South Africa

South Africa

Facts & Figures

Population: 51.77 Million
Currency: Rand (ZAR)
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT
Area: 1 219 090 square kilometres
Inflation (e2013): 5,7%


South Africa is the second largest economy in Africa following Nigeria. It accounts for 24% of its gross domestic product in terms of purchasing power parity, and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank; this makes the country one of only four countries in Africa in this category (the others being Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius).

South Africa’s retail sector and its financial services industry are the most sophisticated on the continent and both have a significant regional presence.

South Africa is a member of various regional and sub-regional groupings including the:

  • Common Monetary Area;
  • Southern African Customs Union;
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC) South Africa dominates the region economically, accounting for 41% of all SADC trade and about 63% of its combined GDP;
  • African Union;
  • BRICS an association of five fast-growing and emerging economics, which accounts for 25% of global GDP and 40% of global population.

Key industries in South Africa are:

  • Mining (the world’s largest producer of platinum & chromium);
  • Automobile assembly
  • Metal-working,
  • Machinery
  • Textiles
  • Iron and steel
  • Chemicals
  • Fertilisers
  • Foodstuffs
  • Commercial ship repair.