The Republic of South Africa is the country at the southern tip of Africa. It borders the Atlantic and Indian oceans and Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho, an independent enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and, due to its having the largest economy in Africa, is widely regarded as the most socially, economically and infrastructurally developed country on the continent.
South Africa has experienced a different history from other nations in Africa because of early immigration from Europe and the strategic importance of the Cape Sea Route. European immigration began shortly after the Dutch East India Company founded a station at what would become Cape Town, in 1652 CE. The closure of the Suez Canal during the Six-Day War exemplified its significance to East-West trade. The country's relatively developed infrastructure made its mineral wealth available and important to Western interests, particularly throughout the late nineteenth century and, with international competition and rivalry, during the Cold War. South Africa is ethnically diverse, with the largest Caucasian, Indian, and racially mixed communities in Africa. Black South Africans, who speak nine officially recognized languages, and many more dialects, account for slightly less than 80% of the population.
Capital: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Language: There are 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Calling Code: +27
Time: GMT +2 (EST + 7 hours)
Electricity: Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50Hz. Adaptor Plug M
Religion: Christian 68% (includes most whites and "Coloureds", about 60% of Blacks and about 40% of Indians), Muslim 2%, Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians), indigenous beliefs and animist 28.5%