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    South Africa Index 2006

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    South Africa Geography - 2006

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

      Geographic coordinates:
      29 00 S, 24 00 E

      Map references:

      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: 4,862 km
      border countries: Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

      2,798 km

      Maritime claims:
      territorial sea: 12 nm
      contiguous zone: 24 nm
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
      continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin

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

      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: 12.1%
      permanent crops: 0.79%
      other: 87.11% (2005)

      Irrigated land:
      14,980 sq km (2003)

      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 outpacing 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-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

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

      NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from the 2006 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of South Africa Geography 2006 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about South Africa Geography 2006 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Jun-06
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