In South Africa, we have a lot of things to be proud about. On the sporting front, our rugby team is top of the IRB World Rankings and the Proteas are ranked the third best cricketing team in the world. I have conveniently left out the national soccer side but I’m sure they hold a record for something – perhaps having the most coaches hired/fired.
We have some of the most “entertaining” politicians (see Julius Malema), and whilst no list will ever be able to graph it, our love for braai and beer is unparalleled. We also have the dubious distinction of topping a list that most countries would try to avoid being a part of.
In a local-is-not-so-lekker situation which most of us are aware of (but don’t tend to bring up in normal conversation), South Africa leads the world in homicide rates. The Guardian reports that, according to United Nations data from 2004, South Africa has 69 murders per 100,000 people, with Colombia in second place with 61.1 and El Salvador taking third with 57.5. That UN data was visualized by GOOD magazine’s “Transparency” department into an infographic that I am hard-pressed to find visually appealing.
These kind of traits obviously shape peoples’ perceptions of countries, but for the most of it, South Africans really are a nice bunch of people. If you ever visit Cape Town, drop us a line and we’ll happily let you buy us beer ;-)
[Thanks to PS3ZA member RA1THE for the tip]