U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: South Africa, November 1994
Bureau of Public Affairs

November 1994
Official Name: Republic of South Africa



Area: 1.2 million  sq. km. (470,462 sq. mi.).
Capitals: Administrative--Pretoria Legislative--Cape Town. Judicial--
Other cities: Johannesburg, Soweto, Durban.
Terrain: Plateau, savanna, desert, mountains, coastal plains.
Climate: moderate; similar to southern California.


Nationality: Noun and adjective--South African(s).
Annual growth rate: 2.6%.
Population: 42.7 million (1993 est.).
Ethnic groups: African (black) 29.1 million; white 5.5 million; colored 
(mixed race) 3.3 million; Asian (Indian) 1 million. Languages: 
Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, North Sotho, South Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, 
Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu (all official languages).
Religions: Predominantly Christian; traditional African, Hindu, 
Muslim, Jewish. Education: Years compulsory--7 yrs. for all children 
but not currently enforced. An estimated 2 million school-age children 
do not attend school.
Health: Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)--66. Life 
expectancy--65 yrs., women; 59 yrs., men.


Type: Executive--president; under the 1993 transitional constitution, 
bicameral Parliament.
Independence: The Union of South Africa was created on May 31, 
1910; became sovereign state within British empire in 1934; became a 
Republic on May 31, 1961; left the Commonwealth in October 1968. 
Nonracial, democratic constitution came into effect April 27, 1994; 
rejoined the Commonwealth in May 1994.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state) elected to a five-year 
term by the Parliament. Legislative--bicameral Parliament consisting of 
490 members in two chambers. National Assembly (400 members) 
elected by a system of proportional representation for a maximum five-
year term. Senate consisting of 90 members elected by the Provincial 
Legislatures (10 senators from each province). Judicial--Supreme Court 
consisting of Appellate Division in Bloemfontein and nine provincial 
divisions. Constitutional Court with power to override Parliament.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine provinces: Northern Cape, Western 
Cape, Eastern Cape, North-West, Northern Transvaal, Eastern 
Transvaal, PVW (Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging), Orange Free 
State, Kwazulu/Natal.
Political parties: African National Congress (ANC), National Party 
(NP), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Vryheidsfront/Freedom Front (FF), 
Democratic Party (DP), Pan-African Congress (PAC), African 
Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). Suffrage--Citizens and permanent 
residents 18 and older.


GDP (1993): $111.8 billion.
GDP growth rate (1993): 1.1%.
GDP per capita (1993): $2,815. Unemployment (1993): 46% (is 
heaviest among blacks).
Natural resources: Almost all essential commodities, except petroleum 
and bauxite.
Manufacturing (1993): About 25% of GDP. A world leader in the areas 
of railway rolling stock, synthetic fuels, and mining equipment and 
Industry: Types--minerals, auto- mobiles fabricated material, 
machinery, textiles, chemicals, fertilizer.
Trade: Exports (1993)--$6.7 billion: gold, other minerals and metals, 
agricultural products. Major markets--U.S., Germany, Japan, United 
Kingdom, other Sub-Saharan African countries. Imports (1993)--$5.2 
billion: machinery, mining equipment, transportation equipment, 
automobiles, computers, aircraft parts, rice, and office machinery parts. 
Major suppliers--U.S., Germany, Japan, United Kingdom.
Finance and business services (1993): About 16% of GDP. Mining 
(1993): 10% of GDP); world's largest producer and exporter of gold; 
also significant coal production.
Official exchange rate (1993 avg.): Financial rand--4.30 rand=U.S.$1; 
commercial rand--3.2 rand=U.S.$1.


Until 1991, South African law divided the population into four major 
racial categories: Africans (black), whites, coloreds, and Asians. 
Although this law has been abolished, many South Africans still view 
themselves and each other according to these categories. Africans 
comprise about 75% of the population and are divided into a number of 
different ethnic groups. Whites comprise about 14% of the population. 
They are primarily descendants of Dutch, French, English, and German 
settlers who began arriving at the Cape in the late 17th century.

