In the history of South Africa, the earliest known settlers of the country were the San and Khoekhoe people, collectively known as Khoisan. They were two distinct cultural groups.
The first Europeans to arrive in South Africa were the Portuguese Seafarers who initiated the sea route to India in 1488. They were soon followed by other Europeans since the late 16 th century
In 1815, the British took permanent control of the Cape colony and brought in more settlers
In 1910 South Africa got freedom from the British rule.The Union of South Africa was formed on 31 May 1910. The National Party came into power in 1948 and devised a harsh system of segregation known as apartheid. This system gave rise to Black hostility and resistance worldwide, resulting in the formation of African National Congress (ANC) in 1912, an anti-apartheid organization. In 1960, the ANC was banned and in 1964 Nelson Mandela, the leader of the African National Congress was sentenced to life imprisonment.
In April, 1994, South Africa had their first democratic election which was won by the ANC and on 10 May, 1994, Nelson Mandela became the country's first Black president.
Freedom Day is the official Independence Day of South Africa , it is celebrated on 27th of April every year
The Republic of South Africa is a federal state comprising of a national government and nine provincial governments. The constitution of South Africa was adopted in 1996 and implemented officially on 4 February, 1997. Under the political system of South Africa, the President is the executive head of the state elected by the parliament for two five year terms. The political system of South Africa has significantly evolved since the apartheid era.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: The Union of South Africa was created on May 31, 1910; became a sovereign state within British Empire in 1934; became a republic on May 31, 1961; left the Commonwealth in October 1968; rejoined the Commonwealth in June 1994. Constitution: Entered into force February 3, 1997.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state) elected to a 5-year term by the National Assembly. Legislative--bicameral Parliament consisting of 490 members in two chambers. National Assembly (400 members) elected by a system of proportional representation. National Council of Provinces consisting of 90 delegates (10 from each province) and 10 nonvoting delegates representing local government. Judicial--Constitutional Court interprets and decides constitutional issues; Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court for interpreting and deciding non-constitutional matters. Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape.
Political parties: African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People (COPE), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), South African Communist party
Annual GDP growth between 2004 and 2007 averaged 5.0%, but fell to a rate of 3.1% in 2008 because of higher interest rates, power shortages, and weakening commodities prices. GDP contracted by 6.4% and 3%, seasonally adjusted and annualized, in the first and second quarter of 2009, respectively. South Africa is now in its first recession in 18 years, and analysts forecast negative real growth of about 2% in 2009.Unemployement rate was estimated at 23.6% in June 2009. Inflation averaged 11.3% in 2008. Increasing food and fuel prices pushed inflation above the upper end of the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB’s) 3% to 6% inf. Inflation started to decline in 2009 and accounted for 6.4% in August 2009. The SARB’s most recent central inflation forecast projects that inflation will continue its downward trajectory and return to the 3% to 6% target range in the second quarter of 2010 and 2011. However, a fiscal deficit of 1.2% of GDP was recorded in...