South Africa

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Republic of South Africa
South Africa LF.gif
Location  Africa
Capital  Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative)
Area  1,219,090 sq km
Population  55,380,210
"A trouble shared is a trouble halved"
(Proverb/Quote of the Week)

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South Africa Map.gif


January 1

  • National minimum wage of R20 per hour came into effect in South Africa from 1 January 2019.

January 2

January 3

January 4

  • South Africa women's national football team was named Women’s National Team of the Year at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards in Ghanaian capital Accra on 4 January 2018.[1]

January 5

  • South African football club Mamelodi Sundowns won the Confederation of African Football's Club of the Year award on 5 January 2017.[2]
  • South African cricketer Temba Bavuma on 5 January 2016 became the first black African to score a century for South Africa. Bavuma scored unbeaten 102 against England in a test match in Cape Town.

January 6

January 7

January 8

January 9

January 10

January 11

January 12

January 13

  • South African Rugby captain Siya Kolisi was voted the UK Rugby Union Writers' Club personality of the year on 13 January 2020 after leading South Africa to their World Cup triumph last year in Japan.

January 14

  • South African cycling team MTN-Qhubeka received one of five wildcard invitations to the 2015 Tour de France, making it the first team from Africa to compete on cycling’s biggest stage.[3]

January 15

January 16

January 17

January 18

  • South African cricket umpire Marais Erasmus was named as the Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards on 18 January 2018 for his exceptional performances.[4]
  • South African cricketer AB de Villiers scored the fastest ever one-day international century off 31 balls against West Indies on 18 January 2015.

January 19

January 20

January 21

  • A 29.6 carat blue diamond, one of the rarest and most coveted in the world, has been discovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa by Petra Diamonds, according to an official announcement on 21 January 2014.[5]

January 22

January 23

January 24

January 25

  • South Africa imposed a year-long ban on leopard hunting in the country, as announced by the Department of Environmental Affairs on 25 January 2016.
  • The South Africa men’s Under-20 national football team was crowned Commonwealth Cup champion after defeating Finland 2-1 in the final in Russia on 25 January 2015.
  • Yvonne Chaka Chaka, renowned South African singer-songwriter and Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, became the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award on 25 January 2012. The Award is given each year to successful artists who have used their art to 'improve the state of the world', according to the Forum.

January 26

  • South Africa defended their USA Sevens rugby title in style in Las Vegas on 26 January 2014, winning a thrilling Cup final 14-7 against reigning Series champions, New Zealand.

January 27

January 28

January 29

  • The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) on 29 January 2016 presented South Africa with the 2016 Award for Excellence in recognition of the country’s progress in fighting malaria and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for malaria reduction.[6]

January 30

  • The Department of International Relations and Cooperation on 30 January 2013 hosted the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-Philippines Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF). The BCF serves as an instrument for structured bilateral consultations with the aim of advancing cooperation between the two countries.

January 31

  • South African scientists have discovered the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago. Their findings were detailed in the journal Nature Communications on 31 January 2017.[7]
  • Professor Salim S Abdool Karim of South Africa received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award on 31 January 2015 in the Life and Earth Sciences category.


February 1

February 2

February 3

February 4

  • South African singer Tyla won her first Grammy Award for her hit song Water in the Best African Music Performance category at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on 4 February 2024.

February 5

February 6

  • Leroy Mokgatle, a 16-year-old South African ballet dancer, won the Audience Favourite award at the 2016 Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition in Switzerland.[8]
  • IBM on 6 February 2015 announced to open a new research lab in Johannesburg, South Africa. The lab is planned to start in April 2015 and will focus on advancing Big Data, cloud and mobile technologies to support South Africa’s national priorities, drive skills development and foster innovation-based economic growth.[9]

February 7

February 8

February 9

  • South African researchers and their international colleagues have unveiled 883 galaxies, hidden from view behind the Milky Way, in unprecedented detail for the first time. The discovery, reported in the Astronomical Journal on 9 February 2016, has provided astronomers with new information about a mysterious gravitational anomaly in intergalactic space known as the Great Attractor.[10]
  • The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has committed R37-million to three universities in South Africa to establish cancer research centers, as announced on 9 February 2015. The funding came as a boost to the fight against cancer, which has long been overshadowed in South Africa by the war on HIV/Aids.

