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    South Africa Geography 2000

      Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

      Geographic coordinates: 29 00 S, 24 00 E

      Map references: Africa

      total: 1,219,912 sq km
      land: 1,219,912 sq km
      water: 0 sq km
      note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)

      Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

      Land boundaries:
      total: 4,750 km
      border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 855 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

      Coastline: 2,798 km

      Maritime claims:
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      territorial sea: 12 nm

      Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights

      Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

      Elevation extremes:
      lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
      highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m

      Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas

      Land use:
      arable land: 10%
      permanent crops: 1%
      permanent pastures: 67%
      forests and woodland: 7%
      other: 15% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land: 12,700 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards: prolonged droughts

      Environment - current issues: lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage threatens to outpace supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification

      Environment - international agreements:
      party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

      Geography - note: South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)