COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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The Republic of South Africa is located at the southern tip of the continent. It expands over a total area of 1,219,912 sq. km.

The bordering countries are:
at the Northwest: Namibia; at the North: Botswana and Zimbabwe; at the Northeast: Mozambique and Swaziland. Lesotho is is "inserted" into South-Africa' territory.

South-Africa has a lengthy coastline: 2,798 km which expands from South Atlantic Ocean to Indian Ocean with many ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, EastLondon, Mosselbaai, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha.

Population: 51-million (2012) 44,314,116 (July 2003). Population growth rate: 0.16% (2012 est.)

Independence from United Kingdom: May 31, 1910
National holiday: Freedom Day: April 27 (1994)

South-Africa is endowed with huge deposits of natural mineral resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas.

Arable land is scarce and represent only 10% of the country.
main products: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products

South-Africa is the "Heavyweight" of Africa; the largest and most sophisticated economy in Africa, and one that is supported by a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure with the broadest Internet bandwidth throughout the continent:

  • It is the most advanced and productive economy in Africa, with a GDP nearly four times that of its nearest competitor on the continent, Egypt.

  • Manufacturing represents the largest sector of the economy, contributing 26 percent of GDP. Mining accounting for 11% and commerce for 13%.

  • South Africa is the gateway to the Southern African region. The leader of the regional organization Southern Africa Development Corporation - SADC- Its well-equipped ports and harbors; its transportation and communications infrastructures support an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers and the surrounding countries in the region.

  • South Africa accounts for approximately 75 percent of GDP for the Southern African region, and 45 percent of GDP for the entire African continent.
    Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



GNP: 5.3% (2006); 5.1% (2007); 2.7% (2012)
GNP-per capita: 3 ,148 (2006)
; 3,306 (2007) 3,298 (2012)

Per capita Gross National Product - US 3,298 (2012) - is just an average. The distribution of wealth is poor. The gap between the upper class' standard of living and the others is a concern for the future political and social stability of the country. Unemployment runs as high as 40% of the workforce.

Click here to read about the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GDP-composition by sector

  1. Agriculture: 9.5%

  2. Industry: 25.5%
  3. Services: 65% (2012 est.)

Exports: US$ 50,1 billion (f.o.b., 2005) US$82.47 billion f.o.b. (2012 est.)
Commodities:gold 20%; other minerals and metals: 20%-25%; food: 5%; chemicals: 3%
Exports - partners:
UK 12.8%, US 12.7%, Germany 9%, Japan 8.8%, Italy 5.8% (2005) / US 11.9%, Japan 11.1%, Germany 8%, UK 7.7%, China 6.6%, Netherlands 4.5% (2012)

Imports: US$ 52.91 billion (f.o.b., 2005)/ US$90.3 billion f.o.b. (2012 est.)
Commodities:machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, textiles, scientific instruments.
Imports - partners: Germany 15.4%, US 9.4%, UK 9%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, Japan 5.8%, France 5%, China 4.9%, Iran 4.1% (2005)/ Germany 10.9%, China 10%, Spain 8.2%, US 7.2%, Japan 6.1%, UK 4.5%, Saudi Arabia 4.2% (2012)

The Republic of South Africa on Saturday April 27, 2013 celebrates the 19th anniversary of Freedom Day, which marks the first post-apartheid elections in the country and in which Nelson Mandela became President.

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa achieved many considerable political, economic and social successes, becoming an active player on the international arena and a member of the BRICS group alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China who all seek to create a balance in international politics.

In the past 19 years, South Africa achieved a level of economic stability that hadn't been seen in it for decades, increasing expenditures on social services and reducing costs and risks for investors, which fueled growth in investment and economy.

South Africa is one of most advanced of the nascent markets in the world, combining an advanced infrastructure and a strong economy which created a suitable environment for projects.

Click here for Dynamic News Headlines about South Africa.