Coloreds are mixed race people, primarily descending from the earliest 
settlers and the indigenous peoples. They comprise about 9% of the 
total population. Asians descend from Indian workers brought to South 
Africa in the mid-19th century to work on the sugar estates in Natal. 
They constitute about 2% of the population and are concentrated in the 
Kwazulu-Natal Province. Education is in a state of flux. Under the 
apartheid system, schools were segregated and the quantity and quality 
of education varied significantly across racial groups. Although the 
laws governing this segregation have been abolished, the long and 
arduous process of restructuring the country's educational system is just 
beginning. The challenge is to create a single nondiscriminatory, 
nonracial system which offers the same standards of education to all 


People have inhabited Southern Africa for thousands of years. 
Members of the Khoisan language groups are the oldest surviving 
inhabitants of the land;  however, only a few are left in South Africa 
today, and they are located in the western sections. Most of today's 
black South Africans belong to the Bantu language group, which 
migrated south from central Africa, settling in the Transvaal region 
sometime before AD 100. The Nguni, ancestors of the Zulu and Xhosa, 
occupied most of the eastern coast by 1500.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the Cape of Good 
Hope, arriving in 1488. However, permanent white settlement did not 
begin until 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a 
provisioning station on the Cape. In subsequent decades, French 
Huguenot refugees, the Dutch, and Germans began to settle in the 
Cape. Collectively, they form the Afrikaner segment of today's 

The establishment of these settlements had far-reaching social and 
political effects on the groups already settled in the area, leading to 
upheaval in these societies and the subjugation of their people. By 
1779, European settlements extended throughout the southern part of 
the Cape and east toward the Great Fish River. It was here that Dutch 
authorities and the Xhosa fought the first frontier war.

The British gained control of the Cape of Good Hope at the end of the 
18th century. Subsequent British settlement and rule marked the 
beginning of a long conflict between the Afrikaners and the English. 
Beginning in 1836, partly to escape British rule and cultural hegemony 
and partly out of resentment at the recent abolition of slavery, many 
Afrikaner farmers (Boers) undertook a northern migration which 
became known as the "Great Trek."  This movement brought them into 
contact and conflict with African groups in the area, the most 
formidable of which were the Zulus. Under their powerful leader, 
Shaka (1787-1828), the Zulus conquered most of the territory between 
the Drakensburg Mountains and the sea (now Kwazulu-Natal). In 1828, 
Shaka was  assassinated and replaced by his half-brother Dingane. In 
1838, Dingane was defeated and deported by the Voortrekkers (people 
of the great trek) at the battle of Blood River. The Zulus, nonetheless, 
remained a potent force, defeating the British in the historic battle of 
Isandhlwana before themselves being finally conquered in 1879. In 
1852 and 1854, the independent Boer Republics of the Transvaal and 
Orange Free State were created. Relations between the republics and 
the British Government were strained. The discovery of diamonds at 
Kimberley in 1870 and the discovery of large gold deposits in the 
Witwatersrand region of the Transvaal in 1886 caused an influx of 
European (mainly British) immigration and investment. Many blacks 
also moved into the area to work in the mines. The construction by 
mine owners of hostels to house and control their workers set patterns 
that later extended throughout the region. Boer reactions to this influx 
and British political intrigues led to the Anglo-Boer Wars of 1880-81 
and 1899-1902. British forces prevailed in the conflict and the 
republics were incorporated into the British Empire. In May 1910, the 
two republics and the British colonies of the Cape and Natal formed the 
Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion of the British 
Empire. The Union's constitution kept all political power in the hands 
of whites.

In 1912, the South Africa Native National Congress was formed in 
Bloemfontein and eventually became known as the African National 
Congress (ANC). Its goals were the elimination of restrictions based on 
color and the enfranchisement of and parliamentary representation for 
blacks. Despite these efforts, the government continued to pass laws 
limiting the rights and freedoms of blacks. In 1948, the National Party 
(NP) won the all-white elections and began passing legislation 
codifying and enforcing an even stricter policy of white domination 
and racial separation known as "apartheid" (separateness).

In the early 1960s, following a protest in Sharpville in which 69 
protesters were killed by police and 180 injured, the ANC and Pan-
African Congress (PAC) were banned. Nelson Mandela and many 
other anti-apartheid leaders were convicted and imprisoned on charges 
of treason. The ANC and PAC were forced underground and fought 
apartheid through guerrilla warfare and sabotage. In May 1961, South 
Africa relinquished its dominion status and declared itself a republic.  
Later that year, it withdrew from the Commonwealth, in part because 
of international protests against apartheid.

