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South Africa(南非)

2010-04-23 16:46:53 作者:english88 来源:english88 浏览次数:0 网友评论 0

SOUTH AFRICA
History  
Various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago.  Bantu agriculturists and herdsmen moved south of the Limpopo River into modern-day South Af

SOUTH AFRICA

\History 

Various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago.  Bantu agriculturists and herdsmen moved south of the Limpopo River into modern-day South Africa by the 4th or 5th century.  They slowly moved south and the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050.  For most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the expanding settlement was a Dutch possession. The Dutch settlers initiated a series of wars called Cape Frontier Wars against the Xhosa people, and imported slaves from Indonesia, Madagascar, and India.   Great Britain seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1797 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.  The Dutch declared bankruptcy and the British annexed the Cape Colony in 1805.  The British continued the frontier wars against the AmaXhosa, pushing the eastern frontier eastward through a line of forts established along the Fish River and consolidating it by encouraging British settlement.  British stopped its global slave trade and abolished slavery in all its colonies in 1833.

The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 encouraged economic growth and immigration, intensifying the subjugation of the natives. The Boers (Dutch settlers) successfully resisted British encroachments during the First Boer War (1880C1881) basing their tactics much better on local conditions.  The British returned in greater numbers in the Second Boer War (1899C1902).  The Boers" attempt to ally themselves with German South West Africa provided the British with an excuse to take control of the Boer Republics.  The Boers resisted fiercely, but the British eventually overwhelmed the Boer forces, using their superior numbers and external supply chains, as well as the controversial scorched earth tactic.  The Treaty of Vereeniging specified full British sovereignty over the South African republics.

After four years of negotiations, the Union of South Africa was created from the colonies of Cape Colony, Natal Colony, and the republics of Orange Free State, and Transvaal on 31 May 1910.  In 1934 the South African Party and National Parties merged to form the United Party, seeking reconciliation between Afrikaners and English-speaking whites, but split in 1939 over the Union"s entry in World War II as an ally of the United Kingdom. The right-wing National Party sympathised with Nazi Germany during the war, and sought greater racial segregation or apartheid after it.  After World War II, the whites were able to maintain their rule by implementing the policies that would become known collectively as apartheid, a series of harsh laws segregating the country along racial lines.  Apartheid became increasingly controversial in the late 20th century, leading to widespread sanctions and divestment abroad and growing unrest and oppression by the National Party within South Africa. 

In 1990, after a long period of resistance, strikes, marches, protests, sabotage, and terrorism by various anti-apartheid movements, most notably the African National Congress (ANC), the National Party government took the first step towards negotiating itself out of power when it lifted the ban on the African National Congress and other left-wing political organizations, and released Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 years.  Apartheid legislation was gradually removed and the first multi-racial elections were held in 1994.  The ANC won by an overwhelming majority, and has been in power ever since.

\Geography  

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent.  It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is an enclave entirely surrounded by South African territory.  South Africa has a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 km and across two oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian).

The interior of South Africa is a giant, mountainous, and sparsely populated scrubland Karoo plateau, which is drier towards the north-west along the Kalahari desert.  The eastern coastline is lush and well-watered which produces a climate similar to the tropics.  The southern coast has a climate remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers.  This area produces much of South Africa"s wine.  This region is also particularly known for its wind, which blows intermittently almost all year.  The Free State is particularly flat. The high Drakensberg mountains forms the eastern escarpment of the Highveld.

Political System  

South Africa has a bicameral Parliament, comprising the National Council of Provinces (or upper house) with 90 members, and a National Assembly (or lower house) with 400 members.  Members of the lower house are elected on a population basis by proportional representation: half of the members are elected from national lists and half are elected from provincial lists.  Ten members are elected to represent each province in the National Council of Provinces, regardless of the population of the province.  Elections for both chambers are held every five years.  The government is formed in the lower house, and the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly is the President.  The President is both head of state and head of government.

Education System  

Education was compulsory for all children between age seven and age sixteen, but there had not been enough time or resources to provide adequate schools and teachers for the entire school-age population after the lifting of apartheid laws in the 1990s.  The schools received government assistance for teachers" salaries only; they had to charge fees for equipment and supplies.  In 1995 South Africa had a total of 20,780 primary and secondary schools.  Of these, 20,303 belonged to the government, and 477 were private.  More than 11 million pupils were enrolled, about 6.95 million in primary school and 4.12 million in secondary schools.  As of the mid-1990s, secondary-school graduates can attend one of fifteen technikons, 128 technical colleges, and seventy teacher-training colleges (which do not require high-school certificates for admission), or another in a wide array of teacher training institutions.  South Africa has twenty-one major universities, which are government-financed.

Population  

South Africa has an estimated population of 44.3 million. The ethnic groups include Black 79.0%, white 9.6%, Coloured 8.9%, Indian 2.5%.  By far the major part of the population classified itself as African or black, but it is not culturally or linguistically homogenous. Major ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.  Some, such as the Zulu, Xhosa and Venda groups, are unique to South Africa.

关键词:南非

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