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South Africa
Facts
Area: 1.22 sq km
Population: 50.1 million
Languages: English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa, Zulu
Religions: Christian, Muslim, Indigenous beliefs
GNI per capita: US$5,280
Currency: 1 Rand = 100 cents
 
Until 1994 South Africa was ruled by a white minority government which was so determined to hang onto power that it took activists most of the last century before they succeeded in their fight to get rid of apartheid and extend democracy to the rest of the population. 
 
Located 30 degrees south of the equator, South Africa enjoys a mild climate. Its seasons, however, are opposite: Summer lasts from mid-November to March.
 
South Africa boasts a wide variety of beautiful landscapes, from lush forests and breathtaking beaches along the Indian Ocean to the dry, grassy “veld” — or savannah — of the interior plateau. 
 
The world’s largest producer of gold and diamonds, South Africa is the powerhouse of the African economy. It accounts for nearly half of the continent’s economic output, though poverty widespread, high crime rate associated with high unemployment.
 
Land redistribution is an ongoing issue. Most farmland is still white-owned. South Africa has the second-highest number of HIV/Aids patients in the world. Around one in seven of its citizens is infected with HIV.

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