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THE REPUBLIC OF South Africa has a land area of 471,443 sq. mi. (1,221,037 sq. km.), with a population of 48,577,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 101 people per sq. mi. (39 people per sq. km.). Some 10 percent of the country is devoted to arable purposes, with a further 67 percent used as meadows and pasture, much of it for low-intensity grazing of cattle and goats. Only 7 percent of the country is forested.

As the nation is a major producer of coal, some 92.6 percent of South Africa's electricity production comes from fossil fuels, with 6.7 percent from nuclear power and 0.7 percent from hydropower. In spite of its location, South Africa has made little use of solar power. In 1990, South ...

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