At a glance
1 219 090 km2.
Key economic sectors
Mining services and transport, energy, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture.
48,7 million (mid-2008).
English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele, Afrikaans, siSwati, Sesotho, sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana,Tshivenda and Xitsonga.
Constitutional multiparty, three-tier (local, provincial, national) democracy.
Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, East London, Kimberley. There are nine provinces.
100 cents equals one rand.
GMT +2 hours.
Cape Town to Johannesburg 1 400 km (880 miles).
Johannesburg to Durban 600 km (380 miles).
Port Elizabeth to Bloemfontein 700 km (440 miles).
Excellent roads, rail and air facilities (both domestic and international).
World-class infrastructure. Internet access is widely available. There are four mobile (cellular) networks.
Levied at 14%. Tourists may apply for tax refunds on purchases over R250 on departure.
Top-quality care is available throughout the country, although basic in rural areas. Inoculations are only required for those travelling from yellow-fever areas. Malaria precautions are necessary in some areas.