Jan 23, 2012

South Africa program

Shanice Hector (right) and Nqobile "Obi" Mahlangu of South Africa will present the next Cultural Thursday program at Central Lakes College from noon to 12:50 p.m. Feb. 2 in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus. It is free and open to the public. Shanice, 19, is from Cape Town and Obi, 20, is from Johannesburg. Both are majoring in Business, attending CLC for one year through the the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. CLC was the first college in Minnesota approved for participation three years ago. With a stunning variety of spectacular natural environments, exotic wildlife, award-winning vineyards, historic townships, uniquely sophisticated cities, world-renowned cuisine, and lively culture, South Africa offers a journey of discovery like no other.

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages.

About 79.5 percent of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.

Although English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language. Education continues to receive the biggest share of the country’s budget.

South Africa has the largest economy in Africa, and the 28th-largest in the world. About a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.

All ethnic and language groups have political representation in the country's constitutional democracy comprising a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics, the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliament-dependent President.