Charting South Africans’ life expectancy is to track the country’s modern history. In 1960, when the state was grimly implementing apartheid laws, an average newborn child was expected to have a lifespan of only 52 years – 50 years for boys. In 2015, life expectancy was 62 years.
Robert Sobukwe was one of South Africa’s greatest but forgotten heroes of the struggle for human rights and nonracialism.
Nelson Mandela’s large and growing family tree includes three wives, six children, 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
It took one day for young South Africans to change the course of the country’s history. That day was 16 June 1976. Here is an hour-by-hour account of the events that sparked the 1976 Soweto students’ uprising.
The distribution of South Africa’s population groups reveals the country’s history. Find out more with these maps of where black, coloured, Indian and white South Africans live today, according to the 2011 census.
Before South Africa’s 1996 constitution, the country was divided into four provinces set aside for white people, and 10 “homelands”, tiny states designated for black people.
Creative Commons is a licensing system that frees creative works for others to publish and transform. The commons drives some of the best projects on the internet, including Wikipedia and South African History Online. Here’s a selection of free and open images of South Africa.
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.
Black men have the shortest lives, and white women the longest. Find out more about the country’s population structure with this infographic charting the realities of age, race and sex in South Africa.
There’s a lot of talk of South Africa’s population being dominated by the youth. But we’re less youthful than we have been for decades. The end of apartheid, better healthcare, widespread social welfare and greater economic opportunities all mean South Africans are now able to live longer lives.
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.
The death rate of children is the starkest indicator of the health of a country’s society and economy. In 1974 South Africa’s mortality rate – deaths per 1,000 live births – was 88.1 for infants under a year and 125.5 for under-fives. By 2016 it had dropped to 34.2 for infants and 43.3 for under-fives.
Where are South Africa’s poorest places? Two maps find the patterns of poverty: one shows the share of households living in poverty in each municipality, the other the number of poor people living there. And an animation tries to make sense of the maps.
This is an animation to break your heart. In any unequal society, the privileged live long lives and everyone else much shorter lives.
A comprehensive timeline of the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – revolutionary, soldier, political prisoner, president of South Africa, statesman and global icon of social justice.