English

Definition of South Africa from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

the country at the southern tip of Africa. Its capital city is Pretoria but Cape Town and Bloemfontein also function as capitals. In the 17th and 18th centuries different areas of the country were settled by the Dutch and the British, who fought each other in the Boer Wars. South Africa became part of the British Empire in the late 18th century. In 1909 it became an independent member of the Commonwealth, but left in 1961 after establishing the policy of apartheid (= trying to keep the races of the country separate, with the white people in control). Most other countries disapproved of this policy, and many countries refused to trade with South Africa or to take part in sporting events with it. In 1994, after years of international pressure, the South African government allowed everybody the same voting rights and Nelson Mandela became the country's first black president. South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and is one of the world's largest producers of diamonds, gold and other valuable metals. Because of the many different peoples and cultures that make up the population and its 11 official languages, South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation. See related entries: Countries and continents
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: South Africa

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