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About South Africa

Country name & abbreviation: Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Population: 49.3 million (2009)

Population groups: Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swazi), Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Afrikaners, English descent, coloureds and Indians / Asian

Climate: Subtropical to Mediterranean

Size: 1,219,912 sq km

Languages: isiZulu (23.8%), isiXhosa (17.6%), Afrikaans (13.3%), sePedi (9.4%), English (8.2%), seTswana (8.2%), seSotho (7.9%), xiTsonga (4.4%), siSwati (2.7%), tshiVenda (2.3%), isiNdebele (1.6%) - all 11 national languages are official languages

Religions: Christians: 75.5%, of which Independent African Churches (e.g. Zion Christian Church) 25.74%; Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk 8.9%; Roman Catholic 8.6%, Methodist 7.1%, Anglican 4%, Lutheran 2.6%; Other religions: at least 17.5%, of which amongst others Hindu 1.4%, Muslim 1.4%, Jewish 0.2%, unaffiliated 7.0%

GDP: 2010 +2,8%, expected 2011 +3,4%

Detailed background information on political, economic and social factors of South Africa can be found here