In 1984, a new constitution came into effect in which whites allowed 
coloreds and Asians a limited role in the national government and 
control over their own affairs in certain areas. Ultimately, however, all 
power remained in white hands. Blacks remained effectively 
disenfranchised. Popular uprisings in black and colored  townships in 
1976 and 1985 helped to convince some NP members of the need for 
change. Secret discussions between those members and Nelson 
Mandela began in 1986. In February 1990, State President F.W. de 
Klerk--who had come to power in September 1989--announced the 
unbanning of the ANC, the PAC, and all other anti-apartheid groups. 
Two weeks, later Nelson Mandela was released from prison. In 1991, 
the Group Areas Act, Land Acts, and the Population Registration Act--
the last of the so-called "pillars of apartheid"--were abolished. A long 
series of negotiations ensued, resulting in a new constitution 
promulgated into law in December 1993. The country's first nonracial 
elections were held on April 26-29, 1994, resulting in the installation of 
Nelson Mandela as President on May 10, 1994.


South Africa is under a transitional constitution until 1999. The 
constitution provides for some executive power-sharing among 
political parties based on the proportion of the vote they received in the 
April 1994 elections. Under the current constitution, there is a 
bicameral Parliament, a president, and an independent judiciary.

The Parliament consists of two houses--the National Assembly and the 
Senate--which are responsible for drafting the laws of the republic. 
Under the current constitution the Parliament, when seated in joint 
session, is called the Constitutional Assembly. This Assembly is 
required, by April 1996, to draft and approve a new constitution which 
is consistent with 34 constitutional principles. If this fails, it will be 
dissolved and new elections held. If successful, it will remain in office 
until 1999, when new elections, under the new constitution, will be 

The National Assembly is comprised of 400 members elected by a 
system of "list proportional representation."  Each of the 19 parties that 
appeared on the ballot submitted a rank-ordered list of candidates. The 
voters then cast their ballots for one party. Seats in the Assembly were 
allocated based on the percentage of votes each party received. In the 
1994 elections, the ANC gained 252 seats in the Assembly, the NP 82, 
the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 43, the Vyheidsfront/Freedom Front 
(FF) 9, the Democratic Party (DP) 7, the PAC 5, and the African 
Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) 2. The Assembly also has specific 
control over bills relating to monetary matters.

The Senate consists of 90 members, 10 from each of the nine provinces 
created under the new constitution. Voters received a separate ballot to 
elect provincial legislators, again utilizing the list proportional 
representation system. Each of the Provincial Legislatures then chose 
the 10 senators based on the distribution of seats among the competing 
parties. The Senate has co-equal legislative powers with the National 
Assembly, except for monetary bills. However, it is specifically 
responsible for those laws which deal with the powers of the provinces.

The president is the executive head of state. Following the April 1994 
elections, the National Assembly elected Nelson Mandela President. In 
addition, both the largest and second-largest parties--the ANC and NP--
chose one deputy president each. The president's responsibilities 
include assigning cabinet portfolios, signing bills into law, and serving 
as commander-in-chief of the military. The president must work 
closely with the executive deputy presidents and the cabinet. There are 
27 seats on the cabinet; any party holding at least 20 in the Assembly is 
entitled to a proportionate share of cabinet seats.

The third arm of the central government is an independent judiciary. 
This judiciary is characterized by a Supreme Court that consists of two 
sections--the Appellate Division and the Constitutional Court.

The Appellate Division (Court of Appeals) consists of the Supreme 
Court in Bloemfontein and nine regional Supreme Courts. The 
Supreme Courts hear cases involving serious crimes, including capital 
offenses. There are a series magisterial courts that rule on lesser crimes. 
The jury system was abolished in 1969 and, as a result, the presiding 
judge or magistrate determines guilt or innocence. The new 
constitution establishes a Constitutional Court with interpreting, 
defending, and enforcing the constitution. The court will consist of a 
president and 10 judges and will have the power to overturn any law or 
executive act that it deems unconstitutional. Chapter three of the 
constitution delineates over 25 fundamental rights of a South African 
citizen which the court is tasked with protecting. The Constitutional 
Court must rule on whether the constitution adopted by the 
Constitutional Assembly or any of the provinces are consistent with the 
current constitution's constitutional principles.

Challenges Ahead

Some of the challenges facing the Government of South Africa include 
raising the living standards of the majority of the population and 
restructuring the systems of government, education, and security 
forces. Beginning in May 1994, the government embarked on the 
Reconstruction and Development Program to begin addressing the 
inequities of apartheid.

