South Africa country profile

South African economy facts

Economy

1. The Rand was the best-performing currency against the US Dollar between 2002 and 2005 (Bloomberg Currency Scoreboard).
2. South Africa has 55 000 high-net-wealth individuals holding at least US$1m in financial assets each (World Wealth Report 2008).
3. South Africa has the twenty-seventh-biggest economy in the world, with a GDP of US$254bn (World Bank).
4. South Africa accounts for almost 25 % of the GDP of the entire African continent, with an economy more than twice the size of the second-biggest, Algeria (World Bank).
5. Gauteng is South Africa’s smallest province yet produces 34% of South Africa’s GDP (StatsSA).
6. The JSE Securities Exchange is the fourteenth-largest equities exchange in the world, with a total market capitalisation of some R2, 3 trillion (JSE).
7. More than 12 000 'Black Diamond' families (South Africa’s new black middle class) or 50 000 people are moving from the townships into the suburbs of South Africa's metro areas every month (UCT Unilever Institute).
8. The black middle class grew by 30 % in 2005, adding another 421 000 black adults to SA's middle-income layer and ramping up the black population's share of SA's total middle class to almost a third. Between 2001 and 2004, there were 300.000 new black entrants to the middle class (Financial Mail).

Infrastructure

1. South Africa generates two-thirds of Africa’s electricity (Eskom).
2. The South African power supplier provides the fourth-cheapest electricity in the world.
3. Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto is the biggest hospital in the world.
4. Durban is the largest port in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world.
5. There are 50, 47m cellphone users in South Africa (BMI).

Tourism

1. The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top 5 countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at 3 times the global average).
2. Cape Town was named the top tourist destination in the world in the 2011 Traveler’s Choice Destinations awards.
3. OR Tambo airport is the best airport in Africa, according to the World Airport Awards 2010/11. It was also in the top 3 most improved airports in the world for the same period.
4. 27 South African beaches were awarded Blue Flags, an international indicator of high environmental standards for recreational beaches in 2010.
5. South Africa is ranked 66th out of 139 in the World Economic Forums Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2010/11.

Source: www.southafrica.org.tr
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