South Africa Demography and Economic Geography

State of southern Africa. The population, according to the 2001 census, numbered 44,819,778 residents; on the basis of the 2011 census, however, it counted 51,770,560 residents, of which 30% were under 15 years of age. National estimates, then, indicate about 54,002,000 residents in 2014, with a growth rate of 1.5% per year over the last ten years. Finally, an estimate by UNDESA (United Nations Depart ment of Economic and Social Affairs) indicates 53,139,528 residents for 2014.

With an urbanization rate of 64%, the population is concentrated mainly in the province of Gauteng (23.7%), with the metropolitan municipalities of Pretoria, administrative capital and seat of government (2,921,488 residents) And Johannesburg (4,434.827 residents in 2011, of which 1,271,000 in Soweto alone), and in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (19.8%), especially with Durban (3,442,361 residents). Other demographically important metropolitan municipalities are: Cape Town, legislative capital (3,740,026 residents), Port Elizabeth (1,152,115 residents), Bloemfontein, judicial capital (747,431 residents). Immigration from other African countries (Zimbabwe, Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Cameroon) is a significant phenomenon for the South Africa, whose real extent, however, beyond the official statistics, it is difficult to quantify. There are also large communities of Asian workers (China, India, Pakistan). There are also 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zimbabwe, although down compared to the past. Internal flows are also significant, especially from the provinces of the Eastern Cape (−278,261 residents in the period 2001-11) and Limpopo (−152,261 residents) towards those of Gauteng and the Western Cape.

The living conditions of the population, in some respects, are among the best in sub-Saharan Africa: 89% of the residents have a mobile phone, 77% have an electric or gas stove, 68% a refrigerator, 48.9% internet access (2013). Life expectancy, after the decline recorded in the period 1992-2010 (from 62 to 53 years), stands at 56.9 years (2013), although the spread of AIDS / HIV (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome / Human Immunodeficiency Virus): with 6,300,000 people affected (ie 12% of the population), South Africa remains in first place in the world for number of patients. However, some results have been achieved: the number of new affects per year went from 720,000 in 1999 to 340,000 in 2013, with a decrease in deaths of 50% from 2010 to 2013 (200,000 deaths). Literacy has also grown (from 88% in 2007 to 92% in 2012), although it continues to affect the various groups to varying degrees: for the black population it is 78%, for the colored 84%, 91% for Asians and 98% for whites. Inequality (between rural and urban areas and between various population groups) is an unsolved problem: South Africa records one of the highest rates of inequality in the world. Among medium-developing countries (118th place in the Human Development Index), the South Africa has a per capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) of $ 12,722 (2014), but with profound differences depending on the province (e.g., Gauteng’s average annual income in 2011 was three times that of Limpopo) and depending on the population group (the average annual income of whites is 56 times that of the black population). By the per capita incidence of murders, armed robberies and rape, South Africa ranks first in the world.

Energy and environment

The energy sector has been strongly determined both by the mineral wealth of South Africa and by the historical event of apartheid which, due to international economic sanctions, has tried to make itself as self-sufficient as possible in energy production. The coal is the main energy source of the country (in 2013 70% of the energy supply came from this mineral): South Africa is the eighth coal producer in the world, with 28 billion tons of reserves, while the Sasol company is the world’s largest producer of oil from coal. 14% of South Africa’s energy needs come from oil, which is imported but refined directly: the country has oil refining plants that are second only to those in Egypt in Africa. Eskom is the company that produces most of the South African (95%) and regional (60%, exported to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe) electricity. The government is trying to multiply investments in this sector as supply exceeds demand, generating malfunctions in the delivery. The country is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, which it joined in 2002 but, being considered a developing nation, it is not required to reduce its emissions.

While the military nuclear program was dismantled after the end of the white regime (the renunciation of the bomb and the abolition of the death penalty were the first two symbolic acts of the Mandela presidency), civilian nuclear power continues to produce energy. Today the two reactors of the Koeberg power plant, located 30 kilometers from Cape Town, produce 2.5% of South Africa’s energy needs. For South Africa military, please check

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