South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is the 18th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. Growth was robust from 2004 to 2007 as South Africa reaped the benefits of macroeconomic stability and a global commodities boom, but began to slow in the second half of 2007 due to an electricity crisis and the subsequent global financial crisis’ impact on commodity prices and demand. GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009, but recovered in 2010-Unemployment remains high and outdated infrastructure has constrained growth. State power supplier Eskom encountered problems with aging plants and meeting electricity demand, necessitating “load shedding” cuts in 2007 and 2008 to residents and businesses in the major cities. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era – especially poverty, lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of public transportation. South Africa’s economic policy is fiscally conservative, focusing on controlling inflation and attaining a budget surplus. The current government largely follows the these prudent policies, but must contend with the impact of the global crisis and is facing growing
pressure from special interest groups to use state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth.
The lack of consistent and comparable data for the South African aerospace industry hinders the assessment of a sector that is acquiring growing interest in the policy arena. Various sources suggest that there are currently between 100 and 200 domestic organizations engaged in aerospace activities in South Africa. The sector is highly concentrated in a few, very large organizations, although the segment of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) is rapidly growing and has been recently estimated to comprise about 75% of the organizations. South African aerospace companies mainly operate in the Gauteng province, while a smaller hub is based in the Western Cape in connection to the University of Stellenbosch. According to the Labour Force Survey, the sub-sector ‘manufacture of aircr...read more
South Africa’s energy sector is critical to the economy as the country relies heavily on its largescale, energy-intensive mining industry. South Africa has only small deposits of conventional oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits for most of its energy needs. As a result, carbon emission and intensity levels are relatively high. The country also has a highly developed synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from coal and natural gas. According to a recent EIA study, South Africa could hold significant shale gas resources. However, the sector is at the early stages of development and exploration plans have been put on hold as a result of environmental concerns that led to a 2011 moratorium on licensing and exploration. In 2008, according to the ...read more
South Africa’s total road network is about 754 000 kilometres, of which over 70 000km are paved or surfaced roads. The drive from Musina on South Africa’s northern border to Cape Town in the south is a 2 000km journey on well-maintained roads. South Africa has an extensive rail network – the 14th longest in the world – connecting with networks in the sub-Saharan region. The country’s rail infrastructure, which connects the portswith the rest of South Africa, represents about 80% of Africa’s total.
Sixty-two airlines, making 274 000 aircraft landings and carrying 16.5-million passengers (counting departures only), moved through South Africa’s 10 principal airports in 2009.
South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components. The sector accounts for about 10% of South Africa’s But, locally, the automotive sector is a giant, contributing about 7.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing around 36 000 people.
SOUTH AFRICA AUTOMOTIVE
manufacturing exports, making it a crucial cog in the economy. With annual production of 535 000 vehicles in 2007, expected to rise to 630 000 in 2008, South Africa can be regarded as a minor contributor to global vehicle production, which reached 73-million units in 2007.
South Africa’s automotive industry is a global, turbo-charged engine for the manufacture and export of vehicles and components. The sector accounts for about 10% of South Africa’s
But, locally, the automotive sector is a giant, contributing about 7.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employing around 36 000 people.
South Africa’s defence industry finds itself competing in an international market that is becoming increasingly competitive. Even though the local industry generally focuses on certain niches in the market, new competitors are emerging and seeking to establish themselves in these very sectors.
“I think that the South African industry can sustain its competitiveness in its existing niche areas if government increases defense acquisition and operational expenditure, so that the South African National Defense Force(SANDF) can place orders for new equipment with reasonable frequency, and if we can find international development partners,” arguesindependent defense analyst Helmoed Heitman. “South Africa’s lead in its niches is being eroded. Other countries are catching up. S...read more
Among South Africa’s earliest research ventures was the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, established by the British Admiralty in 1820. Societies of leading engineers, architects,chemists, metallurgists, and geologists were organized in the 1890s, and the South African Association for the Advancement of Science was established in 1902. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (founded in 1945) has 13 research divisions. The Atomic Energy Corporation established an experimental nuclear reactor in 1965 and has since directed the government’s nuclear program; in 1970, it was announced that its researchers had devised a new uranium-enrichment process, subsequently developed by the national Uranium Enrichment Corp. The Scientific Advisory Council to the Minis...read more