February 10

  • The international jury of the 54th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a picture by Jodi Bieber from South Africa as the World Press Photo of the Year 2010. On February 10, 2011 Bieber was honored for a portrait of an Afghan woman disfigured as punishment for abandoning her marriage. The photograph was first published on the front page of Time Magazine.[11]

February 11

  • Georgina Nyawo from the Stellenbosch University, South Africa was recognised as one of the International Rising Talents at the 2020 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

February 12

February 13

  • South African start-up company Paperight was named as one of the winners of the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase, one of the world’s most prestigious publishing innovation competitions, on 13 February 2013 for its solution to large-scale book shortages within the developing world.[12]

February 14

February 15

  • South Africa ranked twelfth in the world on how effectively children can access the justice system to defend their rights, according to a research report released on 15 February 2016 by Children Rights International Network (CRIN).[13]

February 16

February 17

February 18

  • A team of international scientists and South African researchers has revealed that a hippopotamus-size predator named Anteosaurus that lived 265 million years ago was unexpectedly speedy for such a bulky beast. The findings were published on 18 February 2021 in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.[14]
  • South African Rugby Union Team won the Laureus World Team of the Year Award on 18 February 2020 for their inspirational third Rugby World Cup win.[15]
  • The Wolfgat, a tiny beach restaurant in South Africa, was named the best in the world at the 2019 World Restaurant Awards in Paris.

February 19

February 20

February 21

February 22

  • Researchers in South Africa have unearthed 360 million-year-old fossils belonging to a newly described voracious fish species that preyed on humans' ancestors, as revealed in the journal PLOS One on 22 February 2023.[16]
  • A team of international astronomers, including researchers from South Africa, has detected a record seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star Trappist-1, a low-mass, cool star located 40 light-years away from Earth. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, as revealed in the journal Nature on 22 February 2017.[17]
  • An international team of researchers, including scientists from South Africa, has revealed a new species of galago from Angola in a paper published by the American Journal of Physical Anthropology on 22 February 2017. The galago, which is the largest known dwarf galago or bushbaby, has been named the Angolan dwarf galago, named after the only country where it is known to occur.[18]
  • South Africa signed a visa waiver agreement on 22 February 2013 to facilitate better access for senior government officials and diplomats with the Benelux states (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Italy, Panama and Spain.[19]

February 23

February 24

  • A long-lost microcontinent hidden underneath the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius between Madagascar and India has been discovered, according to a study published by South African researchers along with their international colleagues on 24 February 2013 in the journal Nature Geoscience.[20]

February 25

February 26

  • South Africa's George Airport became the first in Africa to be powered by solar energy. The airport is expected to meet 41% of its energy demand from a brand new 200 square meter solar power plant built on its grounds and is only the second in the world that uses solar energy, following Cochin International Airport in India.[21]
  • South Africa and the United Nations signed a five-year Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNSCF) on 26 February 2013 that will help government as it tries to meet its development agenda and implement its Programme of Action. It will provide the overall framework for the work of 17 UN organizations partnering with South Africa for the next five years.

February 27

February 28

February 29


March 1

  • University of Johannesburg became a member institute of NASA's Fermi-LAT gamma-ray space telescope mission on 1 March 2013. The university is now part of a team of more than 400 scientists and scholars from 90 universities and laboratories across 19 countries on six continents, working to unveil the mysteries of the high-energy universe.

March 2

March 3

March 4

  • Denmark has committed to help South Africa meet its future goals of a low carbon economy and reducing the growth of greenhouse gases through the deployment of low carbon technologies in the country. An agreement signed between the two governments on 4 March 2013 will see Denmark providing financial and technical support to South Africa to invest in wind based electricity generations and integrate renewable energy into the electricity supply.[22]

March 5

March 6

March 7

March 8

  • Ancient DNA found in the dental plaque of Neandertals – our nearest extinct relative – has provided remarkable new insights into their behaviour, diet and evolutionary history, including their use of plant-based medicine to treat pain and illness nearly 50,000 years before the invention of penicillin. South African scientists and their international colleagues published the finding in the journal Nature on 8 March 2017.[23]

March 9

  • Cape Town International Airport in South Africa was named the best airport in Africa by the Airports Council International (ACI) in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) global awards on 9 March 2012.[24]

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

  • South African researchers have revealed that an ancient human ancestor nicknamed Little Foot probably lived in trees around 3.67 million years ago, as published in the journal Scientific Reports on 16 March 2020.[25]
  • In a ground-breaking operation, a team of South African surgeons has performed the world's first successful penis transplant. Announced on 13 March 2015, surgeons successfully attached donor penis to a 21-year-old man whose own was amputated following a botched traditional circumcision ritual three years ago.[26]

March 14

March 15

March 16

  • Cricketer Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa becomes the first cricketer to hit six sixes in one over in a One Day International cricket match and that too in a Cricket World Cup on March 16, 2007. He hit the sixes off the bowling of Daan van Bunge of Netherlands.[27]

March 17

March 18

March 19

March 20

March 21

  • Professor John Briscoe, a native of South Africa, was named the 2014 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his unparalleled contributions to global and local water management, inspired by an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people on the ground.[28]

March 22

  • Professor Heather Zar of South Africa received the 2018 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award from Africa and Arab States region for establishing a cutting-edge research program in pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma, saving the lives of many children worldwide.[29]
  • For the first time ever a South African whisky, Three Ships, took the title of World's Best Blended Whisky at the 6th Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards on 22 March 2012.

