Home

South Africa vs. Namibia

Introduction

South AfricaNamibia
Background"Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners, called ""Boers"" (farmers) by the British) trekked north to found their own republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Afrikaners resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second South African War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 following the end of apartheid ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa has since struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting came to a head in 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI was recalled by Parliament, and Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in 2009; he was reelected in 2014.
"
South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. In 1966, the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that became Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia has been governed by SWAPO since the country won independence in 1990, though the party has dropped much of its Marxist ideology. Prime Minister Hage GEINGOB was elected president in 2014 in a landslide victory, replacing Hifikepunye POHAMBA who stepped down after serving two terms. SWAPO retained its parliamentary super majority in the 2014 elections and established a system of gender parity in parliamentary positions.

Geography

South AfricaNamibia
LocationSouthern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa
Geographic coordinates29 00 S, 24 00 E
22 00 S, 17 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 1,219,090 sq km
land: 1,214,470 sq km
water: 4,620 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
total: 824,292 sq km
land: 823,290 sq km
water: 1,002 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of Texas
slightly more than half the size of Alaska
Land boundariestotal: 5,244 km
border countries (6): Botswana 1,969 km, Lesotho 1,106 km, Mozambique 496 km, Namibia 1,005 km, Swaziland 438 km, Zimbabwe 230 km
total: 4,220 km
border countries (4): Angola 1,427 km, Botswana 1,544 km, South Africa 1,005 km, Zambia 244 km
Coastline2,798 km
1,572 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatemostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic
Terrainvast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,034 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
mean elevation: 1,141 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Konigstein 2,606 m
Natural resourcesgold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower, fish
note: suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore
Land useagricultural land: 79.4%
arable land 9.9%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 69.2%
forest: 7.6%
other: 13% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 47.2%
arable land 1%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 46.2%
forest: 8.8%
other: 44% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land16,700 sq km (2012)
80 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsprolonged droughts
volcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano
prolonged periods of drought
Environment - current issueslack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
limited natural freshwater resources; desertification; wildlife poaching; land degradation has led to few conservation areas
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteSouth Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution; some 14% of the land is protected, including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip

