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Economy of South Africa

The economy of South Africa is the second-largest in Africa, behind Nigeria. South Africa accounts for 24 percent of Africa's gross domestic product (PPP), and it is ranked as an upper-middle-income economy by the World Bank - one of only four such countries in Africa (alongside Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius). Since 1996, at the end of over twelve years of international sanctions, South Africa's Gross Domestic Product has almost tripled to $400 billion, and foreign exchange reserves have increased from $3 billion to nearly $50 billion; creating a diversified economy with a growing and sizable middle class, within two decades of establishing democracy and ending apartheid. High levels of unemployment, income inequality, growing public debt, political mismanagement, low levels of education, reliable access to electricity, and crime are all serious problems that have negatively impacted the South African economy.

Sectors

South Africa has a comparative advantage in the production of agriculture, mining and manufacturing products relating to these sectors. South Africa has shifted from a primary and secondary economy in the mid-twentieth century to an economy driven primarily by the tertiary sector in the present day which accounts for an estimated 65% of GDP or $230 billion in nominal GDP terms. The country's economy is reasonably diversified with key economic sectors including mining, agriculture and fisheries, vehicle manufacturing and assembly, food processing, clothing and textiles, telecommunication, energy, financial and business services, real estate, tourism, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade.

Natural Resources

South Africa is one of the world's leading mining and mineral-processing countries. Though mining's contribution to the national GDP has fallen from 21% in 1970 to 6% in 2011, it still represents almost 60% of exports. The mining sector accounts for up to 9% of value added.

Agriculture and food processing

The agricultural industry contributes around 10% of formal employment, relatively low compared to other parts of Africa, as well as providing work for casual labourers and contributing around 2.6% of GDP for the nation.

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry's contribution to the economy is relatively small, providing just 13.3% of jobs and 15% of GDP.

After a steep decline of 10.4% in 2009, the manufacturing sector performed well in 2010, growing by 5%, though this rebound was limited to the automotive, basic chemicals, iron and steel and food and beverages industries.

Service industry

The domestic telecommunications infrastructure provides modern and efficient service to urban areas, including cellular and internet services.

Tourism

South Africa is a popular tourist destination, with around 860,000 arrivals per month (March 2008) of which around 210,000 is from outside the African continent. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism directly contributed ZAR102 billion to South African GDP in 2012 and supports 10.3% of jobs in the country.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of South Africa"

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