South Africa Profile

The history of South Africa, with its population of around 50 million, has been well documented elsewhere, especially the country's long walk to freedom from its oppressive apartheid regime.

After the ANC's success in the country's first non-racial elections in 1994, installing Nelson Mandela as President, the country has become a much more liberal society.

However the years of oppression have left a legacy of cultural violence, lack of education for a generation, and widespread poverty, particularly outside the major conurbations.

Today South Africa is in 121st place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. This is significantly above the standing of other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but still below that for medium human development. Indeed 57% of its population live in poverty with 50,000 children dying each year from curable diseases or malnutrition.

One in twenty children die before the age of five, nearly 20% of the adult population suffer from AIDS/HIV (280,000 children are also infected.) 1.4 million children have lost a parent to AIDS and overall there are around two and a half million orphans in the country. In fact, South Africa has the highest numbers of AIDS infected people than anywhere else on the planet

A 2012 UNICEF report found 1.4 million children living in homes that had no safe water supply being forced to rely on unsafe streams for drinking water, 1.5 million children have no access to proper sanitation and 1.7 million of them live in shacks, with no proper bedding, cooking or washing facilities.

Despite this, South Africa is an emerging market with an abundant supply of metals and minerals including gold, diamonds and platinum, however an outdated infrastructure and high rates of unemployment have as yet to realise the country's full economic potential.


South Africa Profile

South Africa Profile

South Africa Profile

South Africa Profile


SA History

South Africa History

Facts, profile and the timeline of South Africa history from ancient to colonial times.
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SA Images

South Africa Images

Facts and figures about South Africa together with video profiles and links to webcams.
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Volunteer Work South Africa

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and openings in South Africa.
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South Africa Profile: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

South Africa Profile

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Volunteer Work in South Africa focuses on the provision of education (not least the health effects of Aids), clean water projects and immunisation and health programs.

Our South Africa country profile pages explore many of these issues from the history of South Africa, its apartheid period to facts about life in South Africa today.


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