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    South Africa Economy 1997

      Economy - overview Despite the efforts of South Africa's first majority-run government,income inequality remains among the world's most extreme. Many of the whiteone-seventh of the South African population enjoy incomes, material comforts,and health and educational standards equal to those of Western Europe. Incontrast, most of the remaining population suffers from the poverty patternsof the Third World, including unemployment, lack of job skills, and bleakliving conditions. The main strength of the economy lies in its rich mineralresources, which provide two-thirds of exports. Economic developments forthe remainder of the 1990s will be driven largely by the new government'sattempts to improve black living standards, to set the country on a steadyexport-led growth path, and to cut back the enormous numbers of unemployed.The economy in recent years has absorbed less than 5% of the more than 300,000workers entering the labor force annually. Local economists estimate thatthe economy must grow at least 5% in real terms annually to absorb all ofthe new entrants, much less reduce the accumulated total.

      GDP purchasing power parity - $227 billion (1996 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate 3% (1996 est.)

      GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $5,400 (1996 est.)

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

      Inflation rate - consumer price index 9% (1996 est.)

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

      Unemployment rate 34% (1996 est.); note - an additional 11% of the workforce is underemployed

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

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

      Industrial production growth rate NA%

      Electricity - capacity 34.57 million kW (1994)

      Electricity - production 158.78 billion kWh (1994)

      Electricity - consumption per capita 3,305 kWh (1995 est.)

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

      total value: $29.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: gold 27%, other minerals and metals 20%-25%, food 5%, chemicals 3% (1994)
      partners: Italy, Japan, US, Germany, UK, other EU countries, Hong Kong

      total value : $26.9 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
      commodities: machinery 32%, transport equipment 15%, chemicals 11%, petroleum products,textiles, scientific instruments (1994)
      partners: Germany, US, Japan, UK, Italy

      Debt - external $30 billion (1996 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 fiveyears

      Currency 1 rand (R) = 100 cents

      Exchange rates rand (R) per US$1 - 4.6410 (January 1997), 4.2706 (1996), 3.6266 (1995),3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992)

      Fiscal year 1 April - 31 March

      NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of South Africa Economy 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about South Africa Economy 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
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