South Africa

South Africa

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South Africa

Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics.

The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum.

In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid—the separate development of the races—which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa’s prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime’s eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party’s General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009. National presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 2014.

Why volunteer in South Africa

Although South Africa’s diversity is largely celebrated today, the effects of apartheid—the forced racial segregation that lasted over four decades—can still be felt throughout South Africa. While there is still a sense of separation in the country, and issues such as high unemployment and the HIV/AIDS epidemic threaten economic progress, South Africans are determined to make up for decades of social disruption, inequitable services, and lost opportunities. Take part in this incredible sense of determination when you volunteer in South Africa. Your volunteer work in Africa will give you an opportunity to assist with the growth and development of children, improve education for children, improve health and the sense of dignity among the elderly, improve the quality of care for people with disabilities, or support those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Volunteer trips to Africa can mean a great many things. And as an international volunteer, you want to ensure that your experience is genuine, immersive, and impactful. When you volunteer with CCS in Cape Town, South Africa, you’ll have an opportunity to experience a diverse country that is evolving every moment of every day, and a chance to make a real impact. Become a CCS volunteer in South Africa—a nation thought by many to be the gateway to Africa—to ensure that your volunteer work in Africa is extraordinary.

Getting there

Crime culture in South Africa is changing for the better, but travelers should still exercise a high degree of caution.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa is high. You should exercise precautions if engaging in activities that might expose you to risk. Cholera occurs in rural areas, and thus bottled water is advised. Malaria is prevalent in remote areas in the far north and east of South Africa, along with other insect-borne diseases.
Your passport should be valid for no less than 30 days after your intended stay, and at least two completely blank pages on which your entry permit can be endorsed.The Australian Consulate is located in Windhoek.

Image: South Africa Tourism


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