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South Africa South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of the African continent (22° - 34° south, 16° - 32° east), and borders Namibia, Botswana,

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Presentation on theme: "South Africa South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of the African continent (22° - 34° south, 16° - 32° east), and borders Namibia, Botswana,"— Presentation transcript:

1 South Africa South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of the African continent (22° - 34° south, 16° - 32° east), and borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. South Africa was governed by Holland from 1672 to 1810, and then as two British colonies plus several independent republics until It then became a self- governing member of the British Commonwealth 1910 to 1961, and finally in 1961 South Africa became an independent republic. South Africa is located at the southernmost tip of the African continent (22° - 34° south, 16° - 32° east), and borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. South Africa was governed by Holland from 1672 to 1810, and then as two British colonies plus several independent republics until It then became a self- governing member of the British Commonwealth 1910 to 1961, and finally in 1961 South Africa became an independent republic.

2 During the first 300 years governance was dominated by the white minority. Since 1994 South Africa has been a democracy with a non- racial franchise. Furthermore, South Africans have the right to an environment which is not harmful to their health or well-being, and have the right to have the environment protected for present and future generations (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996). This is confirmation of the government's commitment to the environment, and sustainable use of natural resources, and sets the scene for this report.

3 The country is divided into nine provinces and 367 magisterial districts. The government is represented by National Departments, Provincial Departments, and Local Government at the district level. Environmental issues are the responsibility of the government at each of these levels. The country is divided into nine provinces and 367 magisterial districts. The government is represented by National Departments, Provincial Departments, and Local Government at the district level. Environmental issues are the responsibility of the government at each of these levels. South Africa's population was estimated to be 40.6 million in the 1996 census, with roughly 50% living in urban areas, and 50% in rural areas. The population growth rate is 1.9%, and although this has been declining steadily over the last few years, the total population will continue to increase. The government's Reconstruction and Development Programme aims for 2.1% fertility by 2010, 1.9% population growth, and stabilisation of the population at 80 million by South Africa's population was estimated to be 40.6 million in the 1996 census, with roughly 50% living in urban areas, and 50% in rural areas. The population growth rate is 1.9%, and although this has been declining steadily over the last few years, the total population will continue to increase. The government's Reconstruction and Development Programme aims for 2.1% fertility by 2010, 1.9% population growth, and stabilisation of the population at 80 million by Due to the diversity of cultures amongst the people of South Africa, there are 11 official languages. Xhosa is the most widely spoken as a home language, although the most commonly accepted business language is English. Due to the diversity of cultures amongst the people of South Africa, there are 11 official languages. Xhosa is the most widely spoken as a home language, although the most commonly accepted business language is English.

4 The economy was originally built on natural resources, with mining and agriculture the mainstays of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recently, however, there has been a shift from production towards manufacturing, with the secondary sector currently contributing approximately 33% to GDP (compared to approximately 14% from the primary sector, and 53% from the tertiary sector). The economy was originally built on natural resources, with mining and agriculture the mainstays of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recently, however, there has been a shift from production towards manufacturing, with the secondary sector currently contributing approximately 33% to GDP (compared to approximately 14% from the primary sector, and 53% from the tertiary sector). The currency of South Africa is the Rand (R6.10 = US $1, as at September 1999). The economy has grown steadily since 1992, although the rate has slowed. The government's target was 3% p.a. for the period Inflation is approximately 6%, and just under half the population are living below the poverty line. The currency of South Africa is the Rand (R6.10 = US $1, as at September 1999). The economy has grown steadily since 1992, although the rate has slowed. The government's target was 3% p.a. for the period Inflation is approximately 6%, and just under half the population are living below the poverty line.

5 The climate in South Africa is typically warm and dry, with winter temperatures rarely falling below 0°C, and summer maxima frequently above 35°C. The average annual rainfall is approximately 500mm (considerably less than the world average of 860mm). Most of the central and eastern parts of the country enjoy summer rainfall, whilst the western side of the country is the winter rainfall region. South Africa's diversity and richness of mineral deposits (including coal, iron, copper, gold, platinum) were the catylist for European colonisation, and economic development. Although these are distributed across the country, the most economically important deposits (gold, coal and platinum) are found in gauteng Province, which is now the most populous, and affluent area.

6 Soils are generally thin, and moderately fertile. This has contributed to agricultural development, although some areas are marginal, and suffering from degradation and soil erosion. South Africa is ranked third in the world in terms of biological diversity. The country encompasses a range of vegetation types, from arid shrubland and semi desert, through savanna and woodland to coastal forest and alpine forest. These 68 vegetation types are classified into 7 biomes, as shown.

7 Two internationally recognised biodiversity "hot- spots" are located in South Africa, the Cape Floristic Kingdom (an entire floral kingdom found nowhere else) and the Succulent Karoo, the only arid land hot-spot in the world. The Cape Floral Kingdom covers only 4% of the area of southern Africa, but is home to 45% of the sub- continent's plant species (Cowling & Hilton- Taylor 1994). The South African coast also has a large number (over 10,000) of species of plants and animals. This is almost 15 % of global coastal species, and 12 % of these are endemic, that is they occure nowhere else (DEA&T 1997).

8 South Africa is home to an estimated 5,8% of the global total of mammal species, 8 % of bird species, 4.6% of reptile species, 16% of marine fish species and 5.5% of the world's known insect species (DEA&T 1997). In terms of the number of endemic species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, South Africa ranks as the 5th richest country in Africa and the 24th richest in the world (DEA&T 1997). However, many of these species are threatened.


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