March 23

March 24

  • Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim of South Africa was named as one of five winners of the 2016 prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award for her remarkable contribution to the prevention and treatment of HIV and associated infections, greatly improving the quality of life of women in Africa.[30]

March 25

March 26

  • South Africa was named as the sixth most attractive investment destination in Africa, according to the Africa Investment Index 2018 published by Quantum Global Research Lab.[31]

March 27

March 28

March 29

  • Researchers in South Africa have discovered that giant amphibians were once dominant predators up until the rise of dinosaurs in the Triassic Era. One of these creatures was rhinesuchid temnospondyls, a large two-meter-long predator that once roamed the area now known as the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa, as published in the journal PLOS ONE on 29 March 2023.[32]
  • Professor Jill Farrant from the University of Cape Town was recognized for discovering how plants survive under dry conditions at the 14th Annual L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science on 29 March 2012.[33]
  • Johannie Maria Spaan from South Africa received a Unesco-L’Oreal International Fellowship for Young Women in Life Sciences on 29 March 2012 for her non-invasive approach to study the effect of environment, stress and demography on the ability of African buffalo to resist parasitic infections and diseases.[34]

March 30

March 31

  • PRAESA, Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, an organization that has worked to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992 was named the winner of the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The award is the world's largest children's literature award and is worth five million Swedish kronor.[35]


April 1

April 2

  • South Africa's Standard Bank signed a 20 billion rand ($2.2 billion) financing agreement on 2 April 2013 with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. to jointly fund renewable energy projects in South Africa.

April 3

April 4

  • Ahmed Kathrada, a South African politician and former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist, received the prestigious Founders Award at The 4th Asian Awards in London on 4 April 2014.[36]
  • Anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, the former archbishop of Cape Town, was awarded the Templeton Prize on 4 April 2013 for his lifelong work to promote love and forgiveness.[37]

April 5

April 6

  • A team of South African and international researchers have discovered a mega laser being beamed 5 billion light years from Earth, which could hold secrets about the formation of early galaxies, as published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on 6 April 2022.[38]

April 7

April 8

April 9

April 10

April 11

  • As South Africa develops, mortality in the country continues to decline, according to an official announcement by Statistics South Africa on 11 April 2013. The report showed that mortality in the country continued to decline, with a total 543 856 deaths having occurred in 2010. This showed a 6.2% decline from deaths that occurred in 2009.[39]
  • South African Charl Schwartzel won the 2011 Masters Tournament, one of the major championships in professional golf also known as The U.S. Masters, on 11 April 2011 by two strokes over the nearest competitors. It was the fifth Masters title for South Africa and Schwartzel became the third South African to win the Green Jacket.[40]

April 12

  • South African paleontologists and their international colleagues have uncovered 245-million-year-old fossils belonging to one of the earliest relatives of dinosaurs, named Teleocrater rhadinus. The discovery, published in Nature on 12 April 2017, filled a critical gap in the fossil record of dinosaur cousins and suggesting that some features thought to characterise dinosaurs evolved much earlier than previously thought.[41]
  • South African author Marié Heese won the prestigious Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2010 in Regional (Africa) Best Book category for her book "The Double Crown" on April 12, 2010. The book is based on the fascinating and true story of Hatshepsut, the female pharaoh who ruled over Egypt for two decades around 1500 BC.

April 13

April 14

April 15

  • Scientists in South Africa have discovered the earliest evidence of humans eating snails, 170,000 Years Ago, according to a new paper published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews on 15 April 2023.[42]
  • Schalk Burger, one of the outstanding players in international rugby from South Africa, was named as the winner of the 2015 Laureus Comeback of the Year award. Schalk survived death-threatening bacterial meningitis in intensive care to make a remarkable comeback to the South African team in 2014.
  • Jonathan Deal from South Africa won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, a prize awarded annually to grassroots environmental activists, on 15 April 2013 for his efforts to convince the South African government to issue a moratorium on fracking in the arid and water-scarce Karoo region of his country.[43]

April 16

  • South African entry Scenes From a Dry City won the World Press Photo Online Video of the Year 2020 award.[44]
  • South Africa and Germany launched a year-long research co-operation initiative on 16 April 2012 that aims to foster local skills development and innovation, while providing a platform for further joint ventures in science between the two countries.

April 17

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was named on Time magazine's 100 most influential people list on 17 April 2019.[45]

April 18

April 19

  • Thabo Mbeki, former South African President, was awarded the prestigious Champions of the Earth Award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on April 19, 2005. President Thabo Mbeki and the people of South Africa have received the Champions of the Earth award for their commitment to cultural and environmental diversity.

