The modern Republic of South Africa comprises the four former provinces that became the Union of South Africa in 1910: two former British colonies (Natal and Cape Colony) and two former Boer republics (Transvaal and Orange Free State).
South Africa has a population of 56.4 million (2018 figures). It has 11 official languages: Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu. Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English are the most commonly spoken first languages.
The country has three capital cities: the administrative capital / seat of government is Pretoria, the legislative capital is Cape Town, and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein.
The President is the Head of State and governs with a Cabinet comprising Ministers and Deputy Ministers who head the various national government departments.
South Africa is a unitary state comprising nine provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape. Each province is headed by a Premier and an Executive Council.
South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.
For general information on South Africa, including geography, population, history and economic information, see eg:
Recent General Books on South Africa
Books on South African History