Date: 21 Dec 2011
Country: South Africa
Capitals–administrative, Pretoria; legislative, Cape Town; judicial, Bloemfontein.
Population: ): 50.59 million. Composition–black 79.5%; white 9%; colored 9%; Asian (Indian) 2.5%.
People groups: 61
Languages: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga (all official languages).
Religions: Christianity 75.3%, Ethnic religions 13.7%, Islam 1.7%, Hindu 1.2%, Unknown 7.7%, Other small 0.4%
Executive–President Jacob Zuma (chief of state) elected to a 5-year term by the National Assembly.
Legislative— Parliament consisting of 490 members in two chambers.
a. National Assembly (400 members) elected by a system of proportional representation.
b. National Council of Provinces consisting of 90 delegates (10 from each province) and 10 nonvoting delegates representing local government.
Judicial–Constitutional Court interprets and decides constitutional issues;
Supreme Court of Appeal is the highest court for interpreting and deciding non-constitutional matters.
The ANC has been dominant since independence but has had problems with factions with various agendas.
Living conditions: There is 25% unemployment and 57% nationally live below the poverty line, although this varies considerably geographically. The gap between rich and poor is widening. Crime rate is very high in some areas. There is a culture of brutality and torture in some police forces. However, for people in the upper income bracket life is very good.
History: White settlement commenced in 1672 with Dutch, French Hugenot refugees, and Germans occupying Cape of Good Hope area, subjugating and displacing indigenous people. These Europeans became the Afrikaaners, Boers, who were later in conflict with the British settlers. They moved north and fought with the Zulus . The Boer Republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State were formed but the discovery of diamonds led to the Boers Wars in which the British prevailed, forming the Union of South Africa in 1910. The constitution kept all power in the hands of the whites and two years later the African National Congress formed to counter this. However, even stricter laws were passed until the apartheid laws brought complete separation of the black, coloured, white and Asian groups. This continued until 1993 and a year later Nelson Mandela was elected president.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission did a great deal to heal wounds but bitterness still exists between people groups.
1. Government – President Zuma for wisdom and ability to lead the nation in paths of righteousness.
2. HIV/AIDS – for a greater awareness among all groups and a determination to reduce the infection rate. For government to make anti-Retroviral drugs available.
3. Poverty – for a major commitment to increase the standard of living for those living below the poverty line by job creation and education. Food prices rose 10% in the last 12 months.
4. Crime reduction – for a realization of the value of human life, for a turning from the pursuit of possessions to a return to traditional values of family, for employment opportunities that will reduce the need for crime.
5. Peace – for reconciliation and forgiveness, for commitment to finding peaceful solutions to tribal, cultural, political and ethnic differences.
6. Unity and cooperation between all groups making disciples and planting churches in South Africa.
7. For multiplication of New Testament house churches / discipleship groups that would be salt and light to this society – Rom 16:3-5
8. Bind the “strong men” – demonic powers that exercise Satan’s authority in the world. Murder, strife, lawlessness and many more – all need to be bound in the matchless name of Jesus. Mat 12:28-29.
9. For the raising up of labourers for the harvest – Luke 10:2.
10. For the identification of men and women of peace who will receive the bearers of the Gospel of the Kingdom – Luke 10:5-7.