Overview of South Africa

South Africa, based on the Southern tip of the African continent, covers an area of 1'221'037 square kilometers - an area as large as Germany, France and Italy, put together.

The country has a population of 46 million people, mainly from 20 different ethnic groups. English is the most spoken language, which is also used for international trade. Population density is predominantly in a few urban regions - Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town, the latter three being coastal regions.

The South African currency is the Rand (R), with R1 made up of 100cents. The exchange rate has been volatile over the past few years, with good appreciation of late. Our total GDP in 2004 was R1.404 billion (R30,129 per Capita), with real real GDP growth of 3.7%.

Major exports from South Africa has historically been mineral based, such as Gold and Diamonds. However, our economy is growing, with fabricated exports and processed foodstuffs on the increase.