April 20

April 21

  • President of South Africa Jacob Zuma was appointed as a member of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Water on 21 April 2016.[46]
  • African Green Campus Initiative, a unique project aimed at promoting environmental sustainability and climate change interventions at college and university campuses in South Africa, was launched on 21 April 2012 by the South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande.[47]

April 22

April 23

  • South African activists Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid were named as the winners of the 2018 Goldman Prize Africa who built a broad coalition to stop the South African government’s massive secret nuclear deal with Russia.[48]
  • Thulisile Madonsela, a human rights lawyer from South Africa, was named in Time magazine's annual list of the most 100 influential people in the world on 23 April 2014.[49]

April 24

April 25

  • Mark Shuttleworth, a South African entrepreneur, became the second self-funded space tourist and the first ever African in space on April 25, 2002. After several months of intensive training at Star City in Russia, he launched aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-34 mission as a spaceflight participant.[50]

April 26

April 27

April 28

  • Desmond D'Sa of South Africa won the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize for uniting south Durban’s diverse and disenfranchised communities and successfully shut down a toxic waste dump that was exposing nearby residents to dangerous chemicals and robbing them of their constitutionally protected right to a safe and clean environment.[51]

April 29

  • South African Airways banned the transport of hunted endangered animal trophies on all their carriers, as announced on 29 April 2015.

April 30

  • The R730-million Zola-Jabulani District Hospital in Soweto, South Africa was officially opened 30 April 2014. The newly opened hospital not only alleviated the pressure on the nearest Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital but also created local jobs.[52]


May 1

May 2

  • South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment ministry on 2 May 2021 announced its plan to gradually end its multimillion-dollar lion-breeding industry, which supplies cubs for tourism, lions for trophy hunts, and bones for traditional medicine.

May 3

May 4

May 5

May 6

May 7

May 8

  • After a long struggle, South Africa adopted a National Constitution on May 8, 1996 that guarantees equal right for all races.[53]

May 9

  • Former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was named as one of the winners of the 2016 Global Women’s Rights Awards for her role as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

May 10

  • National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa joined the international JIVE radio astronomy research institute on 10 May 2012 marking a new level of partnership between Europe and South Africa in science.[54]

May 11

May 12

May 13

  • Lesley Erica Scott of South Africa was awarded the Special Prize for Social Impact at the 2015 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) for developing an effective World Health Organization (WHO) approved calibration method for TB diagnostic machines.

May 14

  • The Lawhill Maritime Studies programme, a South African educational programme wholly funded by the shipping industry and pioneered by shipping line Safmarine, won the international Seatrade ‘Investment in People’ Award in London on 14 May 2012.[55]

May 15

May 16

May 17

May 18

May 19

May 20

  • A team of international and South African researchers has assessed the population history of the region of Lake Baikal in Siberia and found a clear transcontinental connection between the native people of Siberia and North America. Their study was published in the journal Cell on 20 May 2020.[56]

May 21

  • South African writer Jacques Strauss was announced as the regional winner for Africa of the Commonwealth Book Prize on 21 May 2012 for his book The Dubious Salvation of Jack V.

May 22

May 23

  • The Department of Social Development, South Africa vowed to continue its programs to end alcohol abuse in South Africa and on 23 May 2014 announced to use relevant data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to bolster future programs against the abuse.[57]

May 24

May 25

  • South Africa is to co-host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a global science and engineering project to build the world’s largest radio telescope, that will give mankind its farthest peek into the Universe. The Members of the SKA Organization announced the decision on 25 May 2012.[58]

May 26

May 27

  • The United Nations awarded one fallen peacekeeper from South Africa posthumously with the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal on 27 May 2021.[59]

May 28

  • Siya Kolisi on 28 May 2018 was selected as the new captain of the Springboks, South Africa national rugby union team, becoming the team's first black captain in its 126-year history.

May 29

May 30

May 31

  • South Africa has started exporting fresh fruits to Thailand in 2012 after fourteen years of negotiations between the two countries.
  • South Africa gained independence on May 31, 1910 from the United Kingdom. However the Independence Day is celebrated on April 27, known as Freedom Day, marks the first democratic, non-racial elections of 1994.


June 1

June 2

June 3

June 4

June 5

June 6

June 7

June 8

  • The UN General Assembly on 8 June 2018 elected South Africa as a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council to serve during 2019-2020.[60]

June 9

June 10

  • South Africa and 25 other nations from Africa on 10 June 2015 signed a historic free trade pact, Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), that will ease the movement of goods across member countries in next five years. Once fully implemented, the 26-nation TFTA will be the continent's largest free-trade zone.

June 11

  • The genetic blueprint of the Eucalyptus grandis (flooded gum) has almost been sequenced by a team of international researchers, including scientists from South Africa. The five-year effort to analyze the 640 million base-pair genome was reported on 11 June 2014 in the journal Nature.[61]

June 12

  • The South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) on 12 June 2014 started rolling out free WiFi access to passengers on the country's minibus taxis.

