Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

South Officially being the Republic of South

South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. According to National Geographic, Africa is sometimes nicknamed the “Mother Continent” due to it being the oldest inhabited continent on Earth. Nat Geo also claims that humans and human ancestors have lived in Africa for more than 5 million years. Officially being the Republic of South Africa, RSA is the southernmost country in Africa. By observing the actual country of South Africa on a map, it can be seen that it the majority of the actual land of South Africa is encompassed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian ocean. South Africa is often referred to as the “Rainbow nation” to describe the country’s multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid, which was a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. BBC news covers this movement in their news efforts. South Africa is close to many hearts and learning about its human geography has opened thoughts to just why people love South Africa so much.As of Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the most current and accurate population of South Africa is 56,997,320 based on the latest United Nations estimates. South Africa’s population is equivalent to 0.75% of the total world population. South Africa ranks number 25 in the list of countries, according to Worldometers.info, which is a resource that has methods of counting population rates around the globe. The data they provide by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the Population Division. The population density in South Africa is 47 per kilometer or 121 people per mile. The total land area is 1,213,090 kilometers or 468,376 square miles.The median age in South Africa is 26.3 years, which leads to believe that the majority of South African citizens belong to a younger community. When researching health in regards to South Africa, there are two posing questions that asks “What are the major health issues in South Africa?” and “What is the healthcare system like?” Like most countries, there were laundry lists of diseases and health issues among the research provided. Pharma Dynamics conjoined several articles supplied by medical scholarly researchers and on-site medical professionals to research the current health situation in South Africa.South Africa has the most serious HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world, with over six million people living with the condition. Those in South Africa most affected by HIV/AIDS are black males between the ages of 25 and 49 years. South Africa is also the third highest country for its Tuberculosis epidemic. It affects more of the male population and young non-white population members. Heart disease is the fourth highest cause of death in South Africa. Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic, affecting nearly two million people in South Africa, with the highest incidence among the Indian population, followed by the colored community. Left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to problems such as erectile dysfunction and impotence. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting men in South Africa. For the more underdeveloped areas of Africa, these diseases and illnesses can sometimes go unnoticed or unmanaged causing more infection and illness and ultimately leading to death.According to official South African statistics, as of 2011, 2.2 million foreigners live in South Africa. The following table is data of from ‘Table 4: International migrationassumptions for the period 1985-2015’ provided by Statistics South Africa, in their Mid-year population estimates released in July of 2015. It shows a quick number of each ethnic group and the assumed immigration “size.”In my research, I realized that immigration from neighboring poorer countries is something to be noted in regards to something called Xenophobia. Xenophobia is an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. Sociologist Alice Bloch notes that migrants in South Africa have been the victims of xenophobia and violence, regardless of their immigration status. Refugees from poorer neighbouring countries include many immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and others, representing a large portion of the informal sector. With high unemployment levels among poorer South Africans, xenophobia is prevalent and many South Africans feel resentful of immigrants who are seen to be depriving the native population of jobs, a feeling which has been given credibility by theAfrican Asian White1985–2000 1,135,275 14,476 -304 1122001–2005 769,038 23,335 -133 7822006-2010 922,885 34,688 -112 0462011-2015 1,067,936 40,929 -95 158fact that many South African employers have employed migrants from other countries for lower pay than South African citizens, especially in the construction, tourism, agriculture and domestic service industries. Illegal immigrants are also heavily involved in informal trading. However, many immigrants to South Africa continue to live in poor conditions, and the South African immigration policy has become increasingly restrictive since 1994. These statements about illegal immigrants to South Africa are supported by members of the “The Brain Gain” in regards to the Southern African Migration Project.According to forums by ‘Countries and their Culture’ the history of popular culture in South Africa reveals the creative energy of black peoples who continually found new ways to respond to apartheid, poverty, and oppressive social conditions. Between the 1920s and the 1950s, urban black popular culture in the region produced local jazz clubs, dance competitions, and gospel churches. That culture was nearly destroyed in the 1960s, when government apartheid policies forced blacks to move from cities and suburbs to distant townships consisting of rows of cheap, similar brick houses. Despite limited resources, residents of the black townships created new forms of popular culture that helped their homes and communities bloom amid the barren surroundings. In researching the local and popular culture of South Africa, I noticed a substantial amount of local culture in regards to traditional foods prepared by South Africans. This made up for the lack of popular culture in the majority parts of the country. The food consists of the traditionally simple cuisine of starches and meats, which are both characteristics of a farming and frontier society. Early “Afrikaner” (Southern African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving in the 17th and 18th centuries that traditionally dominated South Africa’sagriculture and politics prior to 1994) pioneer farmers sometimes survived entirely on meat when conditions for trade in cereals were not favorable. The gift and the act of providing food, centering on the ritual slaughtering of livestock, are central to all rites of passage and notable occasions in black communities. Slaughtering and the brewing of traditional cereal beer are essential in securing the participation and goodwill of the ancestors who are considered the guardians of good fortune, prosperity, and well-being. Afrikaners and coloured people gather at weekends and special occasions at multifamily barbecues called “Braais”, where community bonds are strengthened.The Bantu-speaking people of South Africa by the major part of the population classifies itself as African or black, but it is not culturally or linguistically homogeneous. Major ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele, all of which speak Bantu languages. Some of these people groups are unique to South Africa. Other groups are distributed across the borders with neighbours of South Africa. The Basotho group is also the