1- The Last Empire
De Beers Diamonds and the World
by Stefan kanfer
2- The Washing of the Spears
A History of the Rise of the Zulu Under Shaka
By Donald R. Morris
3- Disabling Globalization
Place of Power In Post Apartheid South Africa
by Gillian Patricai Hart

4- The Politics of Truth And Reconciliation
Legitimizing the Post Apartheid State
by Richard A. Wilson
5- Poverty and Inequality In South Africa
Meeting the Challenge
by Jullian May




A passport - valid for at least 6 months beyond date of departure - and a visa are required for some nationalities; but many are issued at the point of entry. An international vaccination certificate for yellow fever is compulsory for visitors arriving from infected areas.

There are South African embassies in all major capital cities around the world which deliver visa. Below are listed some contacts information:

Department of Home Affairs
Private Bag X114
Civitas Building corner Struben and Andries Streets
Tel: +(27) 12 3148911
Fax: +(27) 12 3264571

South African High Commission
South Africa House
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DP
Tel: +(44) 171 9304488
Fax: +(44)171 4517284

High Commission of the Republic of South Africa
15 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Ontario K1M 1M8
Tel: +(1) 613 7440330
Fax: +(1) 613 7411639

Embassy of South Africa
3051 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 2324400
Fax: +(1) 202 2651607 /
+(1) 202 2323402


South-Africa national carrier
South-Africa Airways - in association with SwissAir - connects the country to all major cities in the world. There is no problem to find an international carrier to or out of South Africa.

Railways: 21,431 km narrow gauge: 20,995 km 1.067-m gauge (9,087 km electrified); 436 km 0.610-m gauge (1995)

Ports and harbors: Cape Town, Durban, East London, Mosselbaai, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha

Merchant marine: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 274,797 GRT/270,837 DWT ships by type: container 6, petroleum tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off 1 (1999 est.)



Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Private Bag 34
Auckland Park
2006 Johannesburg
South Africa
Tel: +(27)-11-726-5300
Fax: +(27)-11-482-2000

Port Elizabeth
Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Chamber House
P.O.Box 2221 - Port Elizabeth 6056
22 Grahamstown Road
Port Elizabeth
South Africa
Tel: +(27) 41 4844430
Fax: +(27) 41 4871851

South Africa Chamber of Business
Tel: +(27)-11-358-9729
Fax: +(27)-11-358-9765

Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system
Best Discounted Hotels in South Africa

All major cities around the country are equipped with international standard hotels and guest houses.
Deep in the countryside, all over the country - and particularly in the dynamic province of Kwazulu-Natal - right on the farms / estates are splendid guest houses. If you want to combine business and pleasure during your stay in South Africa, we recommend the following guest houses - amongst many.

For more choices in several SouthAfrica's Cities visit this link


Situated in the beautiful and tranquil town of St. Lucia - right near the Estuary to the Lakes of St. Lucia - a splendid "World Heritage Site". Beautiful unspoiled beaches where turtles lay their eggs, stretch for many kilometers northward from the estuary.

Guests can explore the 765 hectares game park adjoining the property which houses an abundance of birds, antelope, monkeys and other small game. A excellent golf course in available 15 km away.

Tel: +(27) 35 590 1167
Fax: +(27) 35 590 1560
Website URL: Click here
Email: Click here


Ideally situated between Swaziland, Mpumalanga and the tourist region of Northern Kwazulu-Natal. Right in the middle of the battlefields of Zulu's king Xhaxa (pronounced Tzaka).

It combines value for money and an excellent range of selected services:

1- Day and night game drives on private farms in the area where elephant, rhino, buffalo and any other species can be viewed.
2- Traditional Zulu's dancers entertainment shows.
3- Sports fishing
4- A nearby 18 holes golf course

Tel: +(27) 34 218 1641
Fax: +(27) 34 212 3502
Website URL: Click here
Email: Click here

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