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South Africa

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Country summary

Capital

Pretoria (administrative capital)

Borders

Botswana 1,840 km, Lesotho 909 km, Mozambique 491 km, Namibia 967 km, Swaziland 430 km, Zimbabwe 225 km

Government type

republic

Population

49,052,489[1]

Population growth

0.281% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

48.98 years[1]

Unemployment

24% (2009 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom

72[2]

Corruption Perceptions Index

55[3]

Doing Business ranking

34[4]


Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009.[1]

Economical characteristicsEdit

  • Currency: Rand (ISO code: ZAR)
  • Central bank discount rate: 7% (31 December 2009)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 11.71% (31 December 2009 )[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $44.66 billion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $124.1 billion (31 December 2008)[1]


StatisticsEdit

Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (million USD)[5] 133 184 132 878 118 479 110 874 166 654 216 012 242 802 257 728 283 745 276 445
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[6] 45.270
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[7] 26.347 27.436 26.431 26.839 28.517 30.613 32.017 32.041 30.719
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[8] 27.907 27.824 27.570 29.284 30.319 30.461 30.773 30.748 30.943
Debt to revenue (years) 1.718

ReferencesEdit

Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Facebook. "South Africa", from The World Facebook. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "South Africa", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  3. Transparency International. "South Africa", Corruption Perceptions Index 2009. A lower ranking is better; but please note that the numbers cannot be compared between countries or years due to different methodology. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  4. Doing Business. "South Africa", Doing Business 2010 (part of The World Bank Group). A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  5. World Bank. "South Africa: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  6. World Bank. "South Africa: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  7. World Bank. "South Africa: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-10-04.
  8. World Bank. "South Africa: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-10-04.

External linksEdit

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