South Africa, marked by several distinct ecosystems, is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain. But the private game reserves that have earned international acclaim, or earned the country its second-ranked reputation as a prime destination for ecotourism, aren’t found in this part of the world.
Much of Africa is flat. There is nothing to see. There are hardly any mountains. Yet the country is green. South Africa is an extraordinary creation, combining plateaus with a deep mountain range, hilly valleys, fertile plains and a long coast line with swimmable beaches. It’s on this diverse continent with Africa’s largest population that the scientists have drawn upon to address their questions.
More than 5,000 species of plants are found in the country, which is about the same as in all of Europe, and as many as 7,000 different bird species live here. The forests are a major habitat. More than 3,600 species of mammals, 27,000 of birds and 1,300 of amphibians live here.
The researchers collected water from swimmable beaches on the southern Atlantic coast near Cape Town, in the valleys and in the mountains. They also studied plant species from the drier parts of the country. In one of the caves near Kimberley, South Africa, they tested soil from two different ages. That way, they were able to determine the time between when different types of plants formed and when their traces were found in the soil.
South Africa is a very complex nation. There are various underlying challenges. The last two decades have seen an economic recession, an increase in inequality, poverty, unemployment and more. This has led to high levels of crime and substance abuse, which in turn led to the rise of radical political movements that are more often than not fuelled by deeply rooted frustration and anger. The ability of one political party to address these challenges is completely different from what it was 20 years ago. The only difference now is the means at which the solutions are pursued. All political parties are engaged in finding solutions to these complex challenges. To a large extent, the progress achieved thus far has been the product of inter-party cooperation and a deliberate effort to bring the stakeholders together.
Most South Africans choose not to think about it, considering their country to be above the wild and uncontrollable waves of illegal and corrupt money washing around the world. But in the dirty linen of South Africa, it is often hidden.
In SA we are all proud of our country’s freedom. We have worked hard to build an independent country where we all have the same opportunity.
But no country is perfect. We’ve got defects. We have our own “human nature” just like all other nations. We are proud of our human nature” even now. We have our men, women, boys, girls, soldiers, police officers, doctors, nurses and teachers.
We are united by these “human nature” failures and “human nature” successes. Our main differences are not based on skin colour or ethnicity.
Date of last update: 13. May, 2021