South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
White South Africans
White South Africans are South Africans descended from any of the white racial or ethnic groups of Europe. In linguistic and historical terms, they are divided into the Afrikaans-speaking descendants of the Dutch East India Company's original settlers, known as Afrikaners, the Anglophone descendants of predominantly British colonists. In 2016, 57.9% were native Afrikaans speakers, 40.2% were native English speakers, 1.9% spoke another language as their mother tongue, such as Portuguese or German. White South Africans are by far the largest European-descended population group in Africa. White South Africans differ from other White African groups, because they have a sense of separate cultural identity, as in the case of the Afrikaners, who established a distinct language and faith; the history of European settlement in South Africa started in 1652 with the settlement of the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeeck. Despite the preponderance of officials and colonists from the Netherlands, there were a number of French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution at home and German soldiers or sailors returning from service in Asia.
The colony remained under Dutch rule for two more centuries, after which it was annexed by Great Britain around 1806. At that time, South Africa was home to about 26,000 people of European descent, a relative majority of whom were still of Dutch origin. However, beginning in 1818 thousands of British immigrants arrived in the growing Cape Colony, looking to join the local workforce or settle directly on the frontier. About a fifth of the Cape's original Dutch-speaking white population migrated eastwards during the Great Trek in the 1830s and established their own autonomous Boer republics further inland; the population of European origin continued increasing in the Cape as a result of immigration, by 1865 had reached 181,592 people. Between 1880 and 1910, there was an influx of Eastern Europeans of various nationalities a large Jewish community from the Baltic region Lithuania; the first nationwide census in South Africa was held in 1911 and indicated a white population of 1,276,242. By 1936, there were an estimated 2,003,857 white South Africans, by 1946 the number had reached 2,372,690.
The country began receiving tens of thousands of European immigrants, namely from Germany, the Netherlands and the territories of the Portuguese Empire during the mid to late twentieth century. South Africa's white population increased to over 3,408,000 by 1965, reached 4,050,000 in 1973, peaked at 5,044,000 in 1990; the number of white South Africans resident in their home country began declining between 1990 and the mid-2000s as a result of increased emigration. Today, white South Africans are considered to be the last major white population group of European ancestry on the African continent, due in part to the mass exodus of colonialists from most other African states during regional decolonisation. Whites continue to play a role across the political spectrum; the current number of white South Africans is not known, as no recent census has been measured, although the overall percentage of up to 9% of the population represents a decline, both numerically and proportionately, since the country's first multiracial elections in 1994.
Just under a million white South Africans are living as expatriate workers abroad, which forms the majority of South Africa's brain drain. Under the Population Registration Act of 1950, each inhabitant of South Africa was classified into one of several different race groups, of which White was one; the Office for Race Classification defined a white person as one who "in appearance is a white person, not accepted as a coloured person. Many criteria, both physical and social were used when the board decided to classify someone as white or coloured; this was extended to all those considered the children of two White persons, regardless of appearance. The Act was repealed on 17 June 1991. In Employment Equity Act of 1994, legislation propagates employment of black South Africans. Black Economic Empowerment legislation further empowerers blacks as the government considers ownership, employment and social responsibility initiatives, which empower black South Africans, as important criteria when awarding tenders.