June 13

  • Scientists in South Africa have discovered the traces of the world’s oldest known glaciers, dating from 2.9 billion years ago, in rocks sitting under the world’s largest gold deposits in South Africa, as published on 13 June 2023.[62]
  • A South African project titled African School on Internet Governance won an award at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2017 in the International & regional cooperation category.[63]

June 14

  • South Africa signed a groundbreaking bilateral air services agreement with Cameroon on 14 June 2011 allowing South African airlines to fly to Cameroon and take on passengers and fly on to second or third countries.[64]

June 15

June 16

June 17

  • The South African Parliament repeals the Population Registration Act, which had, since 1950, required that all South Africans have their race classified and registered at birth. South African government voted to abolish the act on June 17, 1991.

June 18

  • South African researchers Professor Jill Farrant was named as recipient of the 2015 Erna Hamburger prize. Her work on understanding the mechanisms employed by resurrection plants in order to tolerate desiccation has been fundamental to identifying genes of importance for improving drought tolerance of crops through bioengineering.[65]

June 19

  • Team South Africa on 19 June 2013 scooped overall top honors at the International Student Cluster Challenge, an international student supercomputing competition, held in Leipzig, Germany.[66]

June 20

June 21

  • South African judge Albie Sachs won the 2014 Tang Prize in Rule of Law for his many contributions to human rights and justice globally through an understanding of the rule of law in which the dignity of all persons is respected and the strengths and values of all communities are embraced.

June 22

  • South Africa's national rugby union team Springboks scored eight tries on their way to a 56-23 Test victory over Samoa to win the final of the quadrangular tournament at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 22 June 2013.[67]

June 23

June 24

  • South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. They won the final 15-12 against New Zealand in front of 65 thousands home crowd at the Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg on June 24, 1995.

June 25

  • South African photographer Hannes Lochner won the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2021 award for his jaw-dropping photo of a lion roaring as a fly buzzes into his eye.[68]
  • A cow-size reptile with knobbly growths on its head roamed the central desert of Niger about 250 million years ago. Researchers from South Africa and an international team reported the claim in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology on 25 June 2013 based on their study of fossils discovered in Niger.[69]

June 26

  • South African musician Black Coffee won the Best International Act-Africa award in the 2016 BET Awards on 26 June 2016, becoming the first South African to do so.

June 27

June 28

June 29

June 30


July 1

July 2

  • Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, situated in north-eastern South Africa, was inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List on 2 July 2018.[70]

July 3

July 4

July 5

July 6

July 7

  • Africa's first Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) facility lab was unveiled at the University of Johannesburg on 7 July 2014. AMS will mainly be used for the radiocarbon dating of biological, geological and hydrological material, as well as historical artefacts.[71]

July 8

  • An aircraft built by South African teenagers on 8 July 2019 successfully landed in Egypt three weeks after it set off from Cape Town.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Committee on 8 July 2017 inscribed the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa as the World Heritage site.[72]
  • Researchers from South Africa and the USA have found evidence of a mass extinction in the rocks of the Great Karoo in South Africa that may have killed a good chunk of land animals some 260 million years ago. The scientists detailed their findings on 8 July 2015 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.[73]

July 9

  • Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, served as the Chairman of the African Union - a union consisting of African states and formerly known as Organization of African Unity. Mbeki took the office on July 9, 2002 and served as the first chairman of African Union.

July 10

July 11

  • Edmund Wessels, a South African biomedical engineer, and Anatoli Kirigwajjo, a Ugandan electrical engineer, jointly won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2023 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.[74]

July 12

  • South African scientists, on 12 July 2012, announced they had uncovered the most complete skeleton yet of an ancient relative of man, appears to be around two million years old, hidden in a rock excavated from an archaeological site three years ago.

July 13

July 14

July 15

  • Scientists from South Africa, China and the USA have discovered largest four-winged dinosaur to date. The 125-million-year-old fossil of the feathered dinosaur, named Changyuraptor yangi, was unearthed in northeastern China and reported on 15 July 2014 in Nature Communications.[75]
  • South African Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected on 15 July 2012 to become the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission at the 19th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.[76]

July 16

July 17

July 18

  • South African Airways received the World's Best Airline Staff Worldwide award at the prestigious 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards.[77]
  • Kiara of South Africa received the prestigious Google Community Impact Award for Africa on 18 July 2016 for her proposed approach against severe drought.

July 19

July 20

  • Paleontologists in South Africa have unearthed the 5.2-million-year-old fossilized remains of four sabertooth cat species — including two previously unknown species, name Lokotunjailurus chinsamyae and Dinofelis werdelini — at Langebaanweg ‘E’ Quarry in South Africa, according to a paper published in the journal iScience on 20 July 2023.[78]
  • South African President Jacob Zuma was awarded an Honorary Professorship by the Peking University in Beijing on 20 July 2012 for his contribution in the sphere of international relations.