Demographics

South AfricaNamibia
Population54,300,704
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
2,436,469
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 28.34% (male 7,718,511/female 7,667,830)
15-24 years: 18.07% (male 4,865,807/female 4,943,707)
25-54 years: 41.44% (male 11,372,944/female 11,130,874)
55-64 years: 6.59% (male 1,662,874/female 1,915,908)
65 years and over: 5.57% (male 1,269,551/female 1,752,698) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 37.39% (male 460,016/female 451,058)
15-24 years: 20.35% (male 246,266/female 249,570)
25-54 years: 34% (male 395,417/female 432,994)
55-64 years: 4.25% (male 46,769/female 56,798)
65 years and over: 4.01% (male 41,518/female 56,063) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 26.8 years
male: 26.5 years
female: 27 years (2016 est.)
total: 21 years
male: 20.2 years
female: 21.7 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.99% (2016 est.)
1.98% (2016 est.)
Birth rate20.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
27.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 32 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 38.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 63.1 years
male: 61.6 years
female: 64.6 years (2016 est.)
total population: 63.6 years
male: 62.1 years
female: 65.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.31 children born/woman (2016 est.)
3.36 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate19.2% (2015 est.)
13.34% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
noun: Namibian(s)
adjective: Namibian
Ethnic groupsblack African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%
note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry (2014 est.)
black 87.5%, white 6%, mixed 6.5%
note: about 50% of the population belong to the Ovambo tribe and 9% to the Kavangos tribe; other indigenous ethnic groups include Herero 7%, Damara 7%, Nama 5%, Caprivian 4%, San 3%, Baster 2%, Tswana 0.5%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS6,984,600 (2015 est.)
210,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsProtestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 est.)
Christian 80% to 90% (at least 50% Lutheran), indigenous beliefs 10% to 20%
HIV/AIDS - deaths182,400 (2015 est.)
3,100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesIsiZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)
Oshivambo languages 48.9%, Nama/Damara 11.3%, Afrikaans 10.4% (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), Otjiherero languages 8.6%, Kavango languages 8.5%, Caprivi languages 4.8%, English (official) 3.4%, other African languages 2.3%, other 1.7%
note: Namibia has 13 recognized national languages, including 10 indigenous African languages and 3 Indo-European languages (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.3%
male: 95.5%
female: 93.1% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.9%
male: 79.2%
female: 84.5% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
Education expenditures6.1% of GDP (2014)
8.3% of GDP (2010)
Urbanizationurban population: 64.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 46.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 4.16% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 81.4% of population
total: 93.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 18.6% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 84.6% of population
total: 91% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 15.4% of population
total: 9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 69.6% of population
rural: 60.5% of population
total: 66.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 30.4% of population
rural: 39.5% of population
total: 33.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 54.5% of population
rural: 16.8% of population
total: 34.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 45.5% of population
rural: 83.2% of population
total: 65.6% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationJohannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni) 9.399 million; Cape Town (legislative capital) 3.66 million; Durban 2.901 million; PRETORIA (capital) 2.059 million; Port Elizabeth 1.179 million; Vereeniging 1.155 million (2015)
WINDHOEK (capital) 368,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate138 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
265 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight8.7% (2008)
13.2% (2013)
Health expenditures8.8% of GDP (2014)
8.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.77 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
0.37 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate25.6% (2014)
16.8% (2014)
Demographic profileSouth Africa’s youthful population is gradually aging, as the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined dramatically from about 6 children per woman in the 1960s to roughly 2.2 in 2014. This pattern is similar to fertility trends in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, and sets South Africa apart from the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, where the average TFR remains higher than other regions of the world. Today, South Africa’s decreasing number of reproductive age women is having fewer children, as women increase their educational attainment, workforce participation, and use of family planning methods; delay marriage; and opt for smaller families.
As the proportion of working-age South Africans has grown relative to children and the elderly, South Africa has been unable to achieve a demographic dividend because persistent high unemployment and the prevalence of HIV/AIDs have created a larger-than-normal dependent population. HIV/AIDS was also responsible for South Africa’s average life expectancy plunging to less than 43 years in 2008; it had only rebounded to approximately 50 years as of 2014. HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious public health threat, although awareness-raising campaigns and the wider availability of anti-retroviral drugs is stabilizing the number of new cases, enabling infected individuals to live longer, healthier lives, and reducing mother-child transmissions.
Migration to South Africa began in the second half of the 17th century when traders from the Dutch East India Company settled in the Cape and started using slaves from South and southeast Asia (mainly from India but also from present-day Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia) and southeast Africa (Madagascar and Mozambique) as farm laborers and, to a lesser extent, as domestic servants. The Indian subcontinent remained the Cape Colony’s main source of slaves in the early 18th century, while slaves were increasingly obtained from southeast Africa in the latter part of the 18th century and into the 19th century under British rule.