However, private enterprises adheres to this legislation voluntarily. Some reports indicate a growing number of whites suffering from poverty compared to the pre-apartheid years and attribute this to such laws — over 350,000 Afrikaners may be classified as poor, with some research claiming that up to 150,000 are struggling for survival. This, combined with a wave of violent crime, has led to vast numbers of Afrikaners and English-speaking South Africans leaving the country. Genocide Watch has theorised that farm attacks constitute early warning signs of genocide against White South African and has criticised the South African government for its inaction on the issue, pointing out that the murder rate for "ethno-European farmers," as stated in their report is four times that of the general South African population. There are 40,000 white farmers in South Africa. Since 1994, close to three thousand farmers have been murdered in thousands of farm attacks, with many being brutally tortured and/or rape
Redelinghuys is a village in the Bergrivier Local Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa, located about 160 kilometres north of Cape Town on the Verlorevlei River. The 2001 Census recorded the population as 581 people in 167 households; the village is situated on the R366 regional route between Elands Bay. It is served by a police station, a public library, a satellite health clinic, two primary schools. Redelinghuys is surrounded by a rocky hillside. Redelinghuys is known as the Potato Capital of the Sandveld, is the area where the rooibos grows in its natural state and where Rooibos tea is available; the town has a predominantly Victorian architecture. Redelinghuys was part of the farm Wittedrift. Sir George Napier handed it over on 31 December 1841 to a Mr. Hendrik Koetzee, who died in 1848. A Mr. J. N. L. Redelinghuys gave the church a piece of the farm as a gift. Construction on the first church commenced in 1866 and in 1873 it was used for the first time. Military history was made at Vegkop along the vlei, where Boer lead Brit into a skirmish at the end of the 19th century.
In 1921 a new church was built and was first used for the first time in 1927. The old church bell was in use until 9th April 2019 when the historical church building was destroyed in a fire following electrical failure in the clock tower; the Verlorenvlei stretches from the upper reaches at Redelinghuys 30 km north and flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Elands Bay. Verlorenvlei is renowned for its prolific birdlife, indigenous fynbos and fauna, potato farms and unspoiled nature. During the flower season, July - September, a kaleidoscopic carpet of sweet-smelling wildflowers springs to life. Among many others, chinckerenchees, belladonna lilies and Pink Afrikaner called the Sandveld Lily, can be seen. Verlorenvlei is renowned for its bird life, which number near to 200 species and of which about 75 of those species are waterbirds; the Velorenvlei estuary, is fed by a perennial river. It is one of the largest natural wetlands along southern Africa's West Coast, it is connected to the sea via a 2.5-km-long channel.
During winter, the lake fills to a maximum depth of 4.5 m and overflows into the sea near Elands Bay. On 23 September 2014 a part of the southern shore of the vlei was declared as a provincial heritage site for reasons associated with the vernacular fishing village located there. On the same date the Diepkloof Rock Shelter, an internationally important archaeological site associated with the emergence of modern humans and intrinsically connected to the ecology of the vlei, was declared
Klawer is a settlement in West Coast District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Town 24 km 283 km north of Cape Town. From the Afrikaans word for a type of wild clover which grows here after the rains
Piketberg is a town in the Western Cape, South Africa, located about 50 miles east of Saldanha Bay. The original spelling of the name was "Piquetberg"; the town is in the foothills of the Piketberg mountains, a range of low mountains formed from Table Mountain Sandstone. The area around the mountains is conducive to the farming of wheat, while the area on top of the mountains, being cooler and frost-free, is suited to the farming of fruit and Rooibos Tea. Piketberg possesses a large Dutch Reformed Church designed by the architect Carl Otto Hager in his trademark neo-Gothic style; the area was inhabited by the Khoikhoi and the San before the arrival of 21 Dutch and German families in 1705-06, there is still well-preserved San rock art in the mountains. There was once a small military post in the town to protect the livestock of farmers from raids by the Khoikhoi. By the 1730s the population had grown to around 400 White people; the Holtzhausen, Joubert, van Rooyen and Visagie families are among the earliest settler-pioneers of 1705-06.
The Picquet commando was established in 1711 by the VOC and consisted of a squad of 15 Riflemen of the Militia and a single 80 mm field cannon for protection against depredations of natives and wild animals. The cannon-fire protected the European-descended farming community from the attacks of the indigenous groups, the "Gonjemans"; the community used its cannon to signal the arrival of ships in Cape Town. Piketberg's farmers would load their carts with produce and wares. Head to Cape Town to do business; the cannon fired on special occasions like Queen Victoria's birthday and the arrival of the town's first telephone line. It fired for the last time in the 1961 on the proclamation of the Republic. A misfire left the school's windows aflame. Hereafter, the cannon was filled with cement; until the Piketberg cannon stood in front of Piketberg High School, aimed East, in the direction of Porterville High School, its rival. Jewish HeritageThe many Jewish surnames in Piketberg's historic graveyard bear witness to its once-vigorous Jewish community.
