28 Facts About South Africa

1. Gregor Townsend believes South Africa will threaten Scotland this Saturday in more ways than one as they look to get away from the physical reputation that pigeon-holed their play in recent years.

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2. South Africa is home to the third largest hospital in the world, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

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3. South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

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4. South Africa has produced numerous world class rugby players, including Francois Pienaar, Joost van der Westhuizen, Danie Craven, Frik du Preez, Naas Botha, and Bryan Habana.

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5. South Africa produced Formula One motor racing's 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter.

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6. South Africa has developed into a major wine producer, with some of the best vineyards lying in valleys around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Barrydale.

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7. South Africa is home to a substantial Jewish population, descended from European Jews who arrived as a minority among other European settlers.

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8. South Africa hosts a sizeable refugee and asylum seeker population.

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9. Along with many African nations, South Africa has been experiencing a "brain drain" in the past 20 years.

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10. In August 2013, South Africa was ranked as the top African Country of the Future by fDi magazine based on the country's economic potential, labour environment, cost-effectiveness, infrastructure, business friendliness, and foreign direct investment strategy.

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11. World Bank research shows that South Africa has one of the widest gaps between per capita GDP versus its Human Development Index ranking, with only Botswana showing a larger gap.

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12. South Africa has a mixed economy, the second largest in Africa after Nigeria.

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13. South Africa is the only African country to have successfully developed nuclear weapons.

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14. In April 2011, South Africa formally joined the Brazil-Russia-India-China grouping of countries, identified by Zuma as the country's largest trading partners, and the largest trading partners with Africa as a whole.

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15. South Africa is one of the founding members of the African Union, and has the second largest economy of all the members.

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16. The first European based law in South Africa was brought by the Dutch East India Company and is called Roman-Dutch law.

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17. Constitution of South Africa is the supreme rule of law in the country.

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18. In November 2006, South Africa became the first African country to legalise same-sex marriage.

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19. In 2008, South Africa placed 5th out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

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20. South Africa signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 4 June 1994, and became a party to the convention on 2 November 1995.

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21. South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder Southern Hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north and further inland.

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22. South Africa held its first universal elections in 1994, which the ANC won by an overwhelming majority.

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23. South Africa destroyed its nuclear arsenal and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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24. In the late 1970s, South Africa initiated a programme of nuclear weapons development.

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25. South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological and human-fossil sites in the world.

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26. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa.

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27. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions.

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28. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation.

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