South Africa is the southernmost country on the African continent. It has a long history of conflict and human rights issues but it has always been one of the most economically prosperous nations in southern Africa due to its coastal location and the presence of gold, diamonds and natural resources. South Africa, on the continent's southern tip, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbors are Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast. The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave within the southeast part of South Africa, which occupies an area nearly three times that of California.
History …show more content…
This has remained the goal of subsequent governmental leaders
Government of South Africa
Today, South Africa is a republic with two legislative bodies. Its executive branch is its Chief of State and Head of Government- both of which are filled by the president who is elected for five year terms by the National Assembly. The legislative branch is a bicameral Parliament composed of the National Council of the Provinces and the National Assembly. South Africa's judicial branch is made up of its Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeals, High Courts and Magistrate Courts.
South Africa's Economy
South Africa has a growing market economy with a plethora of natural resources. Gold, platinum and precious stones such as diamonds account for nearly half of South Africa's exports. Auto assembly, textiles, iron, steel, chemicals and commercial ship repair also play a role in the country's economy. In addition agriculture and agricultural exports are significant to South Africa.
Geography of South …show more content…
The first is the African Plateau in the country's interior. It forms a portion of the Kalahari Basin and is semiarid and sparsely populated. It slopes gradually in the north and west but rises to 6,500 feet (2,000 m) in the east. The second region is the Great Escarpment. Its terrain varies but its highest peaks are in the Drakensberg Mountains along the border with Lesotho. The third regions are the narrow, fertile valleys along the coastal plains.
The climate of South Africa is mostly semiarid; but, its eastern coast regions are subtropical with mainly sunny days and cool nights. South Africa's west coast is arid because the cold ocean current Benguela, removes moisture from the region which has formed the Namib Desert that extends into Namibia.
In addition to its varied topography, South Africa is famous for its biodiversity. South Africa currently has eight wildlife reserves, the most famous of which is Kruger National Park along the border with Mozambique. This park is home to lions, leopards, giraffes, elephants and hippopotamus. The Cape Floristic Region along South Africa's west coast is also important as it is considered a world biodiversity hotspot which is home to endemic plants, mammals and