Located at the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa has an area of 1,219,912 km2. It is bordered by Namibia to the northwest, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, Mozambique and Swaziland to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The most important cities are Cape Town, the legislative capital, with 2 984 100 residents (2004), Johannesburg (1 975 500 inhab.) (2004), Durban (2 531 300 inhab.) (2004), Pretoria, executive capital (1 473 800 inhab.) (2004), and Port Elizabeth (775 800 inhab.) (2004). Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.
It has a subtropical climate that, in the most southwestern areas, is even of a Mediterranean type.
The population of South Africa is 44 187 637 residents (est. 2006) and the population density of 36.35 inhab./km2. The birth rate records a value of 18.27% and 22% for the mortality rate. Average life expectancy is 42.73 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.684 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.678 (2001). It is estimated that in 2025 the population will decrease to 35 109 000 residents, as a consequence of the spread of the AIDS epidemic. Blacks correspond to 76% of the total population, whites represent 13% and the remaining ethnic groups are 11%. The main official languages are Afrikaans and English. The black population is made up of four large ethnic groups and they all speak the Bantu languages that come from the Benue-Congo subgroup, of the Niger-Congo language family. The Nguni group includes several Xhosa, Zulo, Swasi and Ndebele individuals who together account for more than half of the black population. The Sotho-Tswana group includes a large number of Sotho, Pedi and Tswana people. Tsonga and Venda are two other strong language groups. The country’s whites speak Afrikaans or English and are mostly descended from Dutch and German settlers or British emigrants. The largest religious groups are included in Christianity: the Independent Black Church, the Independent Afrikaans Church, Roman Catholicism, Methodists, Anglicanism and Lutheranism; traditional beliefs, Hinduism and Islam are also professed.
South Africa has a market economy that is based on services, industry, mining and agriculture. The country’s main riches are found in mineral resources, such as coal, asbestos, copper, manganese, gold, chromite, uranium, platinum, iron, diamonds and natural gas. However, mining is led by gold mining. At the agricultural level, the cultivated land represents 1/10 of the total area of the country, which thus constitutes a major exporter of food products. South Africa’s main trading partners are the United States of America, Italy, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
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Amalgamated Banks South Africa
Retail banker offers a description of its services. Find applications for credit cards and checking or savings accounts.
First National Bank
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South African company provides life insurance and financial services. Read about savings and investment options or banking by phone.
South African financial institution offers electronic banking, industry news, and details about its products and services.
South Africa – South African Reserve Bank
Details the role and function of the central bank, media releases, economic and financial info, registered banks and job vacancies.
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Standard Bank Internet Banking
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