South Africa's History, Demography, Geography and Economy Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  893 Words
Date:  2022-11-20


South Africa just as the name states is a republic situated at the southern tip of the African continent. It is 2798 kilometers and stretches out to South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. It is the largest country in Southern Africa with a total population of 57million people (Clark & Worger, 2016). It is a multi-ethnic country with diverse cultures religion and languages. Evaluating the history, demography, economy and geography of South Africa ensures that we understand the states global position and significance.

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One hundred thousand years ago, South Africa was believed to have had the first Human beings. Additionally, the country is ethnically diverse and is divided into five distinctive eras. They include; the pre-colonial period, the colonial period, postcolonial period, apartheid period and post-apartheid period (Clark & Worger, 2016). The colonial period and post-colonial period of South Africa is identified by the conflict of culture, the vicious territorial clash among European settlers and indigenous people, removal and oppression, and other ethnic and political apprehension. In 1488, Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to discover South Africa. During World War 1 Britain was joined by 250,000 South Africans who were ready to fight alongside them against the Germans (Zuberi et al., 2016). According to the constitution formulated during the post-apartheid era, the president is the head of the state and government. The National Assembly elects the president who expires ones his/her term ends. A president can only serve for two, and in case of his absence then the deputy can serve as the acting president.


South Africa's demographic has about 57 million people of different cultures, religions, languages and origin. The last census took place in 2011. Therefore the next will be in 2021(Zuberi et al., 2016). During the 2011 census, it was found that 30 per cent of the population is children below fifteen years old. Sixty-five per cent are between fifteen years and sixty-four years. Finally, five percents were sixty-five years and above. 2.1 million are foreigners. However, this is said to be a vast underestimation. The number could add up to five million including the three million Zimbabweans. During the past decade, South Africa's listing of imperative proceedings is significantly improving. Additionally, there are eleven official languages spoken in South Africa they include: Sesotho, IsiNdebele, IsiZulu, Afrikaans, SiSwati Sepedi, English, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda and IsiXhosa (Rogerson, 2017). Clark & Worger note that "African Indigenous churches make up the largest group of Christians in South Africa" (Clark & Worger, 2016). Muslims are found between the ethnic groups. South African Muslims allege that their belief is growing fast in the country. Consequently, the Hindus of South Africa are of mixed races. Some are converts of Hindu missionaries (Rogerson, 2017).


The discovery of minerals in South Africa led to economic improvements in the country. These improvements were seen regarding improved industrialisation and infrastructure in the nation. However, there was a conflict between the British Empire and the Boer who wanted to gain total control over South Africa mining industry. South Africa has an added advantage when it comes to Mining, manufacturing products and agriculture. Drastically South Africa managed to move from primary to a secondary economy based country controlled by the tertiary division. South Africa is has a diversified economy that is in Fisheries, food processing, vehicle assembly, cloth and textiles, energy, financial and business service, wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, real estate, telecommunication and mining. Diversification opens a broader market for the country.


South Africa's coastline stretches to 2500 Kilometres to the Namibian desert. It has a low lying coast zone that paves the way for the escarpments (Rodgerson, 2017). This escarpment differentiates the high inland plateaus and coastal region. Despite most parts of the country being semi-arid, it has a quite impressive topography. The central plateau has only two rivers that it The Limpopo and The Orange. A few other rivers drain from these two rivers. South Africa being such dry country irrigation and creating of dams is quite significant. The most substantial dam is found on the Orange River it is known as Gariep.


Evaluating the history, demography, economy and geography of South Africa ensures that we understand the states global position and significance. The history of South Africa plays a significant role in the countries development and political stability. From its history, the country has made different milestones to ensure that the country enjoys peace and tranquility. In addition to that, South Africa's location is ideal having access to the sea making trade easy.


Clark, N. L., & Worger, W. H. (2016). South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. Routledge.

Rogerson, C. M. (2017). Geography and economy in South Africa and its neighbours. Routledge.

Zuberi, T., Sibanda, A., & Udjo, E. O. (2016). The Demography of South Africa. Routledge.

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