South Africa


South Africa Country Report: GDP data and GDP forecasts; economic, financial and trade information; the best banks in South Africa; country and population overview

DATA ON GDP AND ECONOMIC INFORMATION
Central bank South African Reserve Bank
International Reserves US$ 48.748 billion (Source: IMF; Data updated: 2012)
Gross Domestic Product - GDP US$ 419.925 billion (2010 estimate)
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) 577.159 billion of International dollars (2010 estimate)
Real GDP growth
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
2.7% 3.7% 2.9% 4.6% 5.3% 5.6% 5.5% 3.6%
2009 2010 2011 2012*
-1.5% 2.9% 3.1% 2.7%

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices US$ 8,202 (2008 estimate)
GDP per capita - PPP $11,273 International Dollars (2008 estimate)
GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015**
1.01% 0.86% 0.7% 0.71% 0.69%

**Forecast

GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 2.5% 
  • industry: 31.6% 
  • services: 65.9% (2011 estimate)
  • (Data released on February 2012)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP) N/A

(Data released on March 2012)

Inflation
2009 2010 2011 2012*
7.1%(2008) 4.3% 5% 5.7%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2009 2010 2011 2012*
23.9% 24.9% 24.5%(2009) 23.8%

*Estimate

Household saving rates N/A

(Data released on December 2011)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012*
27.4% 31.5% 35.3% 38.8% 40%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011* 2012**
-0.5% -5.3% -4.9% -4.6% -4.3%

*Estimate    **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: BBB

Moody's rating: Baa1

Moody's outlook: NEG

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Dec 2011 and Nov 2012)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2009 2010 2011
US$704.8 billion US$1.013 trillion US$855.7 billion
Largest companies in South Africa Naspers (Broadcasting & Cable), Bidvest Group (Conglomerates), Remgro (Conglomerates), AngloGold Ashanti (Diversified Metals & Mining), Impala Platinum Holdings (Diversified Metals & Mining), Gold Fields (Diversified Metals & Mining), Exxaro Resources (Diversified Metals & Mining), African Rainbow (Diversified Metals & Mining), Shoprite Holdings (Food Retail), Steinhoff International (Furniture & Fixtures), RMB Holdings (Investment services), Hosken Consolidated (Investment services), Sanlam (Life & Health Insurance), MMI Holdings (Life & Health Insurance), Standard Bank Group (Major Banks), FirstRand (Major Banks), Sasol (Oil & Gas Operations), Aspen Pharmacare Holdings (Pharmaceuticals), MTN Group (Telecommunications Services), Imperial Holdings (Trucking) (2012)
DATA ON TRADE AND COMPETITIVENESS
Current account balance US$ -20.2 billion (2010 estimate)(After 2008)
Current account balance by percentage of GDP -4.8% of GDP (2010 estimate)(2009)
Exports as percent of GDP

(Exports of goods and services)

27.3% (2010)

(Data released on April 2012)

Shares in world total merchandising export 0.53%(2007)

(Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Shares in world total commercial services export 0.35% (2011)(2007)

(Data were released in 2012)

Total exports US$101.2 billion (2012 estimate) 
Export commodities gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Total imports US$106.8 billion (2012 estimate) 
Import commodities machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Exports - major partners China 15.8%, US 9.5%, Japan 8.2%, India 8%, Germany 6.9%, UK 4% (2011)
Imports - major partners China 13.3%, Germany 10.4%, US 7.2%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Iran 4.4%, Japan 4.3%, UK 4.2% (2011)
FDI inflows
2009 2010 2011
US$5,365 million US$1,228 million(2009) US$5,807 million(2009)
FDI outflows
2009 2010 2011
US$1,151 million US$-76 million US$-635 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2008 2009 2010 2011
US$2,817 million US$1,491 million(2009) US$1,600 million(2009) US$4,252 million
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2010

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2011

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A(2008 estimate)

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Best countries for doing business

World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project

(Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 - 185. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 39 out of 185 countries(2009) (2013)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 53 out of 185 countries(2009)

Enforcing Contracts: 82 out of 185 countries

Registering Property: 79 out of 185 countries

Getting credit: 1 out of 185 countries

Protecting investors: 10 out of 185 countries

Trading across border: 115 out of 185 countries

Paying Taxes: 32 out of 185 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 39 out of 185 countries

Getting Electricity: 150 out of 185 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 84 out of 185 countries

(2013)

Global competitiveness ranking
(ranking by country on a basis of 144, the first is the best)
52

(2