Most had Lithuanian roots. They were entrepreneurs and raised themselves out of poverty by wheeling and dealing from farmstead to farmstead. Lodewyk Ando Simon, of Hungarian Jewish descent, moved from nearby Redelinghuys to Piketberg and built the synagogue in 1925, it is estimated. Rabbi Moses Beraitzer, was the first rabbi, he was a strict shepherd to his flock. Though blind in his years, the Rabbi served undaunted, preached the Talmud from memory, it is unsure. The University of Cape Town's Kaplan Centre houses several of the synagogue's historic documents. Since 1996 the synagogue has been home to the Piketberg Tourism Bureau. In recent years the synagogue has been part of the town museum. In February 2004 descendants of Piketberg's lost Jewish community celebrated their roots with a tree planting ceremony; the Piketberg Bio-scope building was built in the late 1920s. It was one of the first bios in the region. During the 1970s the cinema ran performances on Wednesday and Saturday. Bruce Lee and James Bond movies were popular.
South Africa's segregation crept into the movie theatre. Non-whites sat in the gallery and whites sat on the main seats. Shaun Abrahams, former national director of public prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority was born in Piketburg. Sheila Cussons, Afrikaans language writer and poet was born in Piketburg. Andries Treurnicht, Apartheid era National Party politician a former Minister of Education was born in the town. Colla Swart, noted photographer and resident of Piketburg. Media related to Piketberg at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Wupperthal is a small town in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It was founded in 1830 by two German missionaries of the Rhenish Missionary Society, Theobald von Wurmb and Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt, grandfather of C. Louis Leipoldt – some 100 years before the city of Wuppertal was formally established in Germany. In 1965, after the Rhenish Mission had scaled down their activities in Southern Africa over a period of 40 years, a decision was taken that Wupperthal in future should become part of the Moravian Church, which by that stage had made the transition from a mission to an autonomous church in South Africa; the town remains a Moravian mission station to this day. The village remains isolated, is accessible by a gravel road from Clanwilliam over the Pakhuis Pass. Community facilities include the Moravian Church, a shop, a tea room, a post office, a school with two hostels and a community hall. Most families in the community are dependent on small-scale agriculture or livestock farming for their livelihood.
The most important cash crop is rooibos tea. The mountainous areas surrounding the village provide grazing for goats. In its heyday the shoe factory, founded by Johann Leipoldt himself, provided work for many skilled craftsmen; the Wupperthal handsewn veldskoen were for nearly a century famous across South Africa for their comfort and good craftsmanship. A tannery and a glove factory were in operation for many years; the shoe factory operates on a much smaller scale. Tourism is a growing industry for Wupperthal during the Namaqualand flower season in August and September, when the barren mountain slopes become covered in flowers for a few weeks. A community tourism project offers a camping site. Activities include 4x4 trails and donkey cart rides. On 31 December 2018 a wildfire swept through the village and surrounding area causing widespread devastation; the fire destroyed a majority of the buildings in the town, burning down 53 homes, a community hall, clinic, a restaurant and the historic Moravian Mission Station, leaving only the town's church and a few other buildings remaining.
One woman was badly burnt in the fire and succumbed to her injuries. Jackie Valentyn, aged 57, died at Tygerberg Hospital a month after the fire. Telecommunications infrastructure was damaged in the fire, causing difficulty in communication; the fire left 200 residents homeless. Wupperthal Step Back in Time; the Vagabond Adventures visit Wupperthal - An interesting account of a visit to Wupperthal. Includes photos