Welcome to South Africa

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  SOUTH AFRICA - Republic of South Africa                                                                                               Home

Capital: Pretoria (Administrative), Cape Town (Legislative)
Large Cities: Durban, Johannesburg
Languages: Afrikaans, English and 9 other languages
Religion: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam
Currency: Rand

Location: The Republic of South Africa lies at the southern tip of the continent of Africa. S. Africa includes the original white colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. Formerly known as the Union of South Africa (formed in 1910), it became a republic after leaving the Commonwealth in May 1961.

History: The country adopted a policy of Apartheid, the separate development of racial groups. Self-government was given to Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. There were six other homelands, which were territories with a degree of self-government but still forming the part of the Republic, Kwa Zulu, Gazankulu, Lebowa, Qwaqua, Ka Ngwane and Kwa Ndebele. The homelands ceased to exist when apartheid ended.

The year 1990 witnessed softening of the White's attitude towards the 26 million agitating blacks. The government lifted the ban on African National Congress, the primary black group fighting to end white minority rule, and its leader 71-year-old Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years of confinement.

However, events of 1992 and 1993 once again worsened the situation and hopes of an end to the South African tragedy began thinning. Sporadic factional violence continued between supporters of ANC and the Zulu Inkatha Party. Constitutional talks began in December 91, but killings interfered, and talks re-opened in April 93. In December, parliament adopted a transitional constitution paving the way for a new multi-racial parliament to be elected in April 94. Thus the first general election in South Africa on the basis of a one-person one-vote system took place on April 26-28 and ANC got 62.25% of votes. On May 10, Mandela was sworn in (the first black) President. South Africa was again admitted to OAU, NAM, Commonwealth and UN General Assembly. A new South Africa was born.

The nine new provinces of South Africa are the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, the Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Eastern Transvaal and Northern Transvaal. On May 8, 1996, South Africa' Constitutional Assembly adopted a post-apartheid constitution.

Crops: South Africa is the richest African country. The major agricultural products are cotton, wheat, maize, tobacco, sugarcane, citrus fruits and dairy products.

Minerals: With vast mineral resources, South Africa is the biggest gold and diamond producing country in the world and one of the biggest producers of uranium. About 47% of the world's total production of gold is from South Africa. Other minerals include coal, copper, tin, manganese, iron, lead and chrome. Manufacturing industries include heavy Engineering, chemicals, textiles, steel, plastic and food processing.

South Africa is the only country in the world which, having exploded a nuclear device with US collaboration renounced the nuclear path subsequently and signed both NPT and CTBT. The Truth Commission (1995) headed by Desmond Tutu investigated human rights abuses under apartheid and a report was submitted. On July 18, 1998, Nelson Mandela married Graca Machel. He retired in June 1999. Thabo Mbeki took over on June 16.

Mission in India:
High Commission of South Africa
B 18, Vasant Marg, Vasant Vihar
New Delhi - 110 057, India
Tel: 91 - 11 - 2614 9411-19
Fax: 91 - 11 - 2614 3605
Email: sahcvisa@now-india.net.in (Visa) / highcommissioner@sahc-india.com (High Commissioner)
Website: www.sahc-india.com

Indian Mission in South Africa:
High Commission of India
852, Schoeman Street, Arcadia - 0083
Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: 00 - 27 - 12 - 3425392
Fax: 00 - 27 - 12 - 3425310
Email: dhc@iafrica.com

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