African, 17.8% white, 9.4% Colored, 2.9% Asian

Religion: most whites and coloreds and roughly 60% of Africans are Christian; roughly 60% of Asians are Hindu, 20% are Muslim

Language: Afrikaans and English official, Africans have many vernacular languages

Literacy: almost all white population literate; government estimates 50% of Africans literate

Labor force: 8.7 million (total of economically active, 1970); 53% agriculture, 8% manufacturing, 7% mining, 5% commerce, 27% miscellaneous services

Organized labor: about 7% of total labor force is unionized (mostly white workers); relatively small African unions, representing about 1% of black labor force, have recently gained official recognition


Official name: Republic of South Africa

Type: republic

Capital: administrative, Pretoria; legislative, Cape Town; judicial, Bloemfontein

Political subdivisions: 4 provinces, each headed by centrally appointed administrator; provincial councils, elected by white electorate, retain limited powers

Legal system: based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law; constitution enacted 1961, changing the Union of South Africa into a republic; possibility of judicial review of Acts of Parliament concerning dual official languages; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: Republic Day, 31 May

Branches: State President as formal chief of state; Prime Minister as head of government; Cabinet responsible to the legislature; legislature elected directly by white electorate; judiciary maintains substantial independence of government influence

Government leaders: State President Marais VILJOEN; Prime Minister Pieter W. BOTHA

Suffrage: general suffrage limited to whites over 18 (17 in Natal Province)

Elections: must be held at least every five years; last elections 30 November 1977

Political parties and leaders: National Party, P. W. Botha; Progressive Federal Party, Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert, Colin Eglin; New Republic Party, Vause Raw

Voting strength: (1977 general elections) parliamentary seats: 134 National Party, 17 Progressive Federal Party, 10 New Republic Party, 3 South Africa Party (recently absorbed into the National Party)

Communists: small Communist Party illegal since 1950; party in exile maintains headquarters in London; Dr. Yasuf Dadoo, Moses Kotane, Joe Slovo

Other political groups: (insurgent groups in exile) African National Congress (ANC), Oliver Tambo; Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), Vusumzi Make

Member of: GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IHO, International Lead and Zinc Study Group, IMF, ISO, ITU, IWC—International Whaling Commission, IWC—International Wheat Council, UN, UPU (South Africa in process of being expelled from UPU but they have not been officially notified as yet), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG


GDP: $70.3 billion (1980), about $2,400 per capita; 8% real growth in 1980

Agriculture: main crops—corn, wool, wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, citrus fruits; dairy products; self-sufficient in foodstuffs

Fishing: catch 658,688 metric tons (1979)

Major industries: mining, automobile assembly, metal-working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemical, fertilizer, fishing

Electric power: 20,600,000 kW capacity (1980); 98.7 billion kWh produced (1980), 3,439 kWh per capita

Exports: $25.5 billion (f.o.b., 1980, including gold); wool, diamonds, corn, uranium, sugar, fruit, hides, skins, metals, metallic ores, asbestos, fish products; gold output $13.0 billion (1980)

Imports: $18.4 billion (f.o.b., 1980); motor vehicles, machinery, metals, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals

Major trade partners: US, West Germany, Japan, UK

Aid: no military or economic aid

Budget: FY80—revenue $17.6 billion, current expenditures $16.1 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 1 SA Rand=US$1.2854 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 35,434 km total (includes Namibia); 34,728 km 1.067-meter gauge of which 6,143 km are multiple track; 13,949 km electrified; 706 km 0.610-meter gauge single track

Highways: 229,090 km total; 80,296 km paved, 148,794 km crushed stone, gravel, or improved earth

Pipelines: 836 km crude oil; 1,748 km refined products; 322 km natural gas

Ports: 7 major (Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay, East London, and Mossel Bay)

Civil air: 79 major transport aircraft, including 1 leased in, 3 leased out

Airfields: 761 total, 613 usable; 83 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways over 3,659 m, 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 155 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: the system is the best developed, most modern, and highest capacity in Africa and consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, radio-relay links, and radiocommunication stations; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria; 2.66 million telephones (10.8 per 100 popl.); 13 AM, 100 FM, and 40 main TV stations with 450 relay transmitters; 1 submarine cable; 1 satellite station with 1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean antennas


Military manpower: males 15-49, 5,809,000; 3,669,000 fit for military service; 295,000 reach military age (18) annually; obligation for service in Citizen Force or Commandos begins at 18; volunteers for service in permanent force must be 17; national service obligation is two years

Military budget: for year ending 31 March 1981, $2.9 billion; 18.4% of central government budget