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Further hominin remains have been recovered from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo, Cornelia and Florisbad in the Free State, Border Cave in Kwa Zulu-Natal, Klasies River Mouth in eastern Cape and Pinnacle Point, Elandsfontein and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape.
These sites suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago starting with Australopithecus africanus.
These were succeeded by various species, including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans, Homo sapiens.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years.
(See Bantu expansion.) They displaced, conquered and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The earliest ironworks in modern-day Kwa Zulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050.
The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people.
Other sites include Swartkrans, Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa.
The first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child was found near Taung in 1924.
In Dutch the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika.
Within the Vaal River valley, pebble tools have been located.
Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River (now the northern border with Botswana and Zimbabwe) by the 4th or 5th century CE.
South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions.
Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world.