July 21

July 22

July 23

July 24

  • Margaret Gardiner from South Africa won the 1978 Miss Universe contest at the age of 18. It was South Africa's first Miss Universe crown.

July 25

July 26

  • South African swimmer Chad le Clos won the men’s 200m butterfly gold at the 2017 world championships in Budapest.[79]

July 27

  • South Africa won gold in the final of the rugby sevens at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow beating New Zealand 17-12.[80]

July 28

  • Researchers in South Africa have identified the earliest case of cancer, to date, in a 1.7 million-year-old fossilised foot bone discovered in the country. Their findings were published in the South African Journal of Science on 28 July 2016.

July 29

July 30

  • South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker set a world record with a time of 2 minutes, 18.95 seconds to win gold in 200-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics on 30 July 2021.
  • The earliest unambiguous evidence for modern human behavior has been discovered by an international team of researchers at the Border Cave in South Africa. The finds revealed that the inhabitants of this cave used notched bones for notational purposes, wooden digging sticks, bone awls, and bone points similar to those used by San as arrowheads. The research was published on 30 July 2012 in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.[81]

July 31


August 1

August 2

  • Researchers at South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have developed the world's first digital laser. The laser will allow the scientists to digitally control laser beams and shape new ways of developing technology that will improve various aspects of everyday such as faster broadband and medical advancements. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications on 2 August 2013.

August 3

August 4

  • South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh set a new world record for the men's 50m breaststroke in the heats at the 2015 World Swimming Championships, clocked an official time of 26.62sec to shave 0.05sec off his own record he set at the 2009 championships.

August 5

  • Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, has discovered a new dinosaur species, named Ngwevu intlokowhich, in the University’s vaults, after it has been laying misidentified in a collection for 30 years. The dinosaur was described in the academic journal, PeerJ on 5 August 2019.[82]
  • South Africa’s Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project signed an agreement with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) of the United States on 5 August 2013. The agreement paves the way for SKA South Africa and the NRAO to pool resources and expertise in high-level projects related to the development and implementation of software, data processing and archiving, and state-of-the-art receiving systems.

August 6

August 7

August 8

August 9

August 10

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

  • Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa smashed the world record to claim 400m race gold in 43.03sec at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

August 15

  • The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa ranked first in Africa at the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).[83]

August 16

  • South African swimmer Chad le Clos won four gold medals at the end of the final day of the second leg of the 2015 Fina World Cup series in Paris. Le Clos won the 200m backstroke as well as the 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly races.

August 17

August 18

August 19

  • South African astronomers have discovered a second planet, β Pictoris c, circling Beta Pictoris, a fledgling star in our own galaxy offering astronomers a rare glimpse of a planetary system in the making, according to a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on 19 August 2019.[84]

August 20

August 21

August 22

August 23

August 24

August 25

  • South African golfer Erik van Rooyen won his maiden European Tour title at the Scandinavian Invitation on 25 August 2019.

August 26

August 27

  • The inaugural Lifetime Award for Global Peace from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation in Malaysia was awarded to former South African President Nelson Mandela on 27 August 2013.[85]

August 28

August 29

August 30

August 31


September 1

September 2

  • South African researchers have revealed that 260-million-year-old fossil of an extinct reptile, named Eunotosaurus africanus, found in South Africa’s Karoo Basin is the earliest-known turtle, even though it did not have a shell. Their findings were published in the journal Nature on 2 September 2015.[86]
  • Durban, South Africa was officially named as host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on 2 September 2015, making it the first African city ever to host the competition.

September 3

  • South Africa on 3 September 2018 declared an official end to the world's worst recorded listeria outbreak after it killed 216 people and sickened more than 1,000 since early 2017.

September 4

  • South Africa was voted as the world’s fourth most beautiful country by the influential travel publisher Rough Guide’s readers, as published on 4 September 2017.[87]

September 5

September 6

September 7

  • The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African and majority-women ranger group, was announced the winner of the United Nation's top environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth award in the Inspiration and Action category on 7 September 2015.
  • South African heart surgeon Otto Thaning became the oldest person to swim the English Channel on 7 September 2014 at the age of 73. Otto took the title from Australian Cyril Baldock, who only last month attained the record at the age of 70.

September 8

September 9

September 10

  • A team of international scientists, including researchers from South Africa, has discovered a new species of human relative in a cave system in South Africa, and named it Homo naledi. Their findings were published in the journal Elife on 10 September 2015.[88]

September 11

September 12

September 13

September 14

September 15

September 16

September 17

  • Siyavuya Mzantsi from South Africa was named one of the International News Media Association's 30 under 30 award winners, recognising rising stars in the global media industry, on 17 September 2020.[89]
  • South African scientists and their international colleagues have carried out the first DNA analysis of the tiger, lion and snow leopard in an effort to help critically-endangered cats to survive. The research, published on 17 September 2013 in the journal Nature Communications, gives clues to how big cats evolved to become top predators with superior muscle strength and a carnivorous diet.[90]

September 18

September 19

September 20

September 21

September 22

  • The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the largest contemporary art museum in Africa, was opened in the South African city of Cape Town on 22 September 2017.

