The Western Cape is a province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces with an area of 129,449 square kilometres, the third most populous, with an estimated 6.6 million inhabitants in 2018. About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, the provincial capital; the Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province. The Western Cape Province is L-shaped, extending north and east from the Cape of Good Hope, in the southwestern corner of South Africa, it stretches about 400 kilometres northwards along the Atlantic coast and about 500 kilometres eastwards along the South African south coast. It is bordered on the north on the east by the Eastern Cape; the total land area of the province is 129,462 square kilometres, about 10.6% of the country's total. It is the size of England or the State of Louisiana, its capital city and largest city is Cape Town, some other major cities include Stellenbosch, Worcester and George.
The Garden Route and the Overberg are popular coastal tourism areas. The Western Cape is the southernmost region of the African continent with Cape Agulhas as its southernmost point, only 3800 km from the Antarctic coastline; the coastline varies from sandy between capes, to rocky to mountainous in places. The only natural harbour is Saldanha Bay on the west coast, about 140 km north of Cape Town; however a lack of fresh water in the region meant that it has only been used as a harbour. The province's main harbour was built in Table Bay, which in its natural state was exposed to the northwesterly storms that bring rain to the province in winter, as well as the uninterrupted dry southeasterly winds in summer, but fresh water coming off Table Mountain and Devil's Peak allowed the early European settlers to build Cape Town on the shores of this less than satisfactory anchorage. The province is topographically exceptionally diverse. Most of the province falls within the Cape Fold Belt, a set of nearly parallel ranges of sandstone folded mountains of Cambrian-Ordovician age.
The height of the mountain peaks in the different ranges vary from 1000m to 2300m. The valleys between ranges are very fertile as they contain the weathered loamy soils of the Bokkeveld mudstones; the far interior forms part of the Karoo. This region of the Province is arid and hilly with a prominent escarpment that runs close to the Province's most inland boundary; the Escarpment marks the southwestern edge of South Africa's central plateau. It runs parallel to the entire South African coastline except in the far northeast, where it is interrupted by the Limpopo River valley, the far northwest, where it is interrupted by the Orange River valley; the 1000 km-long northeastern stretch of the escarpment is called the Drakensberg, geographically and geologically quite distinct from the Cape Fold Mountains, which originated much earlier and independently of the origin of the escarpment. The principal rivers of the province are the Berg and Olifants which drain into the Atlantic Ocean, the Breede and Gourits which drain into the Indian Ocean.
The vegetation is extremely diverse, with one of the world's seven floral kingdoms exclusively endemic to the province, namely the Cape Floral Kingdom, most of, covered by Fynbos. These evergreen heathlands are rich in species diversity, with at least as many plant species occurring on Table Mountain as in the entire United Kingdom, it is characterised by various types of shrubs, thousands of flowering plant species and some grasses. With the exception of the Silver tree, Leucadendron argenteum, which only grows on the granite and clay soils of the Cape Peninsula, open fynbos is treeless except in the wetter mountain ravines where patches of Afromontane forest persist; the arid interior is dominated by Karoo drought-resistant shrubbery. The West Coast and Little Karoo are semi-arid regions and are typified by many species of succulents and drought-resistant shrubs and acacia trees; the Garden Route on the south coast is lush, with temperate rainforest covering many areas adjacent to the coast, in the deep river valleys and along the southern slopes of the Outeniqua mountain range.
Typical species are hardwoods of exceptional height, such as Yellowwood and Ironwood trees. The Western Cape is climatologically diverse, with many distinct micro- and macroclimates created by the varied topography and the influence of the surrounding ocean currents; these are the warm Agulhas Current which flows southwards along South Africa's east coast, the cold Benguela Current, an upwelling current from the depths of the South Atlantic Ocean along South Africa's west coast. Thus climatic statistics can vary over short distances. Most of the province is considered to have a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Both the Great Karoo and Little Karoo, in the interior, have an arid to semi-arid climate with cold, frosty winters and hot summers with occasional thunderstorms; the Garden Route and the Overberg on the south coast have a maritime climate with cool
Bed and breakfast
A bed and breakfast is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are private family homes and have between four and eleven rooms, with six being the average. In addition, a B&B has the hosts living in the house. Bed and breakfast is used to describe the level of catering included in a hotel's room prices, as opposed to room only, half-board or full-board. Guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom; some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom, shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in a dining room, or the host's kitchen. B&Bs and guest houses may be operated as either a secondary source of income or a primary occupation; the owners themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms, but some bed and breakfasts hire staff for cleaning or cooking. Properties with hired professional management are uncommon but may exist if the same owner operates multiple B&Bs.