major ethnic group in Lesotho, which like Swaziland are both landlocked countries. The Tswana ethnic group constitutes the majority of the population of Botswana. The Swazi ethnic group is the major ethnic group in Swaziland. A part of the Zulu ethnic group is also found in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, where they are known as the Matabele. These Ndebele people are the descendants of a Zulu faction under the warrior Mzilikazi that escaped persecution from Shaka during the Mfecane by migrating to their current territory. The Tsonga ethnic group is also found in southern Mozambique, where they are known as the Shangaan, claims New Internationalist.White South Africans are predominantly descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots (members and decedents of Calvinism) English and other European settlers. Culturally and linguistically, they are divided into the Afrikaners, who speak Afrikaans, and English-speaking groups. The white population has been on the decrease due to a low birth rate, emigration and a high murder rate; as a factor in their decision to emigrate, many cite the high crime rate and the affirmative action policies of the government. Since 1994, approximately 400,000 white South Africans have permanently emigrated. Nonetheless, there are high emigration levels, but a high level of non-South African white immigrants have settled in the country. For example, by the year 2005, an estimated 212,000 British citizens were residing in South Africa. Since 2003, the numbers of British migrants coming to South Africa has risen by 50%. There have also been a significant number of white Zimbabwean arrivals, fleeing their home country in light of the economic and political problems currently facing the country.The gender and sexuality of South African research is a timely area to discuss the South African Apartheid and how it affected young people and identity roles. Britannica defines the Apartheid as the following: Apartheid, (Afrikaans: “apartness”) policy that governed relations between South Africa’s white minority and nonwhite majority and sanctioned racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites.After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 and negotiated the end of apartheid in South Africa bringing peace to a racially divided country and leading the fight for human rights around the world.Ramon DeMar Jenkins of Michigan State corresponded a group of research on this event exclaiming, “Towards the latter half of apartheid in South Africa, the queercommunity became a central component in South African’s fight to end apartheid. The queer community was marginalized in both a legal and social sense because individuals chose to deviate away form the status quo. Laws and statues were implemented to make it a crime to engage in a consensual intimate act with a same gender loving partners. Queers or color were marginalized and treated in a inhumane manner by those in their community and society in general. …Those inequalities include inadequate healthcare, lack of quality education, and scarce employment opportunities for people of color due to their race, gender, and sexual orientation.”Language is a very diverse and widespread aspect of South Africa. My family has unofficially adopted a woman by the name of Mabel Owuso-Ankoma from Ghana, which is north of South Africa, but when she comes in to visit or vice versa, I hear about 3 to 4 different versions or translations of Twi. And like Ghana, there are many versions of South African language. There are eleven official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Fewer than two percent of South Africans speak a first language other than an official one. Most South Africans can speak more than one language. Dutch and English were the first official languages of South Africa from 1910 to 1925. Afrikaans was added as a part of Dutch in 1925, although in practice, Afrikaans effectively replaced Dutch, which fell into disuse. When South Africa became a republic in 1961 the official relationship changed such that Afrikaans was considered to include Dutch, and Dutch was dropped in 1984, so between 1984 and 1994, South Africa had two official languages: English and Afrikaans.According to Wits University Press and Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, wherein the President of South Africa, elected by parliament, is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the Council of Provinces and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Government is three-tiered, with representatives elected at the national, provincial and local levels. Under the Constitution, the President is both head of state and head of government. General elections take place every 5 years. The first fully multi-racial democratic election was held in 1994, the second in 1999, the third in 2004, the fourth in 2009, and the most recent in 2014. Until 2008, elected officials were allowed to change political party, while retaining their seats, during set windows which occurred twice each electoral term, due to controversial floor crossing legislative amendments made in 2002. The last two floor crossing windows occurred in 2005 and in 2007. The constitution’s bill of rights provides extensive guarantees, including equality before the law and prohibitions against discrimination; the right to life, privacy, property, and freedom and security of the person; prohibition against slavery and forced labour; and freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and association. The legal rights of criminal suspects also are enumerated. It also includes wide guarantees of access of food, water, education, health care, and social security. The constitution provides for an independent and impartial judiciary, and, in practice, these provisions are respected. Citizens’ entitlements to a safe environment, housing, education, and health care are included in the bill of rights, and are known assecondary constitutional rights. Violent crime, including and especially violence against women and children, and organized criminal activity are at high levels and are a grave concern in South African culture. Partly as a result, vigilante action and mob justice sometimes happens. Some members of the police are accused of applying excessive force and abusing suspects in custody; as a result, the number of deaths in police custody remains a problem. Some discrimination against women continues, and discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS is becoming serious. There has been growing political intolerance and repression. Many leaders of former Bantustan or homelands have had a role in South African politics since their abolition.South Africa has 64.3% of it’s population living in urban areas. South Africa has 14.57% of it’s population living in urban slums, not including rural and non-urban homelessness. South Africa’s percent with improved urban water supply is 99.2%. South Africa’s percent with improved urban sanitation is 81.7%. South Africa’s percent of change to urban population is 1.59%/year.To humanize something, in my opinion is to appropriate it according to a society or a standard of that of an individual or a people group. Much like United States culture, negativity has been humanized in South Africa. Foes and enemies are being humanized and made to seem “not as bad” such as those participants in the African Apartheid. We have humanized things in America in a more technological and industrialized way in regards to our natural land and resources that we have humanized. Concluding, the social aspect of culture can be humanized as well and it seems that that is something that the United States and South Africa have in common.


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