08 May 2009

Interesting Tidbits About South Africa

Disclaimer: The following facts were taken from Peace Corps, South African news sources (SABC) and talking to South Africans. Should someone who knows more than me about South Africa see an error, please let me know. None of these facts were blatently made up.*

  • South Africa's nickname is The Rainbow Nation due to the mixture of people from various world cultures and religions.

  • South Africa's unemployment rate is 23.5%.

  • South Africa's population is 48 million.

  • There are roughly 5.7 milion cases of HIV in South Africa (approximatly 12%, +/- depending on the study). This compares to the US's population of 400 million with an average of 1.5 million cases of HIV.

  • Same-sex marriage is legal (although not entirely welcomed and de-stigmatized culturally).

  • If a political party gets 2/3 of the public vote in the presidential election, the party has the power to legally change the constitution without going through any other political channel.

  • During Apartheid, black South Africans had to carry passes (like passports/IDs) with them whenever they left their village/town/city to show proof of who they were. They could also be forcibly removed from an area if they were there more than the allotted time (like 2-3 days).

  • Only 35% of South Africa's new entrant workforce (who have passed metric - like a high school diploma) will enter the workforce. Of those, 10% will drop out and 55% will never work. (Courtesy of SABC News)

  • Afrikaans, the language created by European settlers in the 1600s, is the newest world language and is only spoken in South Africa.

  • South Africa provides for 10% of the whole of Africa's GDP. A good portion of that is revenue from the mines of diamonds, gold and platinum. (Side note: I live 200K from a platinum mine).

  • A Google search and leafing of NationalGeographic.com reveal that lion deaths are not very common in South Africa and, in fact, lions outside of game preserves are actually more in danger of being killed by poachers. Lions also do not kill friendly, dark-haired women from America, it goes against The African Lion Code.

*Except the last sentence of the last bullet, that's for my dad : )

1 comment:

Lisa Gibala Warren said...

No, it's true, your pale freckeled skin is so similar to the coloring of lion fur that they think you are one of their own plus I've seen your pouncing skills. Undeniably lion. And if your hair frizzed enough, well you get the point.