The South Africa

South Africa: -Presentation -Topography and hydrography -Climate -Fauna and flora -Natural resources -Population and society -Economy -History (1) Presentation The South Africa is the country most in the South of Africa. Its administrative capital is Pretoria, the legislative capital is Cape Town and its judicial capital is Bloemfontein. The South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth (association freely given of independent sovereign States) . Neighbouring countries to the South Africa are: "Namibia, Botswana, the Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. The East Coast and southern of the South Africa are bathed by the Indian Ocean, while its western coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. A country forming an enclave is also located in the East of the country: "the Lesotho". South Africa being an economic power of the African continent, to the multi-ethnic settlement, is since 1990 in a new phase in its history by breaking with apartheid (System of racial segregation that prevailed during all of the XXe century). (2) The country and its resources (2.1) Relief and hydrography (2.1.1) Relief The area of the South Africa is of 1 219 090 km². The country has a simple relief. In to relief is a high and wide plateau (veld). It covers about two-thirds of the country and within the borders of South Africa in a large Escarpment which separates the plateau of shallow coastal areas and which forms, to the Southeast, mountains culminating Drakensberg 3 482 m with Thabana Ntlenyana. The South African plateau is in large part consisting of the Highveld, tabular relief, located between 1200 m and 1,800 m in altitude. On its Northwest fringes, the plateau falls, forming basins, and opens on the Kalahari desert, the Namib and low plateaus where the Orange River and other streams flow. To the East and South, the plateau falls to the Indian Ocean in a series of steps and ends along the East coast by a belt of hills overlooking a low plain. To the South, is descending sedimentary formations (the Karoo which include the vast plateau of the great Karoo) and, more to the South, the little Karoo, located to the East of Cape Town. In this same area of Cape Town, the mountain ranges of the Zwartberg and the Langeberg interspersed between the Karoo and the great Escarpment. Is an isolated promontory on the South Coast (montagnede the Table: 1,086 m elevation). Finally, on the coast Southwest, the edge of the plateau is marked by a series of folded landforms, leading abruptly to the coastal plain in cliffs. (2.1.2) Hydrography There are several major rivers in South Africa, the Orange is one. It forms a natural border with Namibia, 2 100 km in length. It originates on the Western side of the chain of the Drakensberg (Lesotho) and then crosses the country in the Southwest before entering the South African territory. Orange tributary flows to the West, and then to the Southwest, along the northern border of the Orange Free State. The Witwatersrand, in the North, is drained by the Limpopo River, which irrigation facilities were built. It flows mainly to the Northeast, on the border with Botswana, and then joined the Zimbabwe and Mozambique before flowing into the Indian Ocean. Doing 1 800 km, the Limpopo River is navigable only about 210 km from its mouth. In General, the streams of South African territory have irregular flow and bed remains dry most of the year. (2.2) Climate The South Africa has a tropical climate, but it is subject to wide variations due to the narrowing of the African continent. The oceanic influence is important and elevation is also predominant, especially in the Highlands. The climate is marked by a dry season in the North. The Eastern façade is the trade winds from the Indian Ocean. These humid winds bring, from April to October, about 890 mm of annual precipitation from the coastal plain to the Drakensberg. Precipitation decrease as their progression to the West. Two thirds of the country receive less than 500 mm of rain per year. (2.3) Flora and fauna The flora of South Africa varies according to the level of precipitation. The East Coast, where the rain is abundant, is characterized by tropical vegetation, while on the southern shore dominated by conifers, the Laurel and the charms. The Highveld, almost entirely deforested, covered with grass. In the Transvaal, vegetation of the plateau is more like that of Savannah. South African wildlife includes many mammals, including the lion, the Zebra, Leopard, monkey. Today, most of them are found only in the natural reserves, one of the most remarkable is the Kruger national park. The cold waters of the South African coast are also very rich. (2.4) Natural resources The basement is the main wealth of the South Africa. It has the largest world reserves of Platinum, chromium, manganese and gold. The South Africa provides a third of world production of gold. Uranium is also extracted. Significant deposits of coal are mined in the Transvaal and Natal. The South Africa is the fifth largest diamond producer, whose most come from the Kimberley region. The basement South Africa is also rich in copper, nickel, asbestos, chromium, fluorine, phosphates, vanadium, Tin, titanium and iron ore. (3) Population and society (3.1) Demography The South Africa is sparsely populated. Its estimated population in 2008 was 43 785 000, or an overall density of 36 inhabitants /km2. Black, representing 75% of the population, belong to different ethnic groups: Bushmen, Hottentots, Ndebele, Sotho, Swazi, Tsongas, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. The Zulus are the largest group (20% of the total population of the country). Whites represent 14% of the South African people, the Afrikaners and Boers, descendants of Dutch settlers, being majority (60% white). 