South Africa Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

South Africa Basic Information


  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The Republic of South Africa or South Africa, abbreviated as South Africa, is a federal democratic republic of the parliamentary type. It consists of 9 provinces (Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga) governed by provincial governments. The country is governed by the 1997 Constitution. Federal laws are passed by a bicameral National Parliament consisting of the National Assembly, which has 400 members, and the National Council of Provinces, which has 90 delegates. Check cancermatters to learn more about South Africa political system.

The President and Vice President are appointed by the National Parliament based on the results of general (national and provincial) elections, in which voters vote for individual political parties, not candidates. Based on the number of mandates obtained, political parties appoint their representatives in the National Parliament. The president is the head of the executive branch and, as prime minister, appoints and approves ministers. The Vice President is the Deputy Prime Minister. The President is appointed by the National Parliament for a maximum of two five-year terms. The next general elections will be held in 2024, the next municipal elections will be held in 2021. The current president C. Ramaphosa has been in charge of the country since February 2018, when he replaced the resigned former president J. Zuma from the position of vice president. Ramaphosa was subsequently officially elected president after the 2019 elections. The vice president is David Mabuza. Ramaphosa is also the president of the ruling ANC (African National Congress) party. The ANC won an overwhelming majority (57.5%) of the vote in the May 2019 elections. The most significant opposition force is the liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) party. In second place is the leftist movement Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The DA won 20.76% of the vote in the May 2019 general election, while maintaining an absolute majority in the Western Cape province. The radical EFF manages to appeal especially to the poorest sections of the population. The main topic with which he attracts his voters is land reform, nationalization of land and its subsequent redistribution. In the last general election, the EFF won 10.79% of the vote.

An up-to-date list of Cabinet Ministers with their portfolios is available on the South African Government’s official internet portal.

Foreign policy of the country

South Africa has by far the most developed and diversified economy on the continent, although in absolute terms it is second only to Nigeria. Although the South African Republic accounts for only about 0.3% of global GDP, the weight of the South African economy within the continent represents more than one fifth. Of course, South Africa’s strong political position and its role as a leader in many key continental affairs also derive from South Africa’s economic position on the continent. Check prozipcodes for South Africa defense and foreign policy.

South Africa has significant ambitions on the international political scene, it is a member of the BRICS grouping. He strives, for example, to reform the UN Security Council, and within this framework he aspires to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council for Africa. At the same time, South Africa is chairing the African Union (AU) in 2020, whose main agenda at the moment is the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was supposed to happen in July 2020, but due to the crisis, this date will most likely be postponed for a year 2021. Earth also plays an active role in the fight against global warming. However, in cooperation with the European Union and the “West”, there are reserves that exist despite the adoption of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This agreement has been provisionally implemented since 2016 and has contributed substantially to the increase in mutual trade,


The total population of South Africa is 60.67 million, of which 51% are women. The year-on-year increase is approximately 2%. Life expectancy for men is 59.3 years and for women 6years. The population density is 49 inhabitants per km 2. The most populous and economically important province is Gauteng (1million inhabitants), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (with 1million inhabitants). A significant part of the population is very young, almost 30% of the population is under 15 years of age and only 9% of citizens are over 60 years of age.

South African statistics distinguish 4 basic ethnic groups, which are represented in the population as follows:

  • the original black African population, the so-called Black African (primarily Zulu, Xhoza, Sotho, Ndebele, Swati) – 49.02 million (80.8%)

mixed race, so-called colored – 5.33 million (8.8%)

  • Caucasians – 4.85 million (8.0%)
  • of Indian-Asian origin – 1.45 million (2.4%)

The most prevalent religions are: Christianity (81%), Islam (1.4%), Hinduism (1.2%), traditional African cults (0.3%), Judaism (0.2%) and others including atheists (15.9%).