South Africa Geography

South Africa Geography and Population

South Africa – Geography

South Africa – Geography, After the fall of the apartheid regime, a discussion has taken place in South Africa on the names of the cities named after historical persons who can be associated with previous regimes. Some city names have changed, for example Pietersburg has been changed to Polokwane. In connection with a municipal reform in 2001, which expanded many urban municipalities to include former black townships, a large part of the municipalities were given new names, for example:

Geographical Names
from to
Pretoria Tshwane
Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela Bay
Bloemfontein Mangaung
East London Buffalo City
Pietermaritzburg Msunduzi
Vereeniging Emfuleni
Richards Bay uMhlathuze

It was also discussed whether the new names should also be used for the municipalities’ administrative cities, but has chosen to use the previous names. For culture and traditions of South Africa, please check allunitconverters.

Central to South Africa lies a vast plateau landscape; it is bounded to the east and south by mountain ranges. The coastal zone between these ridges and the sea is usually narrow, but 100 km wide northeast of Durban. Up to the border with Botswana lies the South African part of the Kalahari Basin; the area is dry and marked by overgrown dunes. To the south and east, this area is bounded by high altitudes with increasing altitude from the Cape region in the west to Witwatersrand to the east. They are intersected by several deep river valleys. The precipitation is also sparse on the highlifts. North of Witwatersrand lies the Transvaal Basin, which is also quite dry. The Rand Mountains extend from Table Mountain at Cape Town towards the NE through Lesotho to Swaziland and along the border with Mozambique. Highest is Drakensberge and Sneeuberg.

The climate is predominantly subtropical, but varies with altitude and location relative to the dominant winds. Most of the rain gets the southeast coast affected by trade winds from the Indian Ocean. The rain falls especially in the summer, but in Drakensberge there is snow in some places for skiing in June-August.

The cape region to the southwest has a Mediterranean climate with winter rain and warm, sunny summers, while the Atlantic coast is very dry due to the cold Benguela current.


Agriculture, mining and industry are the most important occupations, with the latter two being the most important economically. Unlike most countries in Africa, South Africa’s business world is well developed, but agriculture is an exception. It is based on many years of apartheid law which prevented 80% of the country’s population from accessing the 80% of land reserved for white farmers. Furthermore, the land reserved for the blacks was most often of poor fertility and lay in areas of sparse rainfall. In the post-apartheid period, the land issue has been one of the most important at all, but the redistribution of land is only slow. Most of the farmers grow maize and beans, in the driest areas also millet. The cultivation is predominantly for own consumption, and only in good years can a surplus of maize in particular be sold. In other years, the harvest is not sufficient, and families depend on family members working in the mines or in urban areas. Many places are supplemented with traditional cattle keeping, where the cows are only milked or sold for slaughter to a limited extent; furthermore, the livestock is restricted by:

Initially, the traditional farming of the farmers did not differ much from the varieties, but over the years and with state support, the farms were developed for more capital-intensive production. Among other things. is now 1.2 million. having irrigation; it is predominantly agricultural land owned by whites, and this farming is often specialized. Vegetables are found around the cities and fruit growing is of great importance. A special role is the Western Cape wine districts, which produce excellent wines. There are also specialized livestock breeding, among others. dairy cattle and special sheep breeds for dry areas. A more recent activity is game-cropping, where large areas are laid out for organized hunting of wild animals for the meat industry, for example various antelope species. South Africa also has a long tradition of agro-industries like the sugar industry in KwaZulu-Natal. Other crops are pineapple, avocado and grapes for raisins.

Mining has played a key role in South Africa’s development from the first finds of diamonds in 1866 and the gold finds in Witwatersrand in 1884. The mineral riches are large, and in the 1990’s the country was the world’s leading producer of i. gold, platinum, chrome and vanadium. The most economically important minerals are gold and platinum, which are mainly mined in the Witwatersrand, diamonds found mainly around Kimberley, but also flushed along the west coast of the Orange River.estuary and iron ore, which is mainly mined in the Northern Cape Province. Coal is also an important export item. in the province of Mpumalanga (formerly the Eastern Transvaal), from which the coal is shipped for shipment from Richard’s Bay on the east coast. There are 770 mines in the country with a total of approximately 425,000 Employed (2004); that breaks gold, platinum, chrome, diamonds and coal. Many of these come from neighboring countries, where work in South Africa’s mines is of great importance to the economy.

Industry has become the most important economic sector and employs approximately 1.4 million persons (2004). Originally, the industry developed narrowly around mining, but from 1925 the state led a deliberate industrialization strategy that protected local businesses from foreign competition. A diverse industry developed and many foreign companies invested in production in the country to take part in the protected market. Indeed, the imposition of international sanctions on the apartheid regime, both trade sanctions and calls for capital withdrawal from the country, led to increased protection of national companies and the industry expanded further. After the end of apartheid and international sanctions, many of these protected companies are a problem, because their survival is dependent on continued state aid. In the mid-1990’s, it was estimated that the problem covered up to 40% of all industrial enterprises.

