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South Africa Economy








South Africa    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: South Africa is a middle-income, developing country with an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world, and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to cut into the 30% unemployment, and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially the problems of poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. Other problems are crime, corruption, and HIV/AIDS. At the start of 2000, President MBEKI vowed to promote economic growth and foreign investment, and to reduce poverty by relaxing restrictive labor laws, stepping up the pace of privatization, and cutting unneeded governmental spending.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $369 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  5%

industry:  30%

services:  65% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  1.1%

highest 10%:  45.9% (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.3% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 17 million economically active (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 of $NA billion (FY01/02)
Industries: mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
Industrial production growth rate: 2.4% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 186.903 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  92.74%

hydro:  0.39%

nuclear:  6.87%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 172.393 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 3.884 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 2.457 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Exports: $30.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Exports - partners: UK, Italy, Japan, US, Germany
Imports: $27.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, foodstuffs and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments
Imports - partners: Germany, US, UK, Japan
Debt - external: $25.6 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $676.3 million
Currency: rand (ZAR)
Currency code: ZAR
Exchange rates: rand per US dollar - 7.60 (March 2001), 6.93983 (2000), 6.10948 (1999), 5.52828 (1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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