WHAT MAKES SOUTH AFRICA UNIQUE?
The world's biggest hospital is the Chris Hani -
Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.
South Africa is one of only 12 countries where
tap water is safe to drink. Its tap water is
rated the third best worldwide.
South Africa is the world's biggest producer and
exporter of mohair.
South Africa mines deeper than any other country in the
world, up to depths of 2.5 miles at the Western Deep
It has the largest hydro-electric
tunnel system in the world at the Orange Fish Rivers Tunnel.
Electricity costs are
the second lowest in the world.
Officially, the youngest language
in the world is Afrikaans. By the
early-20th century Afrikaans had developed from Dutch, French and other
influences into a fully fledged language with its own dictionary. After a mere
90 years, it is the second most spoken
language in South Africa (Zulu is the most spoken, the Zulu people being the
largest ethnic group).
South Africa is the world's
biggest producer of gold, platinum, chromium, vanadium, manganese and
alumino-silicates. It also produces nearly 40%
of the world's chrome and vermiculite.
The world's two largest platinum
mines are located near Rustenburg.
South Africa has the world's
second oldest air force, established
Currently, South Africa is the only country in the world
which has voluntarily dismantled its nuclear
is the largest port in Africa and the ninth largest in the world.
While occupying 4% of Africa's landmass, South Africa
boasts more than 50% of the cars, phones,
automatic bank tellers and industrial facilities on the continent.
The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), now rising
from a Karoo koppie in Sutherland is the
largest telescope in the southern hemisphere
(and third largest in the world), which was completed in 2005.
South Africa is a middle income country with a strong
emerging economy – the 25th largest in the
world - and produces more goods than Portugal, Russia or Singapore. It also has
Africa’s biggest economy, three times larger
than Nigeria or Egypt.
South Africa has the fourth
largest coal reserves in the world. Its coal industry ranks sixth in
the world in terms of output of hard coal and third in terms of seaborne
international coal trade.
Rand Refinery is the largest refinery of
gold in the world.
African oil company
SASOL has established the only
commercially proven oil from coal operations in the world.
biggest producer of non-fuel minerals is South African company
Anglo American Corporation.
University of South Africa UNISA is a
pioneer of tertiary distance education and is the largest correspondence
university in the world with 250,000 students.
Eskom, the national electricity utility, is
the world's fourth largest in terms of both sales volume and normal
Johannesburg Stock Exchange is ranked as
the 10th largest in the world.
De Beers Group of companies control more
than 80% of the world supply of rough diamonds.
South African Breweries ranks as the second
largest brewing company in the world. It supplies up to 50% of China's beer.
It purchased USA based Millers Brewery in 2003.
Samancor Limited is the world's largest
producer by sales of manganese and chrome products.
KSDP Pentagraph is rated as the world's
second best design company by British design magazine, 'Creative Review'.
The company is responsible for the new-look packaging of
'Fanta' and design modifications of
'Coca-Cola' soft drinks worldwide.
Africa has the second oldest Film Industry
in the world.
Cape Argus Cycle Tour is the largest
timed cycle race in the world.
Big Macs are now officially the
cheapest, about 30% cheaper than anywhere else in the world.
Hotel (120 rooms) was voted World's Best Hotel,
by readers of Conde Naste Traveller magazine (this hotel attained the
highest score ever in the history of the awards).
M-Net is Africa's largest pay television
service, delivering 24-hour programming to dozens of countries across the
Travel & Nature:
Kruger National Park nature reserve
supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.
It is roughly the size of Wales, or the state of Massachusetts (USA), which
makes it the eighth largest reserve in
The Lost City Resort
is the largest thermal resort in the world as well as the largest
building project undertaken in the southern hemisphere.
Home to one
of the world's 6 floral kingdoms, South
Africa has one-tenth (23 200) of the world's flowering plants, of which
nearly 19 000 are endemic, making it the richest region in the world in
terms of species to area - 1.7 times richer even than Brazil.
It is home
to more kinds of mammals than North and South
America combined; or Europe and Asia together
Table Mountain in Cape Town is one of the
seven wonders of the geological world. Standing at just over 580 feet, it
dominates the city's skyline. Table Mountain can be seen as far as 130 miles
out to sea.
