Here you can find some general information about South Africa, to give you a quick image of the country South Africa. This will only provide a brief summary of the most important things in South-Africa. People who take an interest in the research can relate the outcomes with this general information to get a better overview of the country and be up to date right away. Likewise, this means a lot of data is relatable to the current crisis and is used to support the substantiations too which help with the research. Data in units are reported in the metric system.



South-Africa is the southest country in the African continent which covers an area of 1.213.090 km². The total population in 2020 is just above 59.3 million, positioning it at rank 25 of the world percentage with a density of 47 people/km². The biggest and best known cities in South Africa are Johannesburg, with more than 4.4 million residents and Capetown, with more than 3.7 million residents. From all the residents of South Africa, 28.8% is between the 0-14 years, 65.2% is between the 15-64 years old and only 6% is above the age of 65 [2, 6]



South Africa has a lot of different cultures. Across the country, a wide variety of ancient tribes try to keep their own traditional culture alive. South Africa is also called the country of contract because of the different cultures. The Khoisan, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Shona are just a few of them all. South Africa counts eleven languages and the cultures differ from business people walking in their suits in the streets till some tribes still living in the desert.

Some areas have a very strong tribal heritage, so much that traditional practices are included in the current political systems in multiple provinces. The government acknowledges the critical role of traditional leadership institutions in South Africa's constitutional democracy and in communities, particularly in relation to the rural-development strategy [3, 4].



Due to urbanization there is a lot of air pollution going on in South Africa. In 2010 South Africa was new on the list with biggest polluters in the world. This was mainly because of coal-fired power stations. In 2017 South Africa was the biggest polluter from Africa. In 2018 Capetown was struggling with drought. The last three years it has never been that dry in Capetown. The watercrisis is leading to a greater environmental awareness in South Africa, which is needed [8, 9].


South Africa has the second largest economy after Nigeria. The country is the most industrialized in the continent. The GDP was $400 billion in 2011, but has since declined to roughly $385 billion in 2019. Still South Africa has an unemployment rate of 30%, which will only increase more due to this Coronavirus. Despite the big economy, South Africa has still got some big income differences.

In the late 19th century people discovered there were gold and diamond deposits which meant a lot of mining has occurred the past century. That is also why the country has got some international trading partners (besides other African countries). These international trading partners are: Germany, the USA, China, Japan, UK and Spain. The chief exports are corn, diamonds, fruits, gold, metals and mineral, sugar and wool and the main imports are machinery transportation equipment (which is more than ⅓ of all the import products), chemicals, manufactured goods and petroleum [8].


The current president in South Africa is Cyril Ramaphosa. The president of South Africa is head of state as well as head of government and is chosen by the parliament every five years. The current constitution is valid since the 90s' and was signed by Nelson Mandela. South Africa is a federal republic with three capitals: Pretoria (administrative power), Capetown (legislature) and Bloemfontein (judiciary) [7].

History and development

A few big moments in the history of South Africa are [7]:

  • 1910: South Africa was formed by former British colonies
  • 1912: The current ANC (African National Congress was formed), first the name was NNc (Native National     Congress)
  • 1960: ANC was banned, because of a demonstration against the apartheid. Seventy black demonstrators were killed.
  • 1976: Again a demonstration against the apartheid. Thousands of students were demonstrating in a place called Soweto and hundreds of them were killed.
  • 1994: The ANC won the elections and Nelson Mandela became president
  • 2009-2018: Jacob Zuma was president. He resigns in 2018 over corruption charges.

Health and welfare 

There is a big dividence between the wealthy and the poor. The wealthy are more able to put in place greener solutions at home like solar panels and water tanks. Poorer communities are unable to do this and are not able to adapt to changes in the environment as successfully as wealthier communities [4].


[1] Thompson, L. M., Lowe, C. C., Mabin, A. S., Vigne, R., Gordon, D. F., & Bundy, C. J. (2020, June 7). South Africa | History, Capital, Flag, Map, Population, & Facts. Retrieved 12 June 2020, from

[2] World Population Review. (n.d.). South Africa Population 2020 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs). Consulted on the 12th of May, 2020, from

[3] Spencer, K. (2019, March 21). South African Culture. Retrieved 12 June 2020, from

[4] de Goede , Z. (2017, 9 November). Zuid-Afrika: Een smeltkroes van culturen. Consulted on the 13th of May, 2020, from

[5] Religion. (n.d.). Consulted on the 17th of May, 2020, from

[6] South Africa country profile. (2019, 13 May). Consulted on the 17th of May, 2020, from

[7] Wikipedia. (2020, 7 April). Politics of South Africa. Consulted on 14 mei 2020, from

[8] Zuid-Afrika grotere vervuiler dan meeste Europese landen. (2010, April 2). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from

[9] Kaapstad door droogte steeds milieubewuster. (2018, February 26). Retrieved May 18, 2020, from