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Map of South-Africa

South Africa

In 2019 South Africa had a population of 58.5 million people. The country has a land surface area of 1,220,000 km². Of this, around 11% of the land is arable. There are significant ecological variations ranging from dry conditions (desert and semi desert) in the west to two bands of higher rainfall in the east. South Africa is considered to be a water scarce country, with this scarcity exacerbated by extreme social and economic inequality. Just 28% of the land surface receives 600 mm or more of rain per annum. This means that most of the land is suitable only for livestock or wildlife production.
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South African Land Conference on The Failed Promise of Tenure Security: Customary Land Rights and Dispossession: The last word

24 August 2022

Citizens of rural communities across the country who are fighting for their land rights are outraged at the government’s treatment of them, likening it to apartheid and colonialism. Violence, intimidation, assassinations and dispossession are continuing in parts of the country as black South…

A drone image of the extent of the damage caused by flooding in Prospecton, Durban, on 13 April 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

South Africa’s framework for a just transition fails to recognise the climate emergency

16 August 2022

While the introduction to the framework acknowledges the urgency in climate science, it fails to recognise that we are living through climate extremes and their deleterious impacts. Moreover, the document does not mention upfront that we are one of 10 climate hotspots in the world, with a doubling…

Climate change drowning West African coastline

22 July 2022

Erosion and tidal surges are threatening fishing communities in West Africa. As a result, many people are fleeing inland — losing their livelihoods. The sea has already encroached two meters into the country's interior.      Rising sea levels threaten many fishing communities in West Africa…

South Africa


By 2019 16.8% of households lived in informal dwellings across South Africa’s nine major metropolitan municipalities.

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South Africa’s escalating water crises of drought and floods are harbingers of climate crisis

25 May 2022

South Africa needs to move away from siloed and passive approaches toward water management and adopt more proactive, robust and integrated approaches. Apopular phrase in a time of crisis is “it never rains, but it pours”. This is usually a figurative expression referring to the overwhelming sense…

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Informal settlements and access to data in the time of COVID: a case for sharing data for decision making

Informal settlements and access to data in the time of COVID: a case for sharing data for decision making

  The spread of COVID-19 in South Africa and other countries in the region has again brought to the fore the fact that very dense, under-serviced, mostly informal, settlements are not healthy places to live. They are also places where the spread of a disease is difficult to prevent or manage.      …