Some B&Bs operate in a niche market. Floating bed and breakfasts are houseboats which offer B&B accommodation. In some communities, former lighthouse keeper quarters have been turned into B&B rooms after the light has been automated or decommissioned. In China expatriates have remodelled traditional structures in quiet picturesque rural areas and opened a few rustic boutique hotels with minimum amenities. Most patrons are tourists but they are growing in popularity among the Chinese. In Cuba, which opened up to tourism in the 1990s after the financial support of the Soviet Union ended, a form of B&B called casa particular became the main form of accommodation outside the tourist resorts. Not all casas particulares offer breakfast. In Hungary, B&Bs are popular, they are a small family-run hotel, have an intimate ambience and a pleasant atmosphere. It provides an affordable alternate for the hotels. In Hungarian the B&B is called "Panzió" or "Szálló". In India, the government is promoting the concept of breakfast.
The government is doing this to increase tourism keeping in view of the demand for hotels during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. They have classified B&Bs in 2 categories - Gold B&Bs, Silver B&Bs. All B&Bs must be approved by the Ministry of Tourism, who will categorize it as Gold or Silver based upon a list of pre-defined criteria. Enormous growth in metro cities like Delhi, Pune and Mumbai have seen such rapid growth that people are rushing to these cities to find a respectable job for their respective trades, operating or hosting a Bed & Breakfast is becoming a favourite option among them. Average B&B service providers are offering standard services and other accoutrements that westerners have come to expect when traveling abroad; the basics include: air-conditioner or air cooler, free food, free wi-fi internet. Premium providers may offer extra services to justify the increased price; some of these services include, but are not limited to: buildings with a lift/elevator, no surcharge electricity use for the duration of a customers stay, free geyser usage.
50Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s leased internet line for guests, an intercom system, security with IP cameras that are monitored by security guards 24*7 rounds out the services provided to premium properties. The cost to rent a room at standard B&Bs are around $100 to $120 per person per month, premium B&B packages start around $180 per person per month, but may increase if more services are provided Registered Irish B&Bs are star rated by Fáilte Ireland and along with the majority unregistered B&Bs, form the B&B Owners Association Ireland. B&Bs in Ireland are family owned & run, with a small percentage being leased/managed but still with the personal service expected in this sector. Owners / Managers nearly always live on premises. Breakfast can mean continental style buffet; the Israeli B&B is known as a zimmer. All over the country, but in northern Israel the zimmer has developed into an extensive industry; this industry began to develop in the 1990s, when agriculture became less profitable, many families with farms in moshavim, farms and in cities decided to try their luck in the business of hospitality.
In the last decade, there has been development of bed and breakfasts in southern Israel in the Negev. In Italy, regional law regulates B&Bs. There is a national law "Legge 29 marzo 2001, n. 135" but each region maintains a specific regulation. Each region can adopt different regulations but they must observe the national law on Tourism. Bed & Breakfast in the Netherlands means what it says, namely'bed with breakfast'. In the Netherlands, it is often referred to as lodgings with breakfast, a guestroom or guesthouse. Bed & Breakfast is a small-scale type of accommodation, available to guests for a short stay. Nearly all bed & breakfasts are established in a residential home and are run by the owners of that particular residence. Dutch bed & breakfasts are held in historic monumental houses or farms. There are 5,000 bed & breakfasts in the Netherlands. Bed and breakfasts in New Zealand tend to be more expensive than motels and feature historic homes and furnished bedrooms at a commensurate price; the trend of B&Bs in Pakistan is quite widespread.