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 26

September 27

  • South African scientists have discovered a new species of giant dinosaurs that ruled 200 million years ago in the country. The newly discovered plant-eating dinosaur named Ledumahadi mafube weighed in at 12 tonnes and stood about four metres high at the hips – about double the size of a large African elephant, as detailed in the journal Current Biology on 27 September 2018.[91]
  • South African Kiara Nirghin was named as the winner of the Grand Prize at the annual Google Science Fair in Mountain View in the US on 27 September 2016 for inventing a cheap way to combat drought using orange peels.

September 28

September 29

  • Felix, the heart-warming South African movie about a township boy's dreams to follow in his jazzy father's footsteps, won the best feature film award at the 36th Lucas International Children’s Film Festival in Germany.

September 30

  • World's first artificially conceived lion cubs were born in South Africa, according to an official announcement by the University of Pretoria on 30 September 2018.


October 1

October 2

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2003 is awarded to the South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider.[92]

October 3

  • South Africa launched the demonstration of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) technology in the Northern Cape, the first in the country, on 3 October 2012. The launch marks the first phase of government's plans to migrate from analogue broadcast signal to digital broadcasting system.
  • South African writer Nadine Gordimer was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature for her novels and short stories in which the consequences of apartheid form the central theme.[93]

October 4

October 5

October 6

October 7

  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2002 was awarded jointly to South African biologist Sydney Brenner for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.[94]

October 8

October 9

October 10

October 11

October 12

  • South Africa’s first solar plant was launched on 12 October 2012 in Ekurhuleni. The solar power plant produces about 200 kW of electricity through 860 PV solar panels on 2,500 m² of land, and generates enough energy to power an estimated 133 low cost housing units.

October 13

  • A poster titled Cultural Interaction from South Africa was announced as the winner of the 2011 Vettor Giusti Tourism Poster Competition under the Africa region category at the 19th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). The competition is held every two years on the occasion of the UNWTO General Assembly and is an opportunity for member states to promote their destinations around the world.[95]
  • Penelope Coelen from South Africa won the eighth Miss World title on October 13, 1958 at the age of 18. She was the first African to win the title.[96]

October 14

  • South Africa and France on 14 October 2014 signed an Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation. This agreement initiates the preparatory phase for the possible deployment of French nuclear technology in South Africa.[97]

October 15

  • South African photographer Greg du Toit was awarded the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the panel of international judges for his image Essence of elephants, a mysterious and energetic portrait of African elephants in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana, at a gala awards ceremony held at London’s Natural History Museum.[98]
  • Nelson R. Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1993 for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.[99]

October 16

October 17

  • Thuli Madonsela of South Africa was awarded the 2014 Integrity Award by Transparency International for her efforts against corruptions.[100]
  • South Africa and Poland signed an economic cooperation agreement aimed at increasing two-way trade and investment during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to South Africa on 17 October 2013. The agreement covers sectors including mining and mineral exploration, carbon enrichment, oil and gas, construction, transport and infrastructure.

October 18

  • South African Raven Klaasen and Brazilian Marcelo Melo claimed the 2015 Shanghai Rolex Masters doubles tennis championship beating Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-3 in the final.[101]
  • Ms Tanya Abrahamse of South Africa, CEO of South African National Biodiversity Institute, was appointed to United Nations scientific advisory board on 18 October 2013. The new Board will provide advice on science, technology and innovation (STI) for sustainable development to the UN Secretary-General and to Executive Heads of UN organizations.

October 19

October 20

  • South Africa won the 2007 Rugby World Cup. It is South Africa’s second Rugby World Cup win. They won the final 15-6 against defending champion England on October 20, 2007 at the Stade de France, France.

October 21

  • A team of South African and International researchers have discovered a nesting ground in Patagonia, Argentina with more than 100 dinosaur eggs from a dinosaur called Mussaurus offers evidence they lived in herds. The nesting ground is 193 million years old, making it the earliest evidence of dinosaur herds, as revealed in the journal Nature on 21 October 2021.[102]
  • Scientists from South Africa and Sweden have discovered that three species of dung beetle in the Western Cape have given up their ability to fly and instead gallops across the sand in a behavior which researchers suspect evolved as a way to navigate back and forth from home. The findings were reported in the journal Current Biology on 21 October 2013.[103]

October 22

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 28

  • South Africa on 28 October 2016 was elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2017. The United Nations body is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.[104]

October 29

  • Defending champion South Africa won the record fourth Rugby World Cup title by beating New Zealand 12-11 in the final in Paris on 29 October 2023.[105]

