South Africa Facts
Capital: Pretoria (administrative capital) note: Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
Government Type: Republic
Total Area: 470,691 Square Miles
1,219,090 Square Kilometers
Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Language: 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu. The languages spoken in South Africa are as diverse as its ethnic groups. Africans is the native tongue of about two-thirds of all whites and most of coloreds (8.6%), and English is the original language of most the whites (13.6%) and the Indians (2.6%). The black’s (75.2%) native tongues include a variety of Bantu languages, which are roughly divided into four language families: Nguni, Sotho, Tsonga or Shangana and Venda.
The South African People
Because of ethnic diversity, many different greetings are used in South Africa. English greetings such as “Hello” and “Good morning” are frequently heard. Shaking hands is more common among whites, but is also used by other ethnic groups. It is generally impolite to use first names with strangers or older people. Titles are valued and are used for adults unless one has developed a closer relationship. It is polite to call an older black man tata (father) or woman mama (mother).
Where to find more out about South Africa
Lonely Planet Guide: South Africa
MBendi Country Profile - South Africa