South Africa - Key Facts

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  • Population - 49 Million
  • Life expectancy - 49.2 years
  • Literacy - 86.4%
  • Languages - Zulu 23.8%, Xhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2%
  • Ethnic groups - Black 79.3%, White 9.1%, Coloured 9.0%, Asian 2.6%
  • Time zone - SAST (UTC+2)
  • Capital - Pretoria
  • Largest city - Johannesburg
  • President - Jacob Zuma
  • Deputy President - Kgalema Motlanthe
  • Currency - South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Nominal GDP - $287 billion (2009 estimate)
  • Unemployment rate - 25,2%
  • Provinces - Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, Northern Cape
 

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The following is an actual question in a University of Washington chemistry mid-term test. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

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