They were once dismissed as street dogs and mongrels. But as a breed they are smart, tough, athletic, loyal – and ancient. They are the Africanis, the dog of Africa.
Key facts on South Africa’s currency, time, geography, population, languages, provinces, government and education.
Robert Sobukwe was one of South Africa’s greatest but forgotten heroes of the struggle for human rights and nonracialism.
South Africa is a climate patchwork of warm coastal subtropics, hot deserts, humid highlands, snow-topped mountains and an enclave of Mediterranean weather in the southwest.
Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were friends for six decades, from student days through their law firm, then imprisonment and exile until the final victory over apartheid.
South Africa is twice the size of France and five times as big as the UK. With an area of 1.2-million square kilometres, it dwarfs the nations of Europe – except Russia – but doesn’t stand up to the giants of Asia and the Americas.
From 1960 to the late 1980s, apartheid laws kept families and communities in poor rural areas. Young men alone were allowed to move to the cities, where their labour was valuable. After the end of apartheid, from the mid-1990s, urbanisation increased rapidly.