9% of South Africans are the métis, from the Bushmen and the Hottentots, slaves from Angola or Java, and European settlers. Asians, descendants mostly of Indian immigrants, are 2.5% of the population. Demographic figures are strongly marked by the scourge of HIV/AIDS, which reached a catastrophic dimension in the country, with 5.3 million people (UNAIDS 2003 estimate), with hundreds of thousands of infections each year, and of death. The infant mortality rate amounted to 5.8% and life expectancy, which was about 60 years in 1994, dropped to 42 years. In addition, these figures do not reflect discrimination between groups. They speak better by comparison of the standards of living between whites and blacks. The average income of a white home is 12 times higher than that of a black home. More than half of blacks live below the poverty line and the black unemployment rate is around 45%. (3.2) Languages and religions Since 1994, the South Africa has 11 official languages: afrikaans, spoken by the Afrikaners and a large part of the métis and English, used by the descendants of British settlers, but also by Asians. A it added nine Bantu languages: ndebele, sotho Northern, southern sotho, swazi, tsonga, tswana, venda, xhosa and Zulu. Four fifths of South Africans are Christian, Protestant majority. Most of the Afrikaners belong to the Dutch Reformed Church, the English-speaking whites and blacks belonging to Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches. There are also many independent churches who practise syncretic religions, mixing in the Christianity of the elements of traditional African cults. 10% of South Africans still practised animism. Most of the Asians are Hindu or Muslim (Sunni and Shia). There is also a Jewish community. (3.3) Education Despite a strong increase in the expenditure for education of blacks, since the mid-1980s, spending for the education of whites remain four times higher than that of blacks. In 1991, the success rate for consideration equivalent to the Bachelor's degree exceeded 90% for métis or Asian, white students compared to only 41% for black students. Half of blacks don't know neither read nor write. South Africa has many universities, including the oldest and the most prestigious are mainly frequented by white students. Since the dismantling of apartheid, a growing number of students of color attend the schools formerly reserved for whites. (3.4) Culture Racial segregation had resulted in the emergence of distinct cultures. Among whites, the sensitive difference between English and Afrikaner fades gradually, especially among the younger generations living in urban areas. Among the black population, culture rural, close to the traditional way of life, and urban, cosmopolitan culture, are also different. Since international sanctions against the South Africa segregation were lifted, young people in cities have more access to cultural sites and are sensitive to African-American culture. A recent identity movement took shape among the métis, who develop their own literary, theatrical and musical expression. It takes place with other literary traditions, using English, the afrikaner and Bantu languages. (3.5) Institution and political life Executive: held by the President of the Republic, it shall consult the Vice-Chairmen before any decision. Legislative power: shared between two rooms, a National Assembly composed of 400 members elected for five years and a Senate which comprises 90 members. The senators are elected by the nine provincial assemblies, each choosing ten senators. Judiciary: since 1996, there is a new Court constitutional, composed of a Chairman and ten judges, selected by the Council of Ministers. The Constitutional Court ensures the constitutionality of every law. Local government: the number of elected officials in the nine provincial assemblies is calculated according to the principle of proportional representation. Each Assembly elects a Chief Executive, who chairs an Executive Council of ten members in his breast. The provincial legislative bodies have important powers, including the drafting of provincial constitutions. Political parties: The South African political chessboard is very much dominated by the African national Congress (ANC), the former now liberal liberation movement. The domination of the ANC is supported by integration in the ranks of the new national party (NNP), from training the former party of apartheid. The other political forces in the country are Democratic Alliance and the Party of freedom Inkatha. National defence: Military and police of the South Africa institutions were largely re-ordered after the dismantling of apartheid. The new National Defence Force has integrated elements from the former South African Defence Force, White Army of the regime of apartheid, the armed forces operating in the ex-bantoustans of the Transkei, the Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei