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    South Africa Economy 1998

      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. Growth has been positive since the historic election of President Nelson MANDELA in the country's first multi-racial elections in 1994, but not strong enough to cut into the substantial unemployment. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era, especially the problems of poverty and economic empowerment among the blacks. Other problems are crime and corruption. The new South African Government demonstrated its commitment to open markets, privatization, and a favorable investment climate with the release of its macroeconomic strategy in June 1996. Called "Growth, Employment and Redistribution," this policy framework includes the introduction of tax incentives to stimulate new investment in labor-intensive projects, expansion of basic infrastructure services, the restructuring and partial privatization of state assets, continued reduction of tariffs and subsidies to promote economic efficiency, improved services to the disadvantaged, and integration into the global economy.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $270 billion (1997 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 3% (1997 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,200 (1997 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector
      agriculture: 5%
      industry: 37%
      services: 58% (1995 est.)

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 9.7% (1997 est.)

      Labor force
      total: 14.2 million economically active (1996)
      by occupation: services 35%, agriculture 30%, industry 20%, mining 9%, other 6%

      Unemployment rate 30% (1997 est.); note - an additional 11% of the workforce is underemployed

      revenues: $30.5 billion
      expenditures: $38 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.6 billion (FY94/95 est.)

      Industries mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemical, fertilizer, foodstuffs

      Industrial production growth rate 1.2% (1996 est.)

      Electricity - capacity 34.566 million kW (1995)

      Electricity - production 163.56 billion kWh (1995)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 3,559 kWh (1995)

      Agriculture - products corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products

      total value: $31.3 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
      commodities: gold 20%, other minerals and metals 20%-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3% (1997)
      partners: Italy, Japan, US, Germany, UK, other EU countries, Hong Kong

      total value: $28 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
      commodities: machinery 32%, transport equipment 15%, chemicals 11%, petroleum products, textiles, scientific instruments (1994)
      partners: Germany, US, Japan, UK, Italy

      Debt - external $23.5 billion (1997 est.)

      Economic aid
      recipient: ODA, $NA
      note: current aid pledges include US $600 million over three years, 1994-96; UK $150 million over three years; Australia $21 million over three years; Japan $1.3 billion over two years ending in 1996; EU $833 million over five years

      Currency 1 rand (R) = 100 cents

      Exchange rates rand (R) per US$1 - 4.94193 (January 1998), 4.60796 (1997), 4.29935 (1996), 3.62709 (1995), 3.55080 (1994), 3.26774 (1993)

      Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of South Africa Economy 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about South Africa Economy 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
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