After slavery was completely abolished in the British Empire in 1838, South Africa’s colonists turned to temporary African migrants and indentured labor through agreements with India and later China, countries that were anxious to export workers to alleviate domestic poverty and overpopulation. Of the more than 150,000 indentured Indian laborers hired to work in Natal’s sugar plantations between 1860 and 1911, most exercised the right as British subjects to remain permanently (a small number of Indian immigrants came freely as merchants). Because of growing resentment toward Indian workers, the 63,000 indentured Chinese workers who mined gold in Transvaal between 1904 and 1911 were under more restrictive contracts and generally were forced to return to their homeland.
In the late 19th century and nearly the entire 20th century, South Africa’s then British colonies’ and Dutch states’ enforced selective immigration policies that welcomed “assimilable” white Europeans as permanent residents but excluded or restricted other immigrants. Following the Union of South Africa’s passage of a law in 1913 prohibiting Asian and other non-white immigrants and its elimination of the indenture system in 1917, temporary African contract laborers from neighboring countries became the dominant source of labor in the burgeoning mining industries. Others worked in agriculture and smaller numbers in manufacturing, domestic service, transportation, and construction. Throughout the 20th century, at least 40% of South Africa’s miners were foreigners; the numbers peaked at over 80% in the late 1960s. Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland were the primary sources of miners, and Malawi and Zimbabwe were periodic suppliers.
Under apartheid, a “two gates” migration policy focused on policing and deporting illegal migrants rather than on managing migration to meet South Africa’s development needs. The exclusionary 1991 Aliens Control Act limited labor recruitment to the highly skilled as defined by the ruling white minority, while bilateral labor agreements provided exemptions that enabled the influential mining industry and, to a lesser extent, commercial farms, to hire temporary, low-paid workers from neighboring states. Illegal African migrants were often tacitly allowed to work for low pay in other sectors but were always under threat of deportation.
The abolishment of apartheid in 1994 led to the development of a new inclusive national identity and the strengthening of the country’s restrictive immigration policy. Despite South Africa’s protectionist approach to immigration, the downsizing and closing of mines, and rising unemployment, migrants from across the continent believed that the country held work opportunities. Fewer African labor migrants were issued temporary work permits and, instead, increasingly entered South Africa with visitors’ permits or came illegally, which drove growth in cross-border trade and the informal job market. A new wave of Asian immigrants has also arrived over the last two decades, many operating small retail businesses.
In the post-apartheid period, increasing numbers of highly skilled white workers emigrated, citing dissatisfaction with the political situation, crime, poor services, and a reduced quality of life. The 2002 Immigration Act and later amendments were intended to facilitate the temporary migration of skilled foreign labor to fill labor shortages, but instead the legislation continues to create regulatory obstacles. Although the education system has improved and brain drain has slowed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, South Africa continues to face skills shortages in several key sectors, such as health care and technology.
South Africa’s stability and economic growth has acted as a magnet for refugees and asylum seekers from nearby countries, despite the prevalence of discrimination and xenophobic violence. Refugees have included an estimated 350,000 Mozambicans during its 1980s civil war and, more recently, several thousand Somalis, Congolese, and Ethiopians. Nearly all of the tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who have applied for asylum in South Africa have been categorized as economic migrants and denied refuge.
Planning officials view Namibia’s reduced population growth rate as sustainable based on the country’s economic growth over the past decade. Prior to independence in 1990, Namibia’s relatively small population grew at about 3% annually, but declining fertility and the impact of HIV/AIDS slowed this growth to 1.4% by 2011, rebounding to close to 2% by 2016. Namibia’s fertility rate has fallen over the last two decades – from about 4.5 children per woman in 1996 to 3.4 in 2016 – due to increased contraceptive use, higher educational attainment among women, and greater female participation in the labor force. The average age at first birth has stayed fairly constant, but the age at first marriage continues to increase, indicating a rising incidence of premarital childbearing.
The majority of Namibians are rural dwellers (about 55%) and live in the better-watered north and northeast parts of the country. Migration, historically male-dominated, generally flows from northern communal areas – non-agricultural lands where blacks were sequestered under the apartheid system – to agricultural, mining, and manufacturing centers in the center and south. After independence from South Africa, restrictions on internal movement eased, and rural-urban migration increased, bolstering urban growth.
Some Namibians – usually persons who are better-educated, more affluent, and from urban areas – continue to legally migrate to South Africa temporarily to visit family and friends and, much less frequently, to pursue tertiary education or better economic opportunities. Namibians concentrated along the country’s other borders make unauthorized visits to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, or Botswana, to visit family and to trade agricultural goods. Few Namibians express interest in permanently settling in other countries; they prefer the safety of their homeland, have a strong national identity, and enjoy a well-supplied retail sector. Although Namibia is receptive to foreign investment and cross-border trade, intolerance toward non-citizens is widespread.
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52.1
youth dependency ratio: 44.5
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7
potential support ratio: 13.1 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 67.3
youth dependency ratio: 61.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
potential support ratio: 17 (2015 est.)