Prior to April 27, 1994, South Africa was divided into four provinces 
and 10 black "homelands," four of which were considered independent 
by the South African Government. The new constitution abolished 
these distinctions and replaced the system with nine provinces. Each 
province has an elected legislature and chief executive--the provincial 
premier. While appearing to be a quasi-federal system, the nature of the 
relationship between the central and provincial governments has yet to 
be determined. During the apartheid era, the armed wings of the ANC 
and PAC waged an armed struggle against the regime. The new 
government is now in the process of integrating these two forces and 
those of the now-defunct homelands into a single national defense 

Human Rights

The new constitution grants more than 25 inalienable and fundamental 
rights to all South Africans. These rights include universal suffrage; 
equal protection under the law; and freedom of assembly, movement, 
religion, and expression. The constitution also includes the right to a 
fair and public trial and freedom from political or extrajudicial killings, 
arbitrary arrest, or detention. This constitution is the first in South 
Africa to guarantee these rights to all people, regardless of race or 

In the final years of apartheid, levels of political violence were 
extremely high in South Africa. The Human Rights Commission 
(HRC) reported that from July 1990 to March 1994, 13,464 people 
died in political violence. Of that number, 4,139 died between July 
1993 and March 1994. The often violent confrontations between 
supporters of the ANC and IFP and the apparent random violence by 
individuals or groups opposed to South Africa's transition to 
democracy were thought to be major causes of this violence.

In most parts of the country, political violence dropped significantly 
following the April elections. This is attributed, in part, to the 
newfound freedom to air and address political grievances. However, 
incidents of political violence remain high in Kwazulu/Natal Province 
and in certain areas around Johannesburg.

In November 1993, the multi-party negotiating council agreed to repeal 
those sections of the Public Safety Act and the Internal Security Act 
which detained individuals without charging them with a crime. The 
Human Rights Committee of South Africa reports that in the first half 
of 1994, 270 detentions without trial were recorded. However, as of 
late June 1994,  no one was being held.

Principal Government Officials

State President--Nelson Mandela (ANC)
First Executive Deputy President--Thabo Mbeki (ANC)
Second Executive Deputy President--Frederik W. de Klerk (NP)


Justice--Dullah Omar (ANC)
Defense--Joe Modise (ANC)
Safety and Security--Sydney Mufamadi (ANC)
Education--Sibusiso Bengu (ANC)
Trade, Industry and Tourism--Trevor Manuel (ANC)
Foreign Affairs--Alfred Nzo (ANC)
Labor--Tito Mboweni (ANC)
Posts, Telecommunication and Broadcasting--Pallo Jordan (ANC)
Health--Nkosazana Dlamini (ANC)
Transport--Mac Maharaj (ANC)
Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development--Roelf Meyer (NP)
Land Affairs--Derek Hanekom (ANC)
Public Enterprises--Stella Sigcau (ANC)
Public Service and Administration--Zola Skweyiya (ANC)
Housing--Joe Slovo (ANC)
Public Works--Jeff Radebe (ANC)
Correctional Services--Sipho Mzimela (IFP)
Finance--Chris Liebenberg (no party affiliation)
Agriculture--Kraai Van Niekerk (NP)
Sports and Recreation--Steve Tshwete (ANC)
Home Affairs--Mangosuthu Buthelezi (IFP)
Water Affairs and Forestry--Kader Asmal (ANC)
Environmental Affairs--Dawie de Villiers (NP)
Mineral and Energy Affairs--Roelf "Pik" Botha (NP)
Welfare and Population Development--Abe Williams (NP)
Arts, Culture, Science and Technology--Ben Ngubane (IFP)
Minister Without Portfolio--Jay Naidoo (ANC)

The Republic of South Africa maintains an embassy in the United 
States at 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20008; 
tel. (202) 232-4400.


South Africa has a broad-based, industrialized economy that 
paradoxically exhibits most of the characteristics associated with 
developing economies: a division of labor between formal and informal 
sectors, uneven distribution of wealth and income, a dependency on 
commodity exports, and a legacy of government intervention.

The formal sector, based on mining and manufacturing, is well 
developed. A smaller, but important, agricultural and service sector 
exists. Despite a strong private sector, there has been substantial 
government intervention in the economy. There also are a number of 
large government-owned corporations.

