Welcome to South Africa. From Cape Town which is the southern
tip of Africa where two great oceans meet, warm weather
lasts most of the year and where the great adventure starts
just beyond the city lights.
Today, this country is the powerhouse of Africa, the most
advanced, broad-based economy on the continent, with infrastructure
to match any first-world nation.
You can drive on wide, tarred highways all 1 600 kilometres
from Messina at the very top of the country to Cape Town
at the bottom, or join eight million passengers who disembark
at our airports every year.
Two-thirds of Africa's electricity is generated here. Forty
percent of the phones are here. Twenty percent of the world's
gold is mined here. And almost everyone who visits is astonished
at how far a dollar will stretch. Welcome to the Republic
of South Africa.
There are 11 officially recognised languages, most of them
indigenous to South
Africa. Forty percent of the population speak either
Zulu or Xhosa. You don't speak either? Not to worry. Everywhere
you go, you can expect to find people who speak or understand
English. Road signs and official forms are in English. The
President makes his speeches in English. At any hotel, the
receptionists, waiters and porters will speak English. English
is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking,
government, road signs and official documents. Another major
language is Afrikaans, a derivative of Dutch. Northern Europeans
will find it surprisingly easy to follow Afrikaans.