and former members of Umkhonto we Sizw ("Spear of the nation railway"), military wing of the ANC underground. (4) Economy (4.1) Agriculture The lack of water supply to the West and South of the country, limited cultivable surfaces to 13% of South African territory. As a result, 85% of agricultural land are dedicated to cattle farming. Corn is the main crop of the black population, which has only small farms weakly mechanized and on marginal lands of the former Bantustans. The whites, however, with 87% of the land, manage large modern farms, employing many workers agricultural. More than 90% of the agricultural production of the country comes from these farms. South Africa has also a fleet of large fishing that supplies the domestic market and exports lobsters, sardines and anchovies. (4.2) Mines and industries Mining is the key sector of the South African economy since the end of the XIXe century. It contributes more to 30.9% to GDP, but remains a vital export position.South Africa also manufactures chemical products, products derived from coal, iron and steel, machinery, paper and textile products. Almost all electricity in South Africa is produced in thermal power plants, coal-powered. However, the development of the Orange River to develop hydraulic energy. However, the country has a fort hydroelectric potential, with the Cabora Bassa dam in Mozambique, which facilities must be active. (4.3) Exchanges The country exports mainly raw materials, minerals and precious metals and semi-finished products from such as metallurgy. In Exchange, it is important to capital equipment and consumer services. The major trading partners of South Africa are the Japan, the Great Britain, the United States, the Germany, the Switzerland, the Italy, the Canada and the Netherlands. (5) History (5.1) Intro The bulk of the history of the South Africa begins from the colonisation of the country by Europeans in XVIIe century. The discoveries of anthropologists however helped establish that human occupation of the South Africa is very ancient. In 1924, the fossil of an Australopithecus more of a million years was discovered. More recently, the discovery of a fossil has to determine that the first australopithecenes appeared about 3.6 million years ago. (5.2) The arrival of the Europeans The Portuguese Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to work around Africa and beyond the Cape of good hope in 1488. Ten years later, his compatriot approaches the coast of Natal. Portuguese colonize but not the South Africa, they are the Dutch that do more 40 years later Europeans settled. The occupation of land by European settlers caused violent clashes where blacks are repressed or enslaved. By the end of thee century XVII, the Cape Colony important to slaves. In the 1770s, the European settlers encountered Bantu. From 1779 to 1780 takes place the first war between Dutch farmers and those they call the Kaffirs (Bantu). Gradually formed the afrikaner particularism, with the development of a specific language, afrikaans. The Kaffir wars are completed only at the end of the XIXe century. In their expansion, the Europeans encountered the Gounis and the Xhosa. Bantu wars lead to the rejection of the less powerful groups and a breakdown of the Bantu groups in a multitude of nations, known as the Mfecane ("crushing"). (5.3) British colonization The British occupy the Cape twice region, in 1795 and in 1806. In 1814, the United Kingdom acquired the Cape Colony. British rule is initially well accepted. Then the power of the Dutch company, unable to put an end to the Kaffir wars, is highly disputed. However, thousands of British settlers landed in South Africa. Competition for land but also cultural differences against the European communities. As early as 1822, English became the official language of the colony. When slavery was abolished in 1833, the Boers emigrate in mass (the great Trek). The Boers, left for the promised land, settle on the lands beyond the Orange River and founded, in 1840, the Republic of Natal. Natal was annexed by the British, the Boers leave then to the Northwest, where they founded in 1852 of the autonomous republics, then in 1854, the Orange Free State. In 1857, the settlement of the lands of the Xhosa pushes them to sacrifice all of their livestock. Therefore the European progress does not cease. In 1848, the Governor of the Cape Colony takes control of the banks of the Orange River. However, the British give them independence in 1852, Transvaal and the Orange Free State in 1854. The discovery of deposits of diamonds in the Transvaal in 186, boost British expansionism. The Zulu Empire was definitively destroyed, the Boers are trying to regain their independence and is was a victory. Paul Kruger was then elected President of the independent boer Republic of the Transvaal. (5.4) Of the Boer War The discovery of large gold deposits in 1886, drew thousands of British miners who settled in the Transvaal. The United Kingdom fails in 1890 the project of Kruger to the boer domination Bechuanaland (now Botswana). Kruger refused to attribute equality of rights to the Uitlanders and imposes heavy taxes on foreign companies. After the failure of a military war against the r. of the Transvaal, in 1895, relations between the Cape Colony and the Boer Republics deteriorate again. The new