South Africa's profile as a nation

An image of South Africa

One of the continent's largest and most advanced economies is that of South Africa.

When the National Party came to power in 1948 and imposed its apartheid policy, which legally institutionalized pre-existing racial segregation, it was ruled by a white minority government for about 40 years.

From the late 1980s onward, the discriminatory laws started to be repealed following decades of international isolation, armed opposition, and large-scale protests. 1994 saw the first nationwide elections in the nation.

The democratically elected leadership promoted peace and began addressing social injustices, but the economy has had trouble.

With record unemployment, high crime rates, unaffordable government spending, poorly run institutions, and corruption, the World Economic Forum warned in 2022 that South Africa ran the risk of going into disarray.

  • with capital letters. Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (executive), and Bloemfontein (judicial).
  • Area:. 1,221,037 sq km.
  • Population:. 60.6% of a billion.
  • Languages:. Languages spoken include Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Swazi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda, and Ndebele.
  • Typical lifespan: Men aged 60 and women aged 67.

Cyril Ramaphosa serves as president.

South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa

After Jacob Zuma, his predecessor, resigned due to corruption allegations, Cyril Ramaphosa was chosen as president by parliament in February 2018.

Mr. Ramaphosa, a successful but occasionally contentious businessman, was chosen as the African National Congress (ANC)'s (the country's ruling party) leader a few months ago.

He took over a party that was split, a struggling economy, and an ingrained corruption issue.

Mr. Ramaphosa was not exiled for opposing apartheid, in contrast to many senior party figures of his generation.

As the head of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), he actively opposed the injustices of white minority rule inside South Africa by championing the rights of black miners.

He was actively involved in the negotiations to put an end to apartheid and was a key contributor to the creation of South Africa's post-apartheid constitution.

Mr. Ramaphosa withdrew from active political life and turned his attention to business after failing to secure the position of deputy to then-President Nelson Mandela.

Before finally succeeding the scandal-plagued Mr. Zuma, he returned as vice president in 2014. The ANC won the May 2019 parliamentary elections, passing his first test even though its 58 percent vote share was its smallest margin of victory since apartheid ended.

South African newspaper Isolezwe

The dominant media force on the continent is South Africa, whose broadcasters and press accurately portray the nation's ethnic diversity.

Thousands of viewers subscribe to satellite and cable, and reputable state-run and commercial TV networks broadcast nationwide. MultiChoice, based in South Africa, distributes satellite pay-TV throughout many African nations.

Students march during Soweto uprising in 1976
For many years, South Africa's white minority government resisted popular uprisings against it.

Important historical occurrences in South Africa include:.

Fourth century. - Northern migrants settle and mix with the native San and Khoikhoi people.

1497 . - Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives on the Natal coast.

1652 . - At Table Bay, Jan van Riebeeck establishes the Cape Colony on behalf of the Dutch East India Company.

1795 . - The Netherlands surrenders Cape Colony to British forces. In 1803, the Dutch are given their territory back, and in 1806, the British are granted it.

1816-1826. - Shaka Zulu establishes and grows the Zulu empire and builds a powerful army.

1835-1840. - During the "Great Trek," Boers left Cape Colony and discovered the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

1867 . - Kimberley diamonds were found.

1877 . Britain takes control of the Transvaal.

1879 . – British victory over the Zulus in Natal.

1880-81. - The first Anglo-Boer War begins when Boers rebel against the British. An agreement to end the conflict is reached. Republic status for Transvaal is reinstated.

1880s. - A gold rush begins after gold is found in the Transvaal.

1899 . Start of the Second Anglo-Boer War.

1902 . - The second Anglo-Boer War is ended by the Vereeniging Treaty. The Transvaal and Orange Free State are made autonomous British colonies.

1910 . - The union of South Africa, which was founded by the former British colonies of the Cape and Natal, as well as the Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State.

1912 . - The African National Congress (ANC) was founded by the Native National Congress, which was later renamed.

1913 . - The Land Act was passed to forbid the purchase of land outside of reserves by black South Africans, with the exception of those who reside in Cape Province.

1914 . – The National Party was founded.

1919 . - Following World War One, Namibia, a former German colony in South West Africa, is governed by South Africa.

1948 . - Apartheid (separateness) policy is implemented when the National Party (NP) assumes power.

1950 . Population division by race. Blacks and whites were segregated by the Group Areas Act. Communist Party prohibited. Nelson Mandela leads the ANC's civil disobedience campaign in response.

1960 . 69 black protesters were killed in Sharpeville. An ANC ban.

1961 . South Africa has declared itself a republic and has left the Commonwealth. The ANC's new military wing, which Mandela leads, launches a sabotage campaign.

1960s . South Africa is barred from the Olympic Games as a result of growing international pressure on the government.

1964 . Nelson Mandela, the head of the ANC, was given a life sentence.

1970s . - Over three million people were compelled to relocate to black "homelands.".

1976 . - Over 600 people were killed during clashes between black protesters and security personnel during the uprising that begins in Soweto.

1984-89. State of emergency; Township uprising.

1989 . - PW Botha is succeeded by FW de Klerk as president. Desegregation of public spaces. Several ANC activists were freed.

1990 . End of the ANC ban. After serving 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was freed. Namibia gains its independence.

1991 . Multiparty negotiations have begun. International sanctions are lifted after De Klerk repeals the remaining apartheid laws. Serious conflict between the ANC and the Zulu Inkatha movement.

1994 . – ANC triumphs in the first non-racial elections. Assembling a Government of National Unity, Nelson Mandela is elected president. Restored Commonwealth membership; remaining sanctions lifted. Following a 20-year absence, South Africa rejoins the UN General Assembly.

1996 . hearings for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, presided over by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, on the abuses of human rights committed by the former regime and the liberation movements during the apartheid era.

1998 . Apartheid is declared a crime against humanity in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, which also holds the ANC responsible for violations of human rights.

2010 . - The World Cup football competition is held in South Africa.

2013. - Nelson Mandela, 95, passes away.

2014 . - Oscar Pistorius, a paralympic athlete known as the "Blade Runner" due to his prosthetic limbs, was given a five-year prison term for the murder of his girlfriend.

2018 . - Due to pressure from the ruling ANC over corruption allegations, President Zuma resigns; Cyril Ramaphosa, a seasoned businessman and trade unionist, is chosen to take his place.

Nelson Mandela walks from prison
Nelson Mandela, a leading opponent of apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years and went on to become a renowned statesman.

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