Paarl is South Africa's third oldest town and
home to KWV Cellars- the largest wine cellar
in the world (covering 22 hectares).
is the largest hand-dug hole in the world and is deeper than Table Mountain
is high. Kimberley also has the only drive-in pubs
in the world.
province is home to the Blyderiver Canyon,
the third largest canyon in the world.
Tugela Falls in KwaZulu Natal, at 948m (3110ft), is the second
highest waterfall in the world.
whale-watching spot is located in
Hermanus, Western Cape.
Seal Island in False Bay is the only place
in the world where Great Whites consistently breach
(leap completely out of the water) to catch their prey, mainly seals. It
also boasts the highest frequency of Great White shark attacks in the world.
South Africa became the first country in the world to
protect the Great White shark.
to 'Trivial Pursuit', Graaf-Reinett in the Western Cape has the
world's biggest grapevine.
Boesmansgat is renowned as the second
deepest sinkhole (about 299 metres) and the largest of its kind in the
world. Many attempts have been made at world records in cave-diving in this
Oudtshoorn are the Cango Caves, a 3 km
long sequence of caverns of glittering stalagmites and stalactites, which
makes it the longest
underground cave sequence in the world.
footprints were found at Langebaan Lagoon,
Western Cape, in a sand-dune-turned-rock. The 117,000 year-old fossils are
the oldest known footprints of an anatomically
Sterkfontein Caves, in Gauteng, is the site where the oldest
human skeletal remains were found in the
world (3,5 million years old). This is the place where the human race was
billion year-old crater in Vredefort is
the oldest known crater on Earth. The general estimate of its original
diamater is roughly 300 km, which makes it the
largest crater on the planet, as well.
Lucia estuarine system, in Kwazulu Natal, is the
largest estuarine system in Africa.
Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war of the 20th century and saw the
introduction of trench warfare, sadly -
the first large-scale use of concentration camps
for non-combatants, and the most prolonged period of
guerilla warfare by a "conquered"
nation's military against a "victorious" army.
was first used in battle by the Boers, who effectively used
camouflaged trenches and adapted battledress
to blend into treeless landscapes. It was during this war that British
forces were forced to switch from colorful uniforms to more sobre 'khaki'.
Technologically, it saw the first use of a
generation of weapons that are still with us today - automatic
handguns, magazine-fed rifles, and machine guns.
Book of Records lists the Anglo-Boer War as Britain's
most costly war outside of the two World Wars.
first news footage and propoganda films
were shot during the Anglo-Boer War.
The 'Freeplay' wind-up radio
was designed by Syzygy, a Cape Town company. Power for the
radio is generated by a winding handle. The institute says the radio is not
only useful in SA, but also in the entire southern African region, where
access to electricity and the high cost of battery power are major stumbling
blocks to radio access.
Ken Hall has been given an accolade by Time magazine
for his plastic mini-oven which he
invented to reduce the risk of fires in squatter camps. He said he designed
his oven, called the 'Cobb', after realising how people and children in
squatter camps were burned because of exploding paraffin stoves. The "oven"
uses six charcoal brickets which provide heat for more than two hours.
U.S. State Department View:
South Africa has a sophisticated financial structure
with a large and active stock exchange that ranks 11th in the world in terms
of total market capitalization. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
performs all central banking functions. The SARB is independent and now
operates in much the same way as Western central banks, influencing interest
rates and controlling liquidity through its interest rates on funds provided
to private sector banks. Quantitative credit controls and administrative
control of deposit and lending rates have largely disappeared. Enjoys
one of the more sophisticated banking systems in the world.
Healthy & Natural, Vol. 7, Issue 5:
Scientific studies from South Africa and Japan
corroborate findings of potent antioxidants in an indigenous herb tea from
the Southwestern Cape region of South Africa. Called rooibos (roy-boss),
this red tea is the only other tea in the world which undergoes a
fermentation process like black tea. Fermentation turns the leaves of
rooibos from green to a deep red color and gives it a slightly
sweet note with a deep body. Studies show that rooibos contains comparable
amounts of polyphenols to green tea and shows anti-mutagenic,
anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity. Rooibos,
unlike black and green tea is completely caffeine-free.