Popular resorts like Murree, which attract many tourists from different parts of the country, have a number of such res
1994 South African general election
General elections were held in South Africa between 26 and 29 April 1994. The elections were the first in which citizens of all races were allowed to take part, were therefore the first held with universal adult suffrage; the election was conducted under the direction of the Independent Electoral Commission, marked the culmination of the four-year process that ended apartheid. Millions queued in lines over a four-day voting period. Altogether 19,726,579 votes were counted and 193,081 were rejected as invalid; as expected, the African National Congress, whose slate incorporated the labour confederation COSATU and the South African Communist Party, won a sweeping victory, taking 62 percent of the vote, just short of the two-thirds majority required to unilaterally amend the Interim Constitution. As required by that document, the ANC formed a Government of National Unity with the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the two other parties that won more than 20 seats in the National Assembly.
The new National Assembly's first act was to elect Nelson Mandela as President, making him the country's first black chief executive. The date 27 April is now a public holiday in Freedom Day; the 400 members of the National Assembly were chosen from party lists in proportion to each party's share of the national ballot. The 90 members of the Senate were chosen, 10 from each province, by the newly elected provincial legislatures; each province's Senate seats were allocated in proportion to the parties' representation in the provincial legislature. In 1997, on the adoption of the final Constitution, the Senate became the National Council of Provinces. Members of the provincial legislatures were elected from party lists in proportion to each party's share of the provincial ballot; the following table summarises the result. The majority party in each legislature is indicated in bold; the following tables detail the results in each province. The Inkatha Freedom Party entered the election late, it was added to the already-printed ballot papers by means of a sticker.
In rural areas with limited infrastructure, people queued "for days". In a Sunday Independent article on the 20th anniversary of the election, Steven Friedman, who headed the IEC's information analysis department during the election, stated that the lack of a voters roll made verifying the results of the election difficult, there were widespread accusations of cheating. Friedman characterised the election as a "technical disaster but a political triumph", intimated that the final results were as a result of a negotiated compromise, rather than being an accurate count of the votes cast, stating that it was impossible to produce an accurate result under the circumstances that the election was held, he wrote that he believed that the result of the election, which gave KwaZulu-Natal to the IFP. Denel Dynamics Seeker unmanned aerial vehicles were used to monitor the elections. Following the elections, 27 April subsequently became Freedom Day. In 2014, the election was commemorated on its 20th anniversary due to its historic importance.
US Department of the Army, South Africa Country Study, "The 1994 Elections" IEC results for 1994 election Proportional representation and alternative systems
Bridge House School
Bridge House School referred to as Bridge House, is situated in the Cape Winelands close to Franschhoek and Paarl, is an independent day and boarding school for over eight hundred girls and boys from Playschool to Grade 12. Bridge House is a member of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa, the International Round Square Organisation; the School motto is “Learning for Life”. Bridge House was founded by a group of local families, namely the Huxter and Rands families, as a non-profit company and opened its doors on the 19th of January 1995 with 54 pupils; the school was based in a state school building in Simondium until 1997. Rezoning applications were brought forth and approved for the school to occupy new premises in the Berg River Valley on the Waterval Farm. In July 1998 the school relocated to the new and larger campus situated on a 10-hectare site. Bridge House owns 28 hectares of land after receiving an additional donated 18 hectares. In 1999 the swimming pool, shallow pool and tennis courts were added, followed by the indoor sports centre.
The 450-seating capacity Barnyard Theater was built in 2002 and became operational during 2003. A new College block, with seven classrooms, administrative offices and a College staff room was added; the College block was further expanded in 2009 with additional classrooms. The first boarding house, Bellegam House, became operational in the third term of 2004 with Waterfall House added in 2008, doubling the boarding capacity; the Renaissance Centre, housing six new classrooms and the ‘Learning Commons’, was completed in November 2013. Huguenot House, the third boarding house, was completed at the end of 2013, increasing total boarding capacity to one hundred and forty boarders. In the third term of 2015, the preprimary building and facilities became occupied by one Playschool class and all the Pre-primary children. In the second term of 2016 a hockey Astroturf was completed along with the construction of a Mathematics and Science Centre and Science and Biology laboratories, which came into operation in January 2017.
