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    South Africa Geography - 2002

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

      Geographic coordinates 29 00 S, 24 00 E

      Map references Africa

      total: 1,219,912 sq km
      land: 1,219,912 sq km
      note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
      water: 0 sq km

      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

      Coastline 2,798 km

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

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

      Terrain 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%
      permanent crops: 1%
      other: 87% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land 13,500 sq km (1998 est.)

      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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, 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 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of South Africa Geography 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about South Africa Geography 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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