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South African Economy

Information on the economy of South Africa brought to you by Conference Venues South Africa including South Africa's resources, Stock Exchange, employment and currency.

economy south africa

South Africa is a well-developed commercial country with an abundant supply of resources. The country excels in the energy, legal, transport and communications sectors and has one of the top ranked stock exchanges in the world. South Africa has a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to main urban centres throughout the entire region.

Development in South Africa is significantly localised around Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, and Gauteng; beyond these four commercial centres development is minimal. The vast majority of South Africans are therefore poor, but key marginal areas, such as Rustenburg,  Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and the Cape West Coast, have experienced rapid growth recently. .

Unemployment is unfortunately high, and income inequality is comparitive to countries such as Brazil. South Africa suffers from relatively large overall regulation burden compared to developed countries. State ownership and interference are barriers to entry in many areas. Restrictive labour regulations also contribute to unemployment.

South Africa is a popular tourist destination with a substantial amount of revenue coming from tourism. The main attractions are varied and picturesque, the game reserves and local wine farms are highly regarded.

The Rand is the most actively traded market currency in the world for an emerging country. It has joined a group of fifteen currencies where forex transactions are settled immediately, thus lowering the risks of transacting across time zones.

With the high unemployment levels amongst poorer South Africans, xenophobia is still a problem  and some South Africans feel that immigrants are depriving them of jobs. Refugees from poorer neighbouring countries represent a large portion of the informal sector. Many South African immigrants continue to live in poverty, and the immigration policy has become ever more restrictive since 1994.

South has multiple trading partners in other African countries. Other international trading countries include Germany, the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain. Chief exports include corn, diamonds, fruits, gold, metals and minerals, sugar, and wool. Machinery and transportation equipment make up a third of imports to South Africa. Other imports include chemicals, manufactured goods, and petroleum.

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