Construction of a fourth boarding house was completed in 2017. Languages: Bridge House is an English-medium school. English Home Language is taught to all pupils. Afrikaans classes are streamed according to ability. French and German are offered as elective subjects in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and for immigrant students in place of Afrikaans in Grade 8 and 9. School Hours: These vary according to age group, but all classes commence at 08h00 am. Playschool: Bridge House caters for 2 – 4 year olds at its playschool on the Bridge House Campus; the Playschool building which has well-equipped classrooms and outdoor equipment. The programme is structured according to best practice for Early Childhood Learning, there is a favourable adult/child ratio, with a teacher and assistant per group. Pre-primary: This phase at Bridge House has three classes from 5 – 6 years of age in Grade 0 and two classes of 4 – 5 year olds in Grade 00. Activities offered: Information Technology /coding Music Education KinderkineticsJunior Primary: The curriculum is outcomes-based and aligned to the National Curriculum Statement of South Africa.
Under the learning areas of Languages and Life Skills, the following subjects are introduced: English Literacy Conversational Afrikaans Conversational isiXhosa Mathematics Social and Natural Sciences themes within an Integrated Studies approach Handwriting Physical Education Creative Arts which incorporates Class Music and Art, Information TechnologyJunior Primary class sizes are kept to a maximum of 24 per class and are co-ed as well as mixed ability. Senior Primary: The curriculum is aligned to the South African national guidelines. Only at Grade 7 level do children write formal exams. Classes do not exceed 24 pupils. Academic support is given by teachers as part of the weekly programme. English is taught as First Language. Afrikaans is taught as a First Additional Language, but is offered as Advanced, Standard or Intensive classes. Subject areas covered: Mathematics Science History Geography Technology Economic Management Sciences Computer SkillsIsiXhosa is conversational, offered up to Grade 9.
College: Students in Grades 8 and 9 follow a newly revised and restructured curriculum, aimed at increased personalisation and a sense of personal choice and investment. Bridge House Matric students write the Independent Examinations Board Matric exams. In Grades 10, 11 and 12 the school offer the following subjects: Advanced Programme English English Home Language Afrikaans – First Additional Language Advanced Programme Mathematics Mathematics Mathematical Literacy Life Orientation Dramatic Arts Geography Physical Sciences French German Economics Life Sciences Visual Arts Geography Accounting Computer Applications Technology Information Technology History MusicEducational Support Unit: The Prep ESU includes an on-site speech therapist, 2 specialist remedial/support teachers, an occupational therapist; the Educational Support Unit based in the College offers academic, social and behavioral support to all College pupils. An Educational Psychologist and a NiLD Educational Therapist are available to consult with pupils on a one-to-one basis, as well as in small group formats where peer support and learning is encouraged.
The school has introduced a 1:1 iPad programme, from the beginning of January 2016. Camps and Outings: All classes go on outings to places of interest; these trips form part of the compulsory educational curriculum. Each pupil from Grade 1 to Matric is required to atten
The Khoikhoi are the traditionally nomadic pastoralist non-Bantu indigenous population of southwestern Africa. They are grouped with the hunter-gatherer San under the compound term Khoisan. While it is clear that the presence of the Khoikhoi in southern Africa predates the Bantu expansion, it is not certain by how much in the Late Stone Age, or displaced by the Bantu expansion to Southeastern Africa; the Khoikhoi maintained large herds of Nguni cattle in the Cape region at the time of Dutch colonisation in the 17th century. Their nomadic pastoralism was discontinued in the 19th to 20th century, their Khoekhoe language is related to certain dialects spoken by foraging San peoples of the Kalahari, such as the Khwe and Tshwa, forming the Khoe language family. The two main Khoikhoi subdivisions today are the Nama people of Namibia and South Africa and the Damara of Namibia, their total number is estimated at close to 300,000 people. The Griqua people are a mixed-raced population in South Africa, of partial Khoikhoi and partial European ancestry.