Government

South AfricaNamibia
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; ""Africa"" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia ""Africa terra,"" which meant ""Land of the Afri"" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
"
"conventional long form: Republic of Namibia
conventional short form: Namibia
local long form: Republic of Namibia
local short form: Namibia
former: German South-West Africa (Deutsch Suedwest Afrika), South-West Africa
etymology: named for the coastal Namib Desert; the name ""namib"" means ""vast place"" in the Nama/Damara language
"
Government typeparliamentary republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Windhoek
geographic coordinates: 22 34 S, 17 05 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in September; ends first Sunday in April
Administrative divisions9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape
14 regions; Erongo, Hardap, //Karas, Kavango East, Kavango West, Khomas, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omaheke, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Zambezi; note - the Karas Region was renamed //Karas in September 2013 to include the alveolar lateral click of the Khoekhoegowab language
Independence31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule)
21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
National holidayFreedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Independence Day, 21 March (1990)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved 4 December 1996, effective 4 February 1997; amended many times, last in 2013 (2016)
drafted 9 February 1990, signed 16 March 1990, entered into force 21 March 1990; amended 1998, 2010, 2014 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law
mixed legal system of uncodified civil law based on Roman-Dutch law and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014) note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)
election results: Jacob ZUMA (ANC) reelected president by the National Assembly unopposed
chief of state: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hage GEINGOB (since 21 March 2015); Prime Minister Saara KUUGONGELWA-AMADHILA (since 21 March 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among members of the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2019)
election results: Hage GEINGOB elected president; percent of vote - Hage GEINGOB (SWAPO) 86.7%, McHenry VENAANI (DTA) 5.0%, Hidipo HAMUTENYA (RDP) 3.4%, Asser MBAI (NUDO)1.9%, Henk MUDGE (RP) 1.0%, other 2.0%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council of Provinces (90 seats; 10-member delegations appointed by each of the 9 provincial legislatures to serve 5-year terms; note - this council has special powers to protect regional interests, including safeguarding cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities) and the National Assembly (400 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held on 7 May 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANC 60, DA 20, EFF 7, IFP 1, NFP 1, UDM 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 62.2%, DA 22.2%, EFF 6.4%, IFP 2.4%, NFP 1.6%, UDM 1.0%, other 4.2%; seats by party - ANC 249, DA 89, EFF 25, IFP 10, NFP 6, UDM 4, other 17
description: bicameral Parliament consists of the National Assembly (104 seats; 96 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 8 nonvoting members appointed by the president) and the National Council, which primarily reviews legislation passed and referred by the National Assembly (42 seats); members indirectly elected 3 each by the 14 regional councils to serve 5-year terms)
elections: National Council - elections for regional councils to determine members of the National Council held on 27 November 2015 (next to be held in November 2020); National Assembly - last held on 28 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2019)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SWAPO 40, NUDO 1, DTA 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - SWAPO 80.0%, DTA 4.8%, RDP 3.5%, APP 2.3%, UDF 2.1%, NUDO 2.0%, CPN 1.5%, other 3.8%; seats by party - SWAPO 77, DTA 5, RDP 3, APP 2, UDF 2, NUDO 2, CPN 2, SWANU 1, UPM 1, RP 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals (consists of the court president, deputy president, and 21 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals president and vice-president appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), a 23-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes other judges and judicial executives, members of parliament, practicing lawyers and advocates, a teacher of law, and several members designated by the national president; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the national president on the advice of the JSC and hold office until discharged from active service by terms of an Act of Parliament; Constitutional Court chief and deputy chief justices appointed by the national president after consultation with the JSC and with heads of the National Assembly; other Constitutional Court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the chief justice and leaders of the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 12-year non-renewable terms or until age 70
subordinate courts: High Courts; Magistrates' Courts; labor courts; land claims courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and at least 3 judges in quorum sessions)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president of Namibia upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission; judges serve until age 65 but can be extended by the president until age 70
subordinate courts: High Court; Labor Court; regional and district magistrates' courts; community courts
Political parties and leadersAfrican Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE]
African Independent Congress or AIC [Mandla GALD]
African National Congress or ANC [Jacob ZUMA]
African People's Convention or APC [Themba GODI]
Agang SA [Mike Tshishonga]
Congress of the People or COPE [Mosiuoa LEKOTA]
Democratic Alliance or DA [Mmusi MAIMANE]
Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF [Julius MALEMA]
Freedom Front Plus or FF+ [Pieter GROENEWALD]
Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI]
National Freedom Party or NFP [Zanele kaMAGWAZA-MSIBI]
Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania or PAC [Luthanado MBINDA]
United Christian Democratic Party or UCDP [Isaac Sipho MFUNDISI]
United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]
All People's Party or APP [Ignatius SHIXWAMENI]
Communist Party of Namibia or CPN (formerly known as Workers' Revolutionary Party or WRP) [Attie BEUKES and Harry BOESAK]
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance of Namibia or DTA [McHenry VENAANI]
National Unity Democratic Organization or NUDO [Asser MBAI]
Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Jeremiah NAMBINGA]
Republican Party or RP [Henk MUDGE]
South West Africa National Union or SWANU [Usutuaije MAAMBERUA]
South West Africa People's Organization or SWAPO [Hage GEINGOB, acting president]
United Democratic Front or UDF [Apius AUCHAB]
United People's Movement or UPM [Jan J. VAN WYK]
Political pressure groups and leadersCongress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Sdumo DLAMINI, president]
South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]
South African National Civic Organization or SANCO [Richard MDAKANE, national president]
note: COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the African National Congress
National Society for Human Rights or NAMRIGHTS
various labor unions
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, NSG, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, CPLP (associate observer), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mninwa Johannes MAHLANGU (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400 [1] (202) 232-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Martin ANDJABA (since 3 September 2010)
chancery: 1605 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 986-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 986-0443
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jessica LAPENN (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
mailing address: P.O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
telephone: [27] (12) 431-4000
FAX: [27] (12) 342-2299
consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas Frederick DAUGHTON (since 6 October 2014)
embassy: 14 Lossen Street, Windhoek
mailing address: Private Bag 12029 Ausspannplatz, Windhoek
telephone: [264] (61) 295-8500
FAX: [264] (61) 295-8603
Flag description"two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes; the flag colors do not have any official symbolism, but the Y stands for the ""convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity""; black, yellow, and green are found on the flag of the African National Congress, while red, white, and blue are the colors in the flags of the Netherlands and the UK, whose settlers ruled South Africa during the colonial era
note: the South African flag is one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Sudan's
"
a wide red stripe edged by narrow white stripes divides the flag diagonally from lower hoist corner to upper fly corner; the upper hoist-side triangle is blue and charged with a golden-yellow, 12-rayed sunburst; the lower fly-side triangle is green; red signifies the heroism of the people and their determination to build a future of equal opportunity for all; white stands for peace, unity, tranquility, and harmony; blue represents the Namibian sky and the Atlantic Ocean, the country's precious water resources and rain; the golden-yellow sun denotes power and existence; green symbolizes vegetation and agricultural resources
National anthem"name: ""National Anthem of South Africa""
lyrics/music: Enoch SONTONGA and Cornelius Jacob LANGENHOVEN/Enoch SONTONGA and Marthinus LOURENS de Villiers
note: adopted 1994; a combination of ""N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrica"" (God Bless Africa) and ""Die Stem van Suid Afrika"" (The Call of South Africa), which were respectively the anthems of the non-white and white communities under apartheid; official lyrics contain a mixture of Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English (i.e., the five most widely spoken of South Africa's 11 official languages); music incorporates the melody used in the Tanzanian and Zambian anthems
"
"name: ""Namibia, Land of the Brave""
lyrics/music: Axali DOESEB
note: adopted 1991
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)springbok (antelope), king protea flower; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white
oryx (antelope); national colors: blue, red, green, white, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of South Africa
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission of the government
residency requirement for naturalization: 1 year
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Namibia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

