South Africa

The southernmost country on the African continent, the Republic of South Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to the west, south, and east, and is bordered by five countries to the north. South Africa’s Cape Town and other port cities were founded by Dutch traders in the mid-1600s, then established and later ruled by the British in the 1800s. Such prosperous natural resources as diamonds and gold, combined with its prime trade location, led to struggles of power and ultimately the formation of the Union of South Africa at the turn of the 19th century, followed by the modern-day Republic of South Africa. After nearly half a century of race and power debates, leaders including Nelson Mandela joined forces to bring an end to apartheid. SAS has ties with notable leaders of change and religion in South Africa, including Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Source: CIA Factbook

Fast Facts

  • Language: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana, English, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda, Ndebele
  • Population: 50,586,757
  • Government: Constitutional Parliamentary Republic
  • Currency: Rand (zar)
  • Capital: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)

Things To Do in South Africa

  • Help the NGO Operation Hunger’s efforts in combatting malnutrition
  • Visit and conversation in a Khayelitsha Township
  • Overnight excursion to the Robben Island World Heritage Site
  • Take a 2-4 day Safari to a Game Reserve or National Park
  • Play soccer with local kids and learn about NGO Grassroots Soccer’s unique educational approach to fighting AIDS