The Republic of South Africa, a state that is situated in the southern part of Africa, is also called South Africa, RSA, or SA.

The country has diverse languages and cultures. The greater percentage of its population is of black African ancestry. It also has large communities of various ancestries such as Asian, European, and mixed races.

Its head of state is a parliament-dependent president; it is a parliamentary republic.

Before 1994, the country only had two official languages: Afrikaans and English. However, there are several languages spoken widely in South Africa: English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Ndebele, Tsonga, Zulu, Swazi and Xhosa are among them.

Most people in the country are able to speak more than one language. Most people speak Zulu at home, but most people at urban areas understand English, which is also the most dominant language that is used in the media and government.

There is diversity in religion in the country. At the 2001 census, it was found out that majority of the people in South Africa – 79.8% of its total population – is Christian. The rest of the country embraces Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and other beliefs. Around 15 percent claimed that they have no religion, and 1.4 percent of its people are unsure about their religion.

By mid-2010, the country’s population was recorded to be 49.9 million. Majority of the people in the country, or 79.4%, are Africans. About 9.2% are white, 8.8% are colored, and 2.6% are Indian/Asian.

When it comes to electricity supply, the country utilizes 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz. There are only a few exceptions at deeply rural places. If you happen to bring an appliance that doesn’t suit this type of voltage, you will need to use a voltage converter. It is important to note though that most of these converters are not ideal to be used for digital devices and must only be utilized for a short time span.

Photo credit: Chris&Steve