South AfricaNamibia
Economy - overviewSouth Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world.

Economic growth has decelerated in recent years, slowing to an estimated 0.3% in 2016. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality - among the highest in the world - remain a challenge. Official unemployment is roughly 26% of the workforce, and runs significantly higher among black youth. Even though the country's modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. Eskom, the state-run power company, is building three new power stations and is installing new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability; in late 2016 they issued a request for bids to revamp South Africa’s nuclear power generating capabilities. Load shedding and resulting rolling blackouts gripped many parts of South Africa in late 2014 and early 2015 because of electricity supply constraints due to technical problems at some generation units, unavoidable planned maintenance, and an accident at a power station.

South Africa's economic policy has focused on controlling inflation; however, the country faces structural constraints that also limit economic growth, such as skills shortages, declining global competitiveness, and frequent work stoppages due to strike action. The government faces growing pressure from urban constituencies to improve the delivery of basic services to low-income areas, to increase job growth, and to provide university level-education at affordable prices. Political infighting among South Africa’s ruling party and the volatility of the Rand risks economic growth. International investors are concerned about the country’s long-term economic stability; as of December 2016, most major international credit ratings agencies placed South Africa only one level above junk bond status.
Namibia’s economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 11.5% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Marine diamond mining is increasingly important as the terrestrial diamond supply has dwindled. The rising cost of mining diamonds, especially from the sea, combined with increased diamond production in Russia and China, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities have emphasized the need to add value to raw materials, do more in-country manufacturing, and exploit the services market, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Namibia is the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium. The Chinese owned Husab uranium mine is expected to start producing uranium ore in 2017. Once the Husab mine reaches full production, Namibia is expected to become the world’s second-largest producer of uranium. Namibia also produces large quantities of zinc and is a smaller producer of gold and copper. Namibia's economy remains vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and drought.

Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years, food shortages are problematic in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, obscures one of the world's most unequal income distributions. A priority of the current government is poverty eradication. Despite a drought, real GDP growth remained strong in 2015 around 5.3% because of construction in the mining and housing sectors coupled with expansionary fiscal policy. GDP growth in 2016 slowed to 1%, however, due to contractions in both construction and mining sectors, as well as the ongoing drought. Growth is expected to recover modestly in 2017 and 2018.

A five-year, Millennium Challenge Corporation compact ended in September 2014. As an upper middle income country, Namibia is ineligible for a second compact. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Namibia receives 30%-40% of its revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); volatility in the size of Namibia's annual SACU allotment and global mineral prices complicates budget planning.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$739.1 billion (2016 est.)
$735.4 billion (2015 est.)
$726.3 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$25.99 billion (2016 est.)
$25.94 billion (2015 est.)
$24.63 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate0.5% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2014 est.)
0.2% (2016 est.)
5.3% (2015 est.)
6.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$13,500 (2016 est.)
$13,400 (2015 est.)
$13,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$11,800 (2016 est.)
$11,400 (2015 est.)
$11,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 2.2%
industry: 29.2%
services: 68.7% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 29%
services: 65.6% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line16.6% (2016 est.)
28.7% (2010 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 51.3% (2011 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 42% (2010)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6.5% (2016 est.)
4.5% (2015 est.)
6.8% (2016 est.)
3.4% (2015 est.)
Labor force21.7 million (2016 est.)
1.21 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 4.6%
industry: 23.5%
services: 71.9% (2014 est.)
agriculture: 31%
industry: 14%
services: 54%
note: about half of Namibia's people are unemployed while about two-thirds live in rural areas; roughly two-thirds of rural dwellers rely on subsistence agriculture (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate26.8% (2016 est.)
25.4% (2015 est.)
28.1% (2014 est.)
29.6% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index62.5 (2013 est.)
63.4 (2011 est.)
59.7 (2010)
70.7 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $76.62 billion
expenditures: $86.45 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $3.818 billion
expenditures: $4.408 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesmining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta, beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2016 est.)
4.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscorn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
Exports$83.16 billion (2016 est.)
$81.63 billion (2015 est.)
$4.185 billion (2016 est.)
$4.015 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
diamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, white fish and mollusks
Imports$85.03 billion (2016 est.)
$84.33 billion (2015 est.)
$6.888 billion (2016 est.)
$6.914 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
foodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Debt - external$129.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$131.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.515 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.124 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesrand (ZAR) per US dollar -
15.7 (2016 est.)
12.7581 (2015 est.)
12.7581 (2014 est.)
10.8469 (2013 est.)
8.2 (2012 est.)
Namibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
16.15 (2016 est.)
12.7589 (2015 est.)
12.7589 (2014 est.)
10.8526 (2013 est.)
8.2 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
1 April - 31 March
Public debt43.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
44.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
43.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
39.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$44.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$45.91 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.762 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.69 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$9.624 billion (2016 est.)
-$13.95 billion (2015 est.)
-$1.189 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.46 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$280.4 billion (2016 est.)
$10.18 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$128.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$124.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$168.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$162.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares$735.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$933.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$942.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.305 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.152 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.176 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate5.75% (31 December 2014)
7% (31 December 2009)
7% (12 April 2017)
6.5% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate10.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.42% (31 December 2015 est.)
10.75% (12 April 2017 est.)
7.41% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$209 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$196.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.837 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.904 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$99.49 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$91.72 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.507 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.583 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$172.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$192.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.496 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.574 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues27.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
37.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-5.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 51.3%
male: 48%
female: 55.3% (2014 est.)
total: 56.2%
male: 49.4%
female: 62.2% (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 58%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 34.9%
imports of goods and services: -33.4% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 63.5%
government consumption: 26.5%
investment in fixed capital: 36.9%
investment in inventories: -1.6%
exports of goods and services: 45.8%
imports of goods and services: -71.1% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving16.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
16.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
22.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