Most of the industry today is located in the province of Gauteng, in the Witwatersrand around the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Other industrial centers can be found around the port towns of Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage. It is also in the industrial centers that the infrastructure is most developed. In other parts of South Africa, the infrastructure is only very much needed. Energy supply is based on coal power as the main source of energy; South Africa also mines oil from coal, and from 1997 off-shore oil extraction has begun at Mossel Bay on the south coast. In addition, South Africa has a nuclear power plant, Koeberg in the Western Cape. Consumption of electricity per This is on a par with several Western European countries, but a large part of the population still lives in homes without electricity. Hydropower is also of great importance. Many large dams have been built, partly used for irrigation, partly for conveying water to cities and partly for electricity generation. Several of these projects bring huge bodies of water away from their natural course, through long pipelines and tunnels through mountains, to other areas where water can be better utilized economically. The most important project is bringing water from the watery Tugel River to Vaal and supplying the central Gauteng with water. In addition, a major project is planned in neighboring Lesotho to bring water to South Africa. These projects are increasingly met by both local and international criticism. from nature organizations. Also in neighboring countries, South Africa is involved in hydropower, for example in Mozambique, where South African capital is part of the Cabora Bassa dam.

The service sector plays a major role in South Africa’s economy, including because under apartheid it was one of the sectors open to investment by the non-white part of the population. Following the abolition of apartheid, support for small businesses has been part of the state’s policy of fostering broader economic development. Here, emphasis has also been placed on support for women business owners.

Tourism has experienced strong growth during the same period, and the sector now employs as many as mining. In 1996, the country was visited by 1.2 million. tourists, and the figure was a few years after 2 million. Among the major attractions are the varied landscapes (see Garden Route) and major national parks. Among the best known is the Kruger National Park on the border with Mozambique. The Great Karroo plain in the Northern Cape is one of the more special landscapes known for its drought-resistant flora.


The most densely populated is Gauteng; Here are the main cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Vereeniging. Other population centers include the area around Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal with the port city of Durban. The country’s capital functions are divided between three cities, with Pretoria being the administrative center, while Cape Town houses parliament and the Bloemfontein Supreme Court.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in South Africa? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

South Africa is severely affected by HIV/AIDS, and approximately 22% of the population between the ages of 15 and 49 are affected. However, it varies considerably between regions, from 36% in Kwazulu-Natal to 12% in the Western Cape.

The settlement pattern is still characterized by the divisions that occurred during apartheid. Based on the so-called Group Areas Act of 1950, South Africa was divided into areas reserved for individual population groups. In 1970, bantustans were established as homelands for the black population, after which up to half of them were forced to live in the predominantly rural areas classified as bantustans. In the cities, the non-white groups were kept out of the city and white neighborhoods by legislation and referred to restricted areas on the outskirts or to live in illegal settlements, which were periodically tolerated by the government. later to be cleared. The best known black townships are SowetoSV for Johannesburg and Crossroads, one of several more or less recognized shanty towns on Cape Flats east of Cape Town. The abolition of apartheid and the transition to majority rule have not significantly changed the settlement pattern. It is largely maintained by the economically limited opportunities that blacks in particular have to move into previously purely white neighborhoods. In 2000, approximately 400,000 new homes, bringing the number of newly built homes up to 1.1 million since 1994. However, there is still a long way to go for acceptable housing conditions for everyone.

Political classification
capital city area km2 in million (2000) main
Eastern Cape King Williams Town 170000 7.0 xhosa
Free State Bloemfontein 129000 2.8 Sotho, Afrikaans
Gauteng Johannesburg 17,000 8.0 Zulu, Afrikaans, Sotho, English
KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg 92000 9.1 zulu
Mpumalanga Nelspruit 79000 3.1 swazi, zulu
Northern Cape Kimberley 362000 0.9 afrikaans, tswana
Northern Province Pietersburg 124000 5.7 pedi, tsonga
Northwestern Mafeking 116000 3.6 tswana
Western Cape Cape Town 129000 4.2 afrikaans, english

South Africa – plant life

South Africa – plant life, In the south-western part of the Cape, there is a very rich shrub vegetation of the Mediterranean type (see fynbos). The northwestern and inner parts of the country, Namaqualand and Karroo, are desert-like, with many leaf succulents in the Aizoaceae family and species in the basket flower family. In the eastern Cape and Natal, temperate summer rainfall areas gradually transition into subtropical vegetation types, and in the northern Transvaal are savannah and dry forest of the Sudano-Zambesian type. Many common ornamental plants, such as geranium and aloe, originated in South Africa. At Cape Town there is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens (1913), located on the lower slope of Table Mountain. The actual botanical garden turns into a nature reserve that encompasses much of the mountain. See also the Capenian floral kingdom.

South Africa Geography