• South Africa has a population of 51 million and eleven official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Ndebele, Sotho, Setswana, siSwati, Venda and Tsonga.

The country is a multiparty democracy, the head of state being President Jacob Zuma. Parliament sits in Cape Town, the legislative capital, while Pretoria is the executive capital, from where the president and his cabinet run the country. Each of the nine provinces has its own government.

 The highest point in South Africa is Njesuthi, in the Drakensberg, at 3408m. The highest point in Lesotho and Southern Africa is also in the Drakensberg: Thabana Ntlenyana, at 3482m.

South African President Jacob Zuma’s three-spouse household is modest compared to the fourteen-wife ménage of Swazi King Msawati; King Letsie of Lesotho has been married just once.

Nelson Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, who was previously married to the late president of Mozambique, Samora Machel, is the only woman to have been first lady of two different countries.

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South Africa features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Exploring Johannesburg: the graffiti capital of Africa

Exploring Johannesburg: the graffiti capital of Africa

Johannesburg is a much-misunderstood city but despite misconceptions it’s one well worth visiting too, with a wealth of museums and galleries, world-class ja…

13 Apr 2018 • Rebecca Hallett local_activity Special feature
Road trip South Africa: 5 of the best routes

Road trip South Africa: 5 of the best routes

South Africa's ever-changing landscapes, pristine coastlines, quirky small towns and abundance of wide open spaces have cemented the country's reputation as o…

12 Jan 2018 • Chris Clark insert_drive_file Article
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
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