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South Africa - National Climate Change Profile
The Republic of South Africa (henceforth ‘South Africa’, shown below in Figure 1-1) is a semi-arid country in the Southern Africa region. South Africa is one of the largest economies on the African continent in terms of absolute Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP/capita (3rd in Africa with a total GDP of ~USD 294.8 billion) and is ranked among the top ten African countries in terms of urban population (~63%) and total population size (~55,436,000 people). As a relatively water scarce country, South Africa is vulnerable to the effects of drought and rainfall variability and as a result it is estimated that drought affected ~17,700,000 people in the country during the period 1996-present (the fourth highest cumulative total among African countries).