International business in South Africa

International business in South Africa

International business in South Africa

The Republic of South Africa consists of a myriad of cultures, languages, sites and natural wildlife. On the economic front, it's termed as a newly industrialized nation and one that holds favorable business possibilities.

South Africa’s republican political structure has seen the country head towards a more peaceful future as opposed to its troublesome apartheid past. Other improvements include urbanization, better education and health care initiatives.

What are South Africa’s vital data points (as of 2016)?

Population (million) 55.9
GDP (billion USD) 313
GDP per capita (USD) 5,274
GDP per capita PPP (USD) 13,225
Purchasing power per dollar, compared to the USA 201%
Surface area (sq km) 1,219,090
% of population living in urban areas 64%
% of GDP added by agriculture - industry - services 2% - 29% - 68%
Ease of doing business index (1 = best, 189 = lowest) 43

What is South Africa’s business index?

According to the World Bank, South Africa ranks 69th in ‘Ease of Doing Business’, out of 189 countries.

What are the top business opportunities in South Africa?

  • Mining
  • Automobile Assembly
  • Metal working
  • Machinery
  • Textiles
  • Iron and steel
  • Chemicals

What are South Africa’s top import commodities?

  • Petroleum products
  • Machinery & equipment
  • Chemicals
  • Scientific instruments
  • Foodstuff

Who are South Africa’s top import partners (percentage of total imports?

  • China (15.5%)
  • Germany (10.1%)
  • Saudi Arabia (7.2%)
  • US (6.7%)
  • Nigeria (5.2%)
  • India (4.6%)

South African sports and culture

South African culture is rich and lively, depicted through a beautiful blending of music, rituals and energetic dance. Many talented authors hail from South Africa or have been influenced by its rich cultural life.

Rugby and Cricket are the most favored sports in South Africa for which they have won global recognition.

South African politics

South Africa follows a republican system that allows voting for all citizens 18 years and above.

South African national holidays 2016

The following list mentions the national holidays in South Africa for the year 2016 on which most schools, colleges, institutes and companies may remain shut:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day Jan 1
Human Rights Day March 21
Good Friday March 25
Family Day March 28
Freedom Day April 27
Worker’s Day May 1 and 2
Youth Day June 16
National Women’s Day August 9
Heritage Day September 24
Day of Reconciliation December 16
Christmas Day December 25 (and 26)
Day of Goodwill December 26

The South African business environment

South Africa is a combination of a vibrant emerging market economy and well developed first world economic infrastructure. South Africa has business culture like the U.K, a sound banking system, a reasonable tax structure, and a stock exchange ranked among the top 20 in the world.

The economy of South Africa being the second largest in Africa, industry and trade are undertaken within a framework of a free enterprise economy. In fact, the exchange rate of South Africa makes it one of the least expensive countries for foreigners to do business in. Another promising factor is the lowering of telecommunication costs within the country.

South Africa has been identified by the Mckinsey Global institute as the world’s second fastest growing region. With reduced taxes and tariffs and a controlled fiscal deficit system, South Africa can act as a fine partner country for your business.

This entry in Africa & ME was updated on July 10, 2017 by specialist.