Economic policy has concentrated on the formal sector, but since the 
mid-1980s, the policy has sought to develop the informal sector, 
focusing on education and training, job creation, and small business 
assistance. The transition to a democratic, non-racial government, 
begun in early 1990, stimulated a debate on future economic policies to 
achieve sustained economic growth, redress the socioeconomic 
disparities created by apartheid, and improve the standard of living for 
the majority of the population.

The government is pursuing market-based policies, with the private 
sector as generator of wealth and the government actively addressing 
the inequities in health, education, housing, and social services. It has 
embarked on a five-year, $10.5 billion Reconstruction and 
Development Program which would implement programs to reduce 
unemployment, provide free medical care to pregnant mothers and 
children under age 6, electrify many homes in town-ships, and build 1 
million new homes. To accomplish its goals without under-mining 
business confidence, the government's first-year budget calls for 
continued fiscal discipline and strict monetary controls. South Africa 
aims to establish and maintain a pro-business environment and is 
encouraging both foreign and domestic investment.

Financial Policy

South Africa has a sophisticated financial structure with a large and 
effective stock exchange. The South Africa Reserve Bank performs all 
central banking functions. It is independent but, in practice, works 
closely with the Department of finance to formulate and implement 
government policy.

The Exchange Control Department of the bank administers foreign 
exchange control regulations. Exchange controls apply mainly to South 
African residents, but foreign investors are affected by the dual-
exchange rate system for commercial and financial rand. All foreign 
investment must be completed in financial rand (finrand) currency.

The finrand is used for investment and disinvestment purposes such as 
investing in South African securities and specified unit trusts, purchase 
of shares in new and existing companies, and the purchase of 
commercial property. The commercial rand is used for all other 
business transactions in South Africa. Although assets must be 
purchased in finrand, all dividends, interest, and income are freely 
remitted through the commercial rand.

Although there was press speculation that the finrand would be 
abolished and a unitary system adopted, government and bank officials 
set certain conditions for abolition of the dual-currency system, stating 
that the system would remain in effect until the conditions were met.

Trade and Investment

South Africa has rich mineral resources; the only major mineral 
products not found in South Africa are petroleum and bauxite. It is the 
world's largest producer and exporter of gold and also exports a 
significant amount of coal. The value-added processing of minerals to 
produce ferroalloys, stainless steels, and similar products is a major 
industry and an important potential growth area. The country's diverse 
manufacturing industry is a world leader in several specialized sectors, 
including railway rolling stock, synthetic fuels, and mining equipment 
and machinery.

Agriculture accounts for about 6% of the gross domestic product, 
including citrus fruits, corn, dairy products, sugarcane, tobacco, wine, 
and wool. However, because of inadequate and erratic rainfall, only 
about 15% of the land is suitable for arable farming. South Africa has 
many developed irrigation schemes and generally is a net exporter of 

The transportation infrastructure is well developed, supporting both 
domestic and regional needs. The telecommunications and electrical 
infrastructure provide "first-world" class service to white urban areas.

The economy is recovering from a five-year recession primarily due to 
significant gains in  the agricultural sector. South Africa's economic 
future looks hopeful, with GDP expected to increase and the financial 
rand expected to depreciate against the dollar. However, several factors 
could alter these forecasts, including economic policies of the new 
government, future commodity prices, and the duration of the rebound 
in the global economy.

Exports and imports account for more than 38% of the GDP. With the 
lifting of sanctions in 1993, the United States regained its position as 
South Africa's principal trading partner. South Africa is the largest 
export market for U.S. goods and services in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 
1993, U.S. exports to South Africa totaled $2.4 billion, representing 
about 14% of South Africa's total imports. Other major trading partners 
are Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Trade with other Sub-
Saharan African countries, which represents a considerable portion of 
South Africa's trade, has continued to increase substantially despite the 
sanctions era.

South Africa's protective import policies present barriers to foreign 
goods. Importers must apply for import permits for goods. Tariff rates 
range from 5% to 50%, with luxury goods as high as 60% and 
automobiles at 100%. Any South African producer may petition for 
tariff protection; approval is more likely where the producer has a 
major share of the domestic market and can show that foreign 
competition is eroding the company's market dominance. In 1993, the 
South Africans submitted a Uruguay Round offer to rationalize their 
tariff structure and to lower existing tariffs that the United States has 
agreed to accept. In the short to medium term, there may be continuing 
market access problems with some products, but the overall trend 
should be toward trade liberalization.

