Country profile

South Africa

General information

South Africa (the Republic of South Africa) lies at the southern tip of the African continent and is a major regional economic power. In the south and south-east, the country borders on the Indian Ocean, and in the west on the Atlantic Ocean. In South Africa about 53 million people live on a landmass of 1,219,090 square kilometres.

The capital city is Pretoria.

The country has eleven official languages: isiZulu (spoken by 23.8 % of the population), isiXhosa (17.6 %), Afrikaans (13.3 %), Sesotha sa Leboa (9.4 %), English (8.2 %), Setswana (8.2 %), Sesotho (7.9 %), Xitsonga (4.4 %), siSwati (2.7 %), Tshivenda (2.3 %) and isiNdebele (1.6 %). Other languages are spoken by 0.6 % of the population. German is one of the 14 other languages mentioned in the Constitution.

Economic data

Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, based on purchasing power parity (PPP): USD 13,209
Real change in GDP between 2010 and 2015: 11.2 %
Gross national debt as percentage of GDP: 50 %
Percentage of women (aged 15-64) in gainful employment: 36.9 %
Youth unemployment rate (15-24 year-olds): 50.0 %

National currency: South African rand (ZAR) / Rate of exchange: EUR 1 = ZAR 15.0330 (as at November 2016)

Additional information

Country information from the Federal Foreign Office
Website of the South African government