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South Africa

Republic of, a country in S Africa; member of the Commonwealth of Nations until 1961. 472,000 sq. mi. (1,222,480 sq. km). Capitals: Pretoria and Cape Town. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for South Africa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Things have been pretty dicky out in South Africa lately, you know.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • And he left South Africa with ten bob of mine in his pocket, after he'd paid his passage!

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • The only story I ever heard him tell was that he'd made it mining in South Africa.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • I declare to you, South Africa is a garden compared to this.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • English troubles in South Africa came to a head that autumn.

British Dictionary definitions for South Africa

South Africa

Republic of South Africa, a republic occupying the southernmost part of the African continent: the Dutch Cape Colony (1652) was acquired by Britain in 1806 and British victory in the Boer War resulted in the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, which became a republic in 1961; implementation of the apartheid system began in 1948 and was abolished, following an intense civil rights campaign, in 1993, with multiracial elections held in 1994; a member of the Commonwealth, it withdrew in 1961 but was re-admitted in 1994. Mainly plateau with mountains in the south and east. Mineral production includes gold, diamonds, coal, and copper. Official languages: Afrikaans; English; Ndebele; Pedi; South Sotho; Swazi; Tsonga; Tswana; Venda; Xhosa; Zulu. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: rand. Capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial). Pop: 48 601 098 (2013 est). Area: 1 221 044 sq km (471 445 sq miles) Former name (1910–61) Union of South Africa
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for South Africa

1815 as a name for a distinct region that had been partly settled by Europeans; 1910 as the name of a nation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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South Africa in Culture

South Africa definition

Officially the Republic of South Africa, a nation at the southern tip of Africa spanning the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. It is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe to the north, and Mozambique to the northeast. Its capitals are Pretoria for its administrative government and Cape Town for its legislature. (See also Johannesburg.)

Note: Dutch settlers, known as Boers, were the first Europeans to migrate in large numbers to the territories that now make up South Africa. Britain was granted the territory surrounding the Cape of Good Hope at the Congress of Vienna, and friction between the British and Dutch remained a constant in the region. Tensions were increased by the discovery of gold and diamonds in the late nineteenth century and came to a head in the Boer War (1899–1902), in which the British defeated the Dutch-descended Afrikaners.
Note: South Africa's policy of apartheid, the aggressive separation of the races and enforcement of the inferior political status of all nonwhites, was the hallmark of its internal political system. South Africa's race policies became the subject of international protest and economic sanctions.
Note: Black South Africans, who constitute approximately seventy percent of the nation, protested the racist policies of the white minority through organizations such as the African National Congress (ANC), headed by Nelson Mandela, who spent much of his life in jail as a political prisoner.
Note: Under President F. W. De Klerk, the white minority government released Mandela from jail in 1990 and repealed some of the major laws establishing apartheid. In 1994, the ANC triumphed in elections and Mandela became president. As president, Mandela appointed a truth commission to document human-rights abuses under apartheid.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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