South Africa Profile


South Africa Profile

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The history of South Africa, with its population of 58.56 million (2019), has been well documented elsewhere, especially the country's long walk to freedom from its oppressive apartheid regime. After the ANC's success in the country's first non-racial elections in 1994, installing Nelson Mandela as President, the country has become a much more liberal society. However the years of oppression have left a legacy of cultural violence, lack of education for a generation, and widespread poverty, particularly outside the major conurbations. Today South Africa is in 114th place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. This is significantly above the standing of other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and places it within the high human development category signifying progress over the past few years from the position of 121 in 2013.



Despite this, South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world with more than 50% of its population living in poverty and 18.9% in extreme poverty, nearly one in five. Infant mortality rates are running at 27.5 for every 1000 births (compared to 3.4% in the EU for the same period,) with most of thse dying mostly from preventable and treatable causes. UNICEF found that 11.4% of deaths of South African children under five can be attributed to low weight, making low birth weight the second most prominent cause of children's death in the country. South Africa also still has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.7 million people (20.4%) living with the condition and it is estimated 1.7 million children have lost a parent to AIDS and overall roughly 14 percent of all children in South Africa are orphans.


South Africa Country Profile


Recent reports indicate five million people in South Africa, mainly in rural areas, lack access to safe water being forced to rely on unsafe streams to drink from, 1.5 million children have no access to proper sanitation and 1.7 million of them live in shacks, with no proper bedding, cooking or washing facilities. Despite this, South Africa is an emerging market with an abundant supply of metals and minerals including gold, diamonds and platinum, however an outdated infrastructure and high rates of unemployment have as yet to realise the country's full economic potential. Volunteer Work in South Africa focuses on the provision of education (not least the health effects of Aids), clean water projects, immunisation and health programs. Our South Africa country profile pages explore many of these issues from the history of South Africa, its apartheid period to facts about life in South Africa today.




South Africa Profile: Volunteer in South Africa

Volunteer Work South Africa


Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in South Africa.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa History

South Africa History


A brief history of the South Africa timeline from ancient times to colonial history and apartheid in South Africa.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Apartheid

South Africa Apartheid


The history of apartheid in South Africa including pictures of Apartheid and its timeline to the release of Nelson Mandela.

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South Africa Profile: Life in South Africa

Life in South Africa


Facts, figures and a video about daily life in South Africa today with its high levels of unemployment and poverty.

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Child Sponsor South Africa: South Africa Children

South Africa Children


Facts, figures and a video about the lives of South African children today where one in five live in poverty.

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South Africa Profile: Zulu Children

Zulu Children


About life for Zulu children in South Africa in facts, information and video together with details of projects and programs to support the children in South Africa.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Poverty

South Africa Poverty


Facts, figures and a video about child poverty in South Africa where 22% of the population live in poverty.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa HIV

South Africa HIV


A group of South Africa children talk about HIV/AIDS, together with facts and figures in a country where 40,000 children are born infected with HIV every year.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Images

South Africa Images


Video images of South Africa together with live webcam images of South Africa animals and facts about the geography of South Africa.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Crime

South Africa Crime


Facts and figures and a profile of the latest South African statistics where crime is widespread.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Quiz

South Africa Quiz


Take our online trivia quiz and see how much you know about South Africa, including some interesting facts about the country.

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South Africa Profile: Child Sponsor South Africa

Child Sponsor South Africa


Details of how to sponsor children in South Africa with South African child sponsor organisations, charities, programs and projects.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa Map

South Africa Map


Use this Google Earth satellite map of South Africa to explore and take a virtual tour of South Africa and zoom in on places of interest.

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South Africa Profile: South Africa News

South Africa News


Read all the latest and breaking news from South Africa here at our South African news profile page. Updated daily.

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