October 30

October 31

  • Africa's first fact checking website, Africa Check, was launched in South Africa on 31 October 2012, a project devised by the AFP Foundation and run in partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand to hold the country’s leaders accountable.[106]


November 1

November 2

  • South Africa won the Rugby World Cup for the third time beating England 12-32 in the final in Japan on 2 November 2019.[107]
  • South Africa was ranked as the world‘s 19th most gender-equal country, according to the World Economic Forum‘s Global Gender Gap index published on 2 November 2017.[108]

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

  • Researchers at the University of Cape Town in South Africa won a £500 000 Newton Prize 2020 for their novel research into using renewable energy in off-grid informal settlements in South Africa.[109]
  • South Africa and Namibia signed three co-operation agreements on 6 November 2012 focusing on key areas such as trade and investment, energy, transport, environment, science and technology, education, tourism, and security issues.[110]

November 7

November 8

  • South African Heinrich Badenhorst, a researcher for South African Research Chairs Initiative, was awarded the 2013 Green Talents Award in Berlin for his work of finding new and innovative ways of using carbon and graphite materials for renewable energy capture and storage.
  • South Africa was overwhelmingly elected by the Members of the UN General Assembly to the 47-Member Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) on 8 November 2012. ECOSOC is a principal organ of the UN that is responsible for world economic and social development.[111]

November 9

  • South African researchers and their international colleagues have discovered a two-million-year-old adult hominin (human-like creatures) skull – the earliest known and best preserved Paranthropus robustus specimen ever found – at the Drimolen archaeological site north of Johannesburg. The findings were published on 9 November 2020 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.[112]

November 10

November 11

November 12

  • The United Nations General Assembly on 12 November 2013 elected South Africa to serve on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 2014.

November 13

  • South Africa ranked 12th at the Freedom on the Net 2016 index compiled by Freedom House. This index is compiled based on the extent of freedom the citizens of 65 countries experienced on the Internet.[113]

November 14

  • South Africa's AB de Villiers was named ODI Cricketer of the Year on 14 November 2014.

November 15

November 16

November 17

November 18

  • A tiny shrimp equipped with large, candy-striped eyes to ward off predators has been discovered in South African waters, the University of Cape Town said on 18 November 2014. The shrimp was called stargazer mysid as its eyes seem to gaze permanently upwards.[114]

November 19

November 20

November 21

November 22

  • Anneline Kriel of South Africa was awarded the Miss World title in 1974 at the age of 19. Kriel received the title after original winner Helen Morgan from United Kingdom resigned on discovery that Helen had a child.[96]

November 23

November 24

  • Bulelwa Mkutukana of South Africa, a prominent singer/songwriter, on 24 November 2020 was included in BBC's annual list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.

November 25

November 26

  • Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters was crowned as the 66th Miss Universe on 26 November 2017.[115]

November 27

November 28

November 29

November 30


December 1

  • The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in South Africa on 1 December 2019 started with the testing and piloting of the electronic visa application system, the e-Visa, which makes it easier for tourists to enter the country.

December 2

  • South Africa's Table Mountain was formally inaugurated as one of the world's new seven wonders of nature at a ceremony on 2 December 2012, a move officials hope will bring major economic benefits to the area. The mountain, which towers over Cape Town, was crowned after a global poll conducted by the New7Wonders Foundation based in Zurich, Switzerland.

December 3

  • The world's first successful heart transplant was performed by South African cardiac surgeon Dr Chris Barnard in Cape Town on December 3, 1967.

December 4

  • South Africa and China on 4 December 2014 signed a number of strategic agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and trade ties during a State visit by South African President Jacob Zuma to China.[116]

December 5

  • Mandla Maseko of South Africa on 5 December 2013 was selected for an hour-long trip of 103-kilometers into space in 2015, after winning a competition organised by Lynx Apollo space academy in the United States. Mandla is set to become the first black African to head into space.[117]

December 6

December 7

December 8

  • Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta at a lavish ceremony filled with glitter.

December 9

December 10

  • South Africa and Vietnam signed a deal on 10 December 2012 to tackle rhino poaching and the lucrative illicit trade of the creature's horns for use in traditional medicine. The agreement included conservation and protection provisions, as well as a promise to increase law enforcement efforts and information sharing between the two countries.

December 11

December 12

December 13

December 14

  • Rolene Strauss of South Africa was crowned as the 64th Miss World at the pageant's final in London on 14 December 2014.

December 15

December 16

  • South African scientists and their international colleagues have revealed that exceptional gem diamonds like the famous Cullinan or Lesotho Promise may have grown from a metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle. Their findings were reported in the journal Science on 16 December 2016.[118]

December 17

December 18

December 19

December 20

December 21

December 22

  • South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock won the 2016 International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI Cricketer of the Year award. He is the second South Africa player after AB de Villiers (2010, 2014 and 2015) and ninth overall to clinch this award.

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 26

December 27

December 28

December 29

December 30

December 31


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