With its mix of ethnicities, today’s South Africa is shaped by a multitude of cultures. The individual population groups and regions cultivate their own languages and religions as well as their own cultural heritage.
The traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age. UNESCO has placed many old cultural landscapes under special protection as World Heritage Sites. The Sterkfontein valley is home to the richest archaeological sites in the world for prehistoric and early humans, the Mapungubwe region contains the remains of a powerful kingdom that was one of the largest in southern Africa between 900 and 1300, and in the Drakensberg the indigenous San in left behind numerous rock carvings over four millennia.
The island of Robben Island off Cape Town, which served as a prison for political opponents under the apartheid regime, is part of the more modern cultural heritage. N. Mandela was held here for years.
From the 1950s onwards, cultural life was severely restricted by the apartheid concept and its repression: in many cases, critical artists were denied access to cultural institutions, and some of them turned their backs on South Africa and went into exile. With the end of official racial segregation in 1993, there was a cultural upheaval. The censorship was lifted, the arts reoriented themselves and found new topics beyond the apartheid problem.
The literature is presented in eleven national languages, nine of which are Bantu ( South African literature ). World-class writers include the English-language Nobel Prize winners N. Gordimer (1991) and JM Coetzee (2003). Both deal with the devastating effects of apartheid in their novels such as “July’s People” ( Gordimer ) and “Schande” ( Coetzee ). The in Afrikaans writing B. Breytenbach , representatives of Afrikaans literature group sestigers, found its own realism style in his poetry and prose. Belongs to the main actors of modern South African theater A. Fugard .
The music is characterized by a wide variety of styles: In addition to pop, gospel, rock and jazz, there are regional directions such as Maskandi, which comes from Zulu music, or Famo, which is popular with the Basuto. Kwela music with its typical tin flutes was created in the 1950s. The best-known international names in the music scene ( African music ) include the jazz pianist A. Ibrahim , the saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi ( * 1925, † 1983 ), the trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela ( * 1939, † 2018 ) and the singer M. Makeba , who landed a world hit in the 1960s with her song »Pata, Pata«, sung on isiXhosa.
According to politicsezine, the lively art scene in South Africa is particularly noticeable in Cape Town. Galleries and especially the Zeitz Museum for Contemporary Art (Zeitz MOCAA), which opened in 2017, show contemporary art ( African art ) here. Internationally, there is a lot of attention. B. W. Kentridge , who works as a draftsman, film artist, opera director and installation artist and who has repeatedly participated in documenta.
South Africa is both active and passive, a nation that is passionate about sports. Ball games such as rugby, cricket and soccer are particularly popular.
World Heritage Sites in South Africa
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage Sites (N)
- Robben Island (K; 1999)
- Fossil sites from Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and the surrounding area (K; 1999)
- Wetland iSimangaliso Wetland Park (N; 1999)
- Maloti-Drakensberg Nature Park (Qathlamba) (C / N; 2000)
- Mapungubwe archaeological site (K; 2003)
- Protection Region Cape Floral (N; 2004)
- Vredefort rings southwest of Johannesburg (N; 2005)
- Cultural landscape Richtersveld (K; 2007)
- Cultural landscape of the Khomani (K; 2017)
- Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains (N; 2018)
Port Elizabeth [p ɔ ː t ɪ l ɪ zəbəθ], port city in southwestern province of Eastern Cape, Republic of South Africa, at the Algoa Bay, (last raised in 2011) 312,400 residents in the metropolitan area, as Metropolitan Municipality Nelson Mandela Bay1959 km 2 and 1.15 million residents.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (opened in 2005), oceanarium with snake park. The commercial and industrial city is one of the centers of the country’s auto industry. About the port of v. a. Export of ores and wool; international Airport.
The city center is characterized by Victorian and Edwardian architecture from the turn of the century.
The bay was first visited in 1488 by B. Diaz. In 1799 the British built Fort Frederick here as the oldest British structure in southern Africa, where the city was founded in 1820. – Port Elizabeth is the largest city in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.
Cape Town (Cape Town, Kaapstad), the second largest city in the Republic of South Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean, with (last surveyed 2011) 433 700 residents (in the urban agglomeration 3.74 million).
Cape Town is the seat of the South African Parliament and, in addition to the university, has numerous research institutes, libraries and museums. The city, an important port, is one of the most beautifully situated cities on earth.
Cape Town was founded by the Dutch in 1652.