Understanding South Africa and South African Countries has been one of the hardest things for so many people all around the world.
There are those that without apology, believe Africa is a country. To them therefore, there is no separate country called South Africa. There are others that believe Mandela’s South Africa is a continent just like North America and South America. There are still others who believe South Africa is just another Sub region in the African continent like West Africa, North Africa and East Africa. There are others who believe other things.
Because of this, unending questions keep coming up from people as regards South Africa and South African Countries.
To answer the question on South Africa and South African Countries, one must understand exactly the question asked. This is because one may be right to say South Africa is not a country if one is referring to the entire Southern African sub region. One may however be very wrong to refer to Mandela’s South Africa as a sub region in the African continent. It will even be more wrong to think it is a continent on its own.
South Africa as a country is as sovereign a state as any sovereign state in the world including United States, France and England. The country has its government and leaders, people and culture, as well as budget and currency.
Although its unification was in 1910, South Africa got its independence from Great Britain in 1934. The country however was controlled by the minority whites until 1994, when apartheid came to an end in the country. This therefore has made some people to strongly believe that 1994 is the date of South Africa’s independence.
English Language is the most official language of the country. However, the country has 10 other official languages including Zulu and Afrikaans, Ndebele, Xhosa, and Tsonga. Other official languages of South Africa are Venda, Sotho, Swati, and Sesotho Sa Leboa.
The country which has over 53 million people is one of the most known countries on the African continent. Some parts of the country are facing the Southern Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The country has Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana as its closest neighbors.
South Africa has had the privilege of becoming the first African country to host the world cup tournament in 2010.
South Africa’s uniqueness can sometimes get interesting. Example of such uniqueness is the existence of three capital cities for the country. The various South African Capital cities act as the administrative locations for the three branches of its government.
The capitals of South Africa are Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein. These three major cities came about as a result of a conflict that existed in selecting a single capital for the country. More so, there was the fear of concentrating too much power in one place, hence the need to have it divided.
It was therefore decided that Cape Town be the parliamentary head of the country while Bloemfontein acts as the judicial capital. The city of Pretoria is the executive head of the country. It serves as the resident of the President and cabinet members.
South Africa as a sub region of the African continent on the other hand is not a country of its own. It is rather, a collection of countries in the southern part of the African continent.
Since it is a collection of different countries, Southern Africa has different languages for the different countries within it. There is no single government for all the sub region, or any form of uniting factor, except that all the countries belong to the same continent.
Southern Africa is mostly used when referring to the African sub continent to the south, while South Africa or Republic of South Africa is mostly used when referring to the country.
Most preferably called southern Africa, South African sub region has various countries in it, referred to as South African Countries. The most popular country in the sub region is South Africa. It lies in the most southern part of the African continent.
Other southern African countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius and Malawi. Others are Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Southern African countries according to the United Nations comprise only of five countries. The countries are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa. There is however an organization created in 1980 for countries in the sub region. The Association which was called Southern African Development Community (SABC), recognized more countries as part of Southern African Countries.