South African People & Population

South Africa's People

When you come to live and work in South Africa be it Cape Town or Johannesburg it is important to know something about the locals, their customs and heritage. It is important after all to know something about your new home.
According to the last census in 2007 South Africa is a nation of over 47-million people, with Africans making up the majority of the population followed by the White, coloured and Indian/Asian populations making up the rest.
South Africa, home to Foreign Language Placements is the only country in the World with 11 official languages reflecting a variety of ethnic groupings. English is the most widely spoken followed by Afrikaans and then Zulu.
This being said when you live and work in Cape Town you might be forgiven for thinking you live in Europe; you will hear Dutch, German, Italian, French and many more European languages spoken frequently, which interestingly enough bears testimony to our countries past.
South Africa was first discovered in 1488 by Bartholomeu Dias but only much later in 1652 formally established as a trading post of the then VOC Dutch India trading company by Jan van Riebeeck . Much of the European population in South Africa today descends largely from the colonial immigrants of the late 17th, 18th and 19th centuries - Dutch, German, French Huguenot and British.
In terms of religious affiliation, about two-thirds of South Africans are Christian, mainly Protestant. They belong to a variety of churches, including many that combine Christian and traditional African beliefs. Many non-Christians espouse these traditional beliefs. Other significant religions are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
If you would like to find out more information on our rich history please visit the Official Tourism website for South Africa on