General information about South Africa


Official Name

Republic of South Africa



1,219,090 square km



50,59 m (mid 2011 estimate by Statistics South Africa)



Cape Town (Legislative)

Pretoria (Administrative)

Bloemfontein (Judicial)


Head of State

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa


Main Languages

11 Official languages

English is widely spoken



Predominantly Christian. Freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution


Form of State

Broadly federal, comprising a central government and nine provincial governments


Legal System

Based on Roman Dutch and English Law and the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.


National Legislature

Bicameral parliament, elected every five years, comprising a 400-seat National Assembly and a 90-seat Council of Provinces


Electoral System

List-system with proportional representation based on universal adult suffrage


South African Public Holidays

Fixed: 1 January, 21 March, 5 April, 27 April, 1 May, 16 June, 9 August, 24 September, 16, 25 and 26 December

Variable: Good Friday and Easter Monday


International dialing code




GMT + 2 hrs



Rands and Cents: R1 = 100 cents. International symbol: ZAR.


Exchange Rate

€1=R10,0643 (average in 2011)



US $ 363 910 425 628 (current US$ in 2010)

US $ 528 423 000 000 (PPP)


GDP per Capita

US $ 5 7280 (current US $ in 2010)

US $ 10 565 (PPP in 2010)


Real GDP Growth

Real GDP at market prices increased by 2,8% during 2010.


Official Inflation Rate

The consumer price index in May 2012 compared with that in May 2011 was 5,7%


Main Export Products (2011)

Precious stones and metals, coal, various other minerals, motor vehicles and components, machinery and equipment, iron and steel, food products


Main Import Products (2011)

Petroleum products, machinery, electric apparatus, motor vehicles and components, chemicals and related products, other manufactured products


Main Trading Partners (2011)

China, Germany, USA, Japan, United Kingdom, India.


Trade with the EU

If the EU is taken as a common customs territory, it represents SA’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 26% of the value of South Africa’s trade flows in 2011.


Trade with Belgium and Luxembourg

In 2011 Belgium ranked 16th on the list of South Africa’s most important trading partners whilst Luxembourg ranked 83rd.