South AfricaNamibia
Electricity - production235 billion kWh (2014 est.)
1.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption212 billion kWh (2014 est.)
3.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
84 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports11 billion kWh (2014 est.)
2.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production3,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports466,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves15 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves15.01 billion cu m (1 January 2012 es)
62.29 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production950 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption4.75 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports3.8 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity46 million kW (2014 est.)
500,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels90.4% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
31.8% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants4.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
68.2% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels4.4% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production488,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption663,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
24,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports131,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
80 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports169,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
23,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy482 million Mt (2013 est.)
4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 7,700,000
electrification - total population: 85%
electrification - urban areas: 90%
electrification - rural areas: 77% (2013)
population without electricity: 1,600,000
electrification - total population: 32%
electrification - urban areas: 50%
electrification - rural areas: 17% (2013)

Telecommunications

South AfricaNamibia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 4,131,055
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 182,507
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 85.197 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 159 (July 2015 est.)
total: 2.443 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (July 2012 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the system is the best-developed and most modern in Africa
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 165 telephones per 100 persons; consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
international: country code - 27; the SAT-3/WASC and SAFE fiber-optic submarine cable systems connect South Africa to Europe and Asia; the EASSy fiber-optic cable system connects with Europe and North America; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: good system; core fiber-optic network links most centers with digital connections
domestic: multiple mobile-cellular providers with a combined subscribership of about 110 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 264; fiber-optic cable to South Africa, microwave radio relay link to Botswana, direct links to other neighboring countries; connected to the South African Far East submarine cable through South Africa; connected to the West Africa Cable System, an ultra-high capacity fiber-optic submarine cable linking southern and western African countries to Europe; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2015)
Internet country code.za
.na
Internet userstotal: 27.868 million
percent of population: 51.9% (July 2015 est.)
total: 493,000
percent of population: 22.3% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediathe South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operates 4 TV stations, 3 are free-to-air and 1 is pay TV; e.tv, a private station, is accessible to more than half the population; multiple subscription TV services provide a mix of local and international channels; well-developed mix of public and private radio stations at the national, regional, and local levels; the SABC radio network, state-owned and controlled but nominally independent, operates 18 stations, one for each of the 11 official languages, 4 community stations, and 3 commercial stations; more than 100 community-based stations extend coverage to rural areas (2007)
1 private and 1 state-run TV station; satellite and cable TV service available; state-run radio service broadcasts in multiple languages; about a dozen private radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters available (2007)

Transportation

South AfricaNamibia
Railwaystotal: 20,986 km
standard gauge: 80 km 1.435-m gauge (80 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 19,756 km 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified)
other: 1,150 km (passenger rail, gauge unspecified, 1,115.5 km electrified) (2014)
total: 2,628 km
narrow gauge: 2,628 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 747,014 km
paved: 158,952 km
unpaved: 588,062 km (2014)
total: 44,138 km
paved: 6,387 km
unpaved: 37,751 km (2010)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
container port(s) (TEUs): Durban (2,712,975)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Mossel Bay
major seaport(s): Luderitz, Walvis Bay
Merchant marinetotal: 3
by type: petroleum tanker 3
registered in other countries: 19 (Australia 1, Isle of Man 2, Mexico 1, NZ 1, Seychelles 1, Singapore 13) (2010)
total: 1
by type: cargo 1 (2010)
Airports566 (2013)
112 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 144
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
914 to 1,523 m: 65
under 914 m: 9 (2013)
total: 19
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 422
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 258
under 914 m: 132 (2013)
total: 93
1,524 to 2,437 m: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 52
under 914 m: 16 (2013)

Military

South AfricaNamibia
Military branchesSouth African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), South African Military Health Services (2013)
Namibian Defense Force (NDF): Army, Navy, Air Force (2013)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.1% of GDP (2015)
1.11% of GDP (2014)
1.12% of GDP (2013)
1.13% of GDP (2012)
1.14% of GDP (2011)
4.82% of GDP (2015)
4.25% of GDP (2014)
3.07% of GDP (2013)
3.17% of GDP (2012)
3.57% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

South AfricaNamibia
Disputes - internationalSouth Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River
concerns from international experts and local populations over the Okavango Delta ecology in Botswana and human displacement scuttled Namibian plans to construct a hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls along the Angola-Namibia border; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River; Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river

Source: CIA Factbook