Foreign investors generally receive national treatment, but they are 
subject to certain lending limits. Local content rules apply in certain 
industries. In 1990, South Africa eliminated legal restrictions against 
foreign-owned financial institutions, which may now establish 
subsidiaries or branches or acquire domestic banks.

The Import-Export Bank may provide assistance for U.S. exports to 
South Africa. Such assistance can help open many markets in housing, 
education, and health care to American exporters and provide a trade 
promotion tool of the type already available to firms from most of 
South Africa's other major trading partners. In November 1993, the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation signed a bilateral investment 
encouragement agreement with South Africa. It can now assist U.S. 
investors in that market with services such as political risk insurance 
and identification of investment opportunities. The Trade and 
Development Program also is actively exploring opportunities to fund 
feasibility studies.


South African forces fought on the Allied side in World Wars I and II 
and participated in the post-war UN force in Korea. South Africa was a 
founding member of the League of Nations and in 1927 established a 
Department of External Affairs with diplomatic missions in the main 
West European countries and in the United States. At the founding of 
the League of Nations, South Africa was given the mandate to govern 
South-West Africa, now Namibia, which had been a German colony 
before World War I. In 1990, South Africa granted independence to 
Namibia with the exception of the enclave of Walvis Bay, which was 
reintegrated into Namibia in March 1994. After South Africa held its 
first non-racial election in April 1994, most sanctions imposed by the 
international community were lifted. On June 1,  1994, South Africa 
rejoined the Commonwealth, and on June 23, 1994, its credentials to 
the UN General Assembly were accepted. South Africa also joined the 
Organization of African Unity (OAU) and is beginning to play a 
leading role. Following the elections, many countries established 
diplomatic missions in South Africa. It now enjoys diplomatic relations 
with more than 80% of UN member states. South Africa's principal 
foreign policy objective is to develop good relations with all countries, 
especially its neighbors. In an effort to focus on domestic problems, 
South Africa is carefully considering to what degree it will participate 
in world affairs.


The United States has maintained an official presence in South Africa 
since 1799, when an American consulate was opened in Cape Town. 
The U.S. Embassy is located in Pretoria and consulates general are in 
Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Americans and South African 
also have many non-governmental ties; for example, black and white 
American missionaries have a long history of activity in South Africa.

From the 1970s through the early 1990s, U.S.-South African relations 
were severely affected by South Africa's racial policies. However, since 
the establishment of the Government of National Unity in May 1994, 
the United States has enjoyed an excellent bilateral relationship with 
South Africa. In May 1994, the United States committed to South 
Africa almost $600 million in aid to be distributed over three years. 
The U.S. aid program is focusing on responding to specific requests 
from South African and non-governmental organizations.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Princeton Lyman
Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Counselor--Priscilla Clapp
Economic Counselor--Michael Cleverley
Political Counselor--John Campbell
Administrative Counselor--John Collins
Public Affairs Officer--John Burns
Defense Attache--Kim Henningsen
USAID Director--Leslie "Cap" Dean
Agricultural Attache--James Benson
Consul General, Cape Town--Bismark Myrick
Consul General, Durban--Pamela Bridgewater
Consul General, Johannesburg--Alan McKee


Customs: A passport valid for at least six months is required, but a visa 
is not required for regular passport holders on bona fide holiday, 
business visits, or in transit. However, visas are required for extended 
stays, employment, study, and diplomatic and official passport holders. 
Evidence of a yellow fever vaccination is necessary if arriving from an 
infected area.

Health: The standard of community health is high, and city water is 
potable. Medical facilities, good in urban areas and in the vicinity of 
game parks and beaches, may be limited elsewhere. Avoid swimming 
in fresh water, as it may be infested with disease-causing organisms.

Telecommunications: Calls to the U.S. can be dialed directly, and 
connections are usually good. South Africa is six hours ahead of 
eastern standard time.

Transportation: South Africa has a modern transportation network.

Published by the U.S. Department of State -- Bureau of Public Affairs -
- Office of Public Communication -- Washington, DC -- Managing 
Editor: Peter A. Knecht

November 1994 -- Department of State Publication 8021 -- 
Background Notes Series -- This material is in the public domain and 
may be reprinted without permission; citation of this source is 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government 
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

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