Featured Country – South Africa

Quick Facts

Location: Africa Population 49,004,031 Country comparison to the world: 25
Language: IsiZulu (official) 23.82%, IsiXhosa (official) 17.64%,   Afrikaans (official) 13.35%, Sepedi (offcial) 9.39%, English (official)   8.2%, Setswana (official) 8.2%, Sesotho (official) 7.93%, Xitsonga   (official) 4.44%, siSwati (official) 2.66%, Tshivenda (official) 2.28%,   isiNdebele (official) 1.59%, other 0.5%
Religions: Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%,   Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%,   Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other   2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)

General Attitudes

South Africa has eleven official languages, a measure that was included in the 1994 constitution to equalize the status of Bantu languages with Afrikaans, which under the white minority government had been the official language along with English. Afrikaans is still the most widely used language in everyday conversation, while English dominates in commerce, education, law, government, formal communication, and the media. English is becoming a lingua franca of the country, but strong attachments to ethnic, regional, and community linguistic traditions remain, supported by radio and television programming in all the nation’s languages. Linguistic subnationalism among ethnic groups such as the Afrikaners remains an important feature of political life.


South Africans are known for their hospitality and love to cook for   visitors. Unlike in the United States, foods are seldom packaged for   convenience. Bread is rarely pre-sliced and preservatives are not widely   used. National laws determine store hours, particularly for meat   sellers, who often open as early as 5:30 A.M. and close as early as 1   P.M.
South Africans eat three meals per day. For breakfast, most eat some   kind of hot cooked cereal, served with milk and sugar. Lunch may be a   simple meal, such as a sandwich or soup and dinner may be simple or   formal. In addition, several beverage options are usually on the table.   Tea is enormously popular in South Africa, particularly in the early   morning. Guests may be awakened by their hostesses as early as 5 or 6   A.M. to enjoy morning tea.

Family Life

In South Africa, the family in its varied forms and systems of  membership is the primary context for the socialization of the young.  The African extended family system provides a range of adult caregivers  and role models for children within the kinship network.
Angel Jordaan, Go Au Pair’s International Representative in South Africa    says South Africans make great Au Pairs because “they are taught to  be   independent from a young age, they grow up quickly and learn to be    self-motivated and driven to achieve their goals. They drive from a    young age, because of the rural areas here in South Africa. They are    English speaking, regardless if they have other languages they are    taught English in School for 12 years. South Africans are friendly and    helpful and they encourage others well. They are social people, love  the   outdoors, and adore animals, wild life and the ocean.”

In honor of our featured country, families who match with an   Au Pair from South Africa in May, will receive $100 off the program    fees

Learn about other countries Au Pairs come from.


Countries and their cultures

Countries Profile – U.S. Department of State

CIA – The World Fact Book Food in Every Country


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