Governor of the Cape, ordered British troops to post at the border of the Transvaal and the Orange. Later a new war between British and Boer broke out. The British open camps "concentration" (term used for the first time) where they trap the women and children in atrocious conditions. Defeated, the Boers must sign in May 1902, a treaty by which the Transvaal and the Orange Free State become the British colonies. In 1910, the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange met by an act of the South African Union, dominion of the British Empire. The South African Party won the first election and the former Commander of the boer Army became Prime Minister. From the foundation of the Union, blacks and the métis, representing more than two thirds of the population, are excluded from political life. In 1912 however was born the first party Bantu, created by the black, then becoming a CNA, and which asserts at the outset multiracial. (5.5) The rise of afrikaner nationalism As early as 1914, Louis Botha committed the South African Union alongside Britain and allies, repressing an insurrection of proallemands Afrikaner extremists in 1915. Died in 1919, Botha was replaced at the post of Prime Minister. But in 1924, James Hertzog, leader of the national party, the successor to Smuts until 1939. In 1925 the afrikaans replaces Dutch as first official language, English remained the second. In 1923 a domestic passport restricting the freedom of movement of blacks is created. Afrikaner nationalism is not insensitive to theses racial nationales-socialistes developed in Germany and mass adhere the German settlers. After the Declaration of war against the Germany Britain (1939), the South African Union between its own war against the Germany in 1939. However, there is no national mobilization law. Members of the South African armed forces are volunteers and do fight in North Africa. A Nazi paramilitary movement, the Ossewabrandwag (the "Sentinel of carriage"), organizes a terrorist campaign against the Government of the Union. (5.6) The apartheid regime Daniel f. Malan, leader of the national party renovated, carefully away the most radical Afrikaner groups after the first defeats troops of the axis countries. To seduce the conservative English-speaking electorate, he developed a program based on the concept of apartheid. Winner in the 1948 election, he erected in system the racial segregation that has prevailed ever since the foundation of the Union and removes their right of election to the métis of the Cape. Apartheid, in reality designed to maintain white supremacy, claims to provide different ethnic groups identity and own existence, in "autonomous national assemblies". In the 1950s developed a racial classification separating the South Africans into three categories: white, métis, black and Indian. Interracial marriages are prohibited and the GAA sets places of residences mandatory for each group. The successors of Malan grow the policy of apartheid in the extreme. One of their ideas is to lock up the various Bantu groups behind ethnic boundaries based on language, and largely arbitrary, with the hope that the power granted to the local governments of the bantustans political rivalries. The granting of parcels of their former Territories (13% of the area of the country) to blacks, whose population growth does not concern the white minority, theoretically guarantees the existence of the white South African State. (5.7) Finally! The 31 May 1961, the country severs its last links with Britain with the proclamation of the Republic of South Africa and the withdrawal of Commonwealth. The ANC then begins the armed struggle with Umkhonto we Sizwe. In 1966, Hendrik Verwoerd, Prime Minister of South Africa and the grand architect of apartheid, is assassinated by an unbalanced. In 1976, with riots lead the Government to declare a State of emergency while the Bantustan Transkei is declared independent in the policy of apartheid. In , 1984, as a way out of the political deadlock, the political regime is Mitterrand and a Parliament, open to Indian and Métis, is inaugurated. Nevertheless, the State of emergency was again proclaimed in 1986 while economic and political sanctions international isolate the country despite the repeal of symbolic acts as passport Interior. In 1990, the new South African President ANC legalises the South African Communist Party and other black movements. Nelson Mandela is released. In 1991, the Government abolished the last laws of apartheid. In 1995, a truth and Reconciliation Commission is put in place and then the following year passed a new South African constitution. Of 1999 to 2008, the country is chaired by Thabo Mbeki. Its balance sheet is contrasted from the economic and social difficulties appeared in his second term. The 21 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki presents his resignation to the Parliament which elects then Kgalema Motlanthe to complete his mandate until the general election of 2009. (6) Sources'Afrique_du_Sud#Instauration_de_l.27apartheid_.281948-1959.29 http://www.Espace-LUMIERE.NET/images/photos/Diamant.jpg Blog de géostratégie et de géopolitique en rapport avec les problèmes sécuritaires des nations, le développement économique, l'Actualité, l'Histoire du monde, les conflits en l’Europe, Amérique, Asie, Afrique, et leurs enjeux stratégiques.