They settled in Griqualand. The Khoikhoi part of a pastoral culture and language group to be found across Southern Africa, originated in the northern area of modern Botswana; this ethnic group migrated southward reaching the Cape 2,000 years ago. Khoikhoi subgroups include the Namaqua to the west, the Korana of mid-South Africa, the Khoikhoi in the south, their husbandry of sheep and cattle grazing in fertile valleys across the region provided a stable, balanced diet, allowed the Khoikhoi to live in larger groups in a region occupied by the San, who were subsistence hunter-gatherers. Advancing Bantu in the 3rd century AD encroached on the Khoikhoi territory, pushing them into more arid areas. There was some intermarriage between migratory Khoi bands living around what is today Cape Town and the San, but the two groups remained culturally distinct, as the Khoikhoi continued to graze livestock and the San to subsist on hunting-gathering. The Khoi first encountered Portuguese explorers and merchants around AD 1500.
The ongoing encounters were violent. Local population dropped after the Khoi were exposed to smallpox by Europeans, who carried it as an endemic disease; the Khoi suffered high mortality. The Khoi waged more frequent attacks against Europeans when the Dutch East India Company enclosed traditional grazing land for farms. Over the following century, the Khoi were driven off their land, which ended their traditional life. Khoikhoi social organisation was profoundly damaged and, in the end, destroyed by colonial expansion and land seizure from the late 17th century onwards; as social structures broke down, some Khoikhoi people settled on farms and became bondsmen or farm workers. Georg Schmidt, a Moravian Brother from Herrnhut, now Germany, founded Genadendal in 1738, the first mission station in southern Africa, among the Khoi people in Baviaanskloof in the Riviersonderend Mountains. Early European settlers sometimes intermarried with indigenous Khoikhoi women, resulting in a sizeable mixed-race population now known as the Griqua.
They were known at the time as "Basters" and in some instances are still so called, e. g. the Bosluis Basters of the Richtersveld and the Baster community of Rehoboth, Namibia. Another group were the Griqua. Like other mixed-race peoples and the Khoikhoi, they left the Cape Colony and migrated into the interior. Responding to the influence of missionaries, they formed the states of Griqualand West and Griqualand East. By the early 1800s, the remaining Khoi of the Cape Colony suffered from restricted civil rights and discriminatory laws on land ownership. With this pretext, the powerful Commissioner General of the Eastern Districts, Andries Stockenstrom, facilitated the creation of the "Kat River" Khoi settlement near the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony; the more cynical motive was to create a buffer-zone on the Cape's frontier, but the extensive fertile land in the region allowed the Khoi to own their land and build communities in peace. The settlements thrived and expanded, Kat River became a large and successful region of the Cape that subsisted more or less autonomously.
The people were predominantly Afrikaans-speaking Gonaqua Khoi, but the settlement began to attract other Khoi and mixed-race groups of the Cape. The Khoi were known at the time for being good marksmen, were invaluable allies of the Cape Colony in its frontier wars with the neighbouring Xhosa. In the Seventh Frontier War against the Gcaleka Xhosa, the Khoi gunmen from Kat River distinguished themselves under their leader Andries Botha in the assault on the "Amatola fastnesses"; however harsh laws were still implemented in the Eastern Cape, to encourage the Khoi to leave their lands in the Kat River region and to work as labourers on white farms. The growing resentment exploded in 1850; when the Xhosa rose against the Cape Government, large numbers of Khoi joined the Xhosa rebels for the first time. After the defeat of the rebellion and the granting of representative government to the Cape Colony in 1853, the new Cape Government endeavoured to grant the Kho
A diesel locomotive is a type of railway locomotive in which the prime mover is a diesel engine. Several types of diesel locomotive have been developed, differing in the means by which mechanical power is conveyed to the driving wheels. Early internal combusition locomotives and railcars used gasoline as their fuel. Dr. Rudolf Diesel patented his first compression ignition engine in 1898, steady improvements in the design of diesel engines reduced their physical size and improved their power-to-weight ratio to a point where one could be mounted in a locomotive. Internal combustion engines only operate efficiently within a limited torque range, while low power gasoline engines can be coupled to a mechanical transmission, the more powerful diesel engines required the development of new forms of transmission; the first successful diesel engines used diesel–electric transmissions, by 1925 a small number of diesel locomotives of 600 hp were in service in the United States. In 1930, Armstrong Whitworth of the United Kingdom delivered two 1,200 hp locomotives using Sulzer-designed engines to Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway of Argentina.
In 1933, diesel-electric technology developed by Maybach was used propel the DRG Class SVT 877, a high speed intercity two-car set, went into series production with other streamlined car sets in Germany starting in 1935. In the USA, diesel-electric propulsion was brought to high speed mainline passenger service in late 1934 through the research and development efforts of General Motors from 1930–34 and advances in lightweight carbody design by the Budd Company; the economic recovery from the Second World War saw the widespread adoption of diesel locomotives in many countries. They offered greater flexibility and performance than steam locomotives, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs. Diesel–hydraulic transmissions were introduced in the 1950s, but from the 1970s onwards diesel–electric transmission has dominated; the earliest recorded example of the use of an internal combustion engine in a railway locomotive is the prototype designed by William Dent Priestman, examined by Sir William Thomson in 1888 who described it as a " mounted upon a truck, worked on a temporary line of rails to show the adaptation of a petroleum engine for locomotive purposes.".
In 1894, a 20 hp two axle machine built by Priestman Brothers. In 1896 an oil-engined railway locomotive was built for the Royal Arsenal, England, in 1896, using an engine designed by Herbert Akroyd Stuart, it was not a diesel because it used a hot bulb engine but it was the precursor of the diesel. Following the expiration of Dr. Rudolf Diesel's patent in 1912, his engine design was applied to marine propulsion and stationary applications. However, the massiveness and poor power-to-weight ratio of these early engines made them unsuitable for propelling land-based vehicles. Therefore, the engine's potential as a railroad prime mover was not recognized; this changed as development reduced the weight of the engine. In 1906, Rudolf Diesel, Adolf Klose and the steam and diesel engine manufacturer Gebrüder Sulzer founded Diesel-Sulzer-Klose GmbH to manufacture diesel-powered locomotives. Sulzer had been manufacturing Diesel engines since 1898; the Prussian State Railways ordered a diesel locomotive from the company in 1909, after test runs between Winterthur and Romanshorn the diesel–mechanical locomotive was delivered in Berlin in September 1912.
The world's first diesel-powered locomotive was operated in the summer of 1912 on the Winterthur–Romanshorn railroad in Switzerland, but was not a commercial success. During further test runs in 1913 several problems were found. After the First World War broke out in 1914, all further trials were stopped; the locomotive weight was 95 tonnes and the power was 883 kW with a maximum speed of 100 km/h. Small numbers of prototype diesel locomotives were produced in a number of countries through the mid-1920s. Adolphus Busch purchased the American manufacturing rights for the diesel engine in 1898 but never applied this new form of power to transportation, he founded the Busch-Sulzer company in 1911. Only limited success was achieved in the early twentieth century with internal combustion engined railcars, due, in part, to difficulties with mechanical drive systems. General Electric entered the railcar market in the early twentieth century, as Thomas Edison possessed a patent on the electric locomotive, his design being a type of electrically propelled railcar.
GE built its first electric locomotive prototype in 1895. However, high electrification costs caused GE to turn its attention to internal combustion power to provide electricity for electric railcars. Problems related to co-coordinating the prime mover and electric motor were encountered due to limitations of the Ward Leonard current control system, chosen. A significant breakthrough occurred in 1914, when Hermann Lemp, a GE electrical engineer and patented a reliable direct current electrical control system. Lemp's design used a single lever to control both engine and generator in a coordinated fashion, was the prototype for all internal combustion–electric drive control systems. In 1917–18, GE produced three experimental diesel–electric locomotives using Lemp's control design, the first known to be built in the United States. Following this development, the 1923 Kaufman Act banned steam locomotives from New York City because of severe pollution problems; the response to this law was to electrify high-traffic rail lines.
However, electrification was u
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