South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors and a stock exchange that is the 16th largest in the world. Even though the country’s modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. The global financial crisis reduced commodity prices and world demand. GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but has recovered since then, albeit slowly with 2014 growth projected at about 2%.
GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 44.3% | Industry: 21.7% | Services: 34% (2013 est.)
Mining (world’s largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair.
Corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products.
Current Head of State: President Jacob Zuma
Legal System: mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law.
- Full name: Republic of South Africa
- Population: 50.7 million (UN, 2012)
- Capitals: Pretoria (executive capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
- Largest city: Johannesburg
- Area: 1.22 million sq km (470,693 sq miles)
- Major languages: 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa and Zulu
- Major religion: Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 54 years (women)
- Monetary unit: 1 Rand = 100 cents
- Main exports: Gold, diamonds, metals and minerals, cars, machinery
- GNI per capita: US $6,960 (World Bank, 2011)
- Internet domain: .za