Economy overview: South Africa occupies a middle position between developing and developed countries, it is rich in resources, has a well-developed legal system, financial, communications, energy and transport sectors, a stock exchange, which is among the ten largest in the world, and a modern infrastructure that ensures efficient exchange of goods between the main centers of the region. However, economic growth was not enough to eliminate unemployment of 30% of the working-age population and the threatening economic problems inherited from the apartheid era, especially poverty and lack of economic opportunities for the poor. Other problems: crime, corruption, the AIDS epidemic. In early 2000, President MBEKI pledged to stimulate economic growth and encourage foreign investment by easing restrictions. See topb2bwebsites.com to know more about South Africa in 2004.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $369 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $8,500 (2000 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 5%; industry: 30%; services: 65% (1999 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 1.1%; by the top 10% of families: 45.6% (1994).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 5.3% (2000 est.).
Work force: 17 million economically active population (2000). Labor force by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.).
Unemployment rate: 30% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $31.1 billion; expenditures: $34.4 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (FY01-02).
Economic sectors: mining and metallurgical industry (the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), car assembly, metalworking, mechanical engineering, textile industry, rolled steel production, chemical industry, fertilizer production, food industry.
Growth in industrial production: 2.4% (2000 est.).
Power generation: 186.903 billion kWh (1999). Electricity generation by source: fossil fuel: 92.74%; hydropower: 0.39%; nuclear fuel: 6.87%; others: 0% (1999).
Sources of electricity production:
Electricity consumption: 172.393 billion kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 3.884 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity import: 2.457 billion kWh (1999)
Agricultural products: corn, wheat, sugar cane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, lamb, wool, dairy products.
Exports: $30.8 billion (free on board, 2000 est.) Export products: gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment.
Export articles: Export
partners: UK, Italy, Japan, USA, Germany.
Imports: $27.6 billion (free on board, 2000 est.) Imported products: machinery, food and food industry equipment, chemicals, oil products, high-tech equipment.
Import partners: Germany, USA, UK, Japan.
External debt: $25.6 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $676.3 million
Economic aid donor:
Currency code: ZAR.
Exchange rate: ZAR/USD – 7.60 (March 2001), 6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996).
Fiscal year: April 1-March 31.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 5.075 million (1999).
Mobile cell phones: over 2 million (1999).
Telephone system: the most modern and developed in Africa; internal: consists of open wire lines on poles, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay transmitters, fiber optic cables, radiotelephone communication stations and wireless local lines; key centers – Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria; international: 2 submarine cables; ground satellite stations – 3 Intelsat (1 Indian and 2 Atlantic oceans).
Broadcast stations: AM -14, FM -347 (and 243 repeaters), shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 13.75 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 556 (and 144 network repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 5.2 million (1997)
Internet country code: za
Internet service providers: 44 (2000).
Number of users: 1.82 million (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 21,431 km; narrow gauge: 20,995 km (1.067 m gauge) (9,087 km electrified); 436 km (0.610 m gauge) (1995).
Roads: total: 358,596 km; paved: 59,753 km (including 1,927 km of expressways); unpaved: 298,843 km (1996)
Pipelines: for crude oil – 931 km; for oil products – 1,748 km; for natural gas – 322 km.
Ports and harbors: Durban, East London, Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha.
Merchant fleet: total: 8 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 271,650 gross register tons / 268,604 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: container ships – 6, oil tankers – 2 (2000 est.).
Airports: 741 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 142; over 3,047 m: 9; from 2438 to 3047 m:5; from 1524 to 2437 m:47; from 914 to 1523 m:71; less than 914 m: 10 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 599; from 1524 to 2437 m: 33; from 914 to 1523 m:304; less than 914 m: 262 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: National Defense Forces of South Africa (includes the army, navy, air force and medical service), police forces of South Africa.
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 11,469,812 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 6,977,328 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 466,399 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $2 billion (FY99-2000)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.5% (FY1999-2000). Armed Forces – note: The National Defense Forces continue to integrate the former armed forces, armed tribal formations and units of the former opposition.
International Issues International Disputes: Swaziland has offered South Africa to start negotiations on the return of some adjacent territories populated by the Swazi tribes or formerly part of the Swazi kingdom.
Illicit drugs: transit hub for heroin, hashish, marijuana and possibly cocaine; cocaine use is on the rise; the world’s largest illegal market for methaqualone, most often imported from India through various East African countries; illegal cultivation of marijuana.