The Republic of South Africa, more commonly known as South Africa, has experienced a history unlike any other African nation. Its strategic location on the southern most tip of Africa between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans helped it experience early European settlement. South Africa features the largest white, Indian and racially mixed communities in all of Africa, with Black South Africans accounting for 80% of the population. These vastly different cultures account for the tumultuous political and historical events which have significantly affected the outcome of the current South African nation. In the next section I will explain the climate and topography of this varied nation followed by the key historical events that will paint a picture of South Africa's past which will lead into the understanding of the countries current political reality. That will be followed by the explanation of the existing institutional features. Next will be the a description of the political culture which will illustrate the key political and economic debates in South Africa as well as an explanation of some of the current areas of tension. In the final section I will conclude the report with the current strengths and weaknesses in South Africa along with threats it faces and potential outcomes for the future.
Climate and Topography
South Africa has a mainly mild, temperate climate with annual rainfall ranges between 40" to as little as 5". The rainy season is between October and April, spring and summer months, making it hot and humid in most places. From April to August the temperatures are very mild and snow can sometimes be seen in the upper regions in these fall and winter months.
South Africa has five neighbors to the north, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, and it encloses the small country of Lesotho. These nations not only share boarders, but share membership in the Southern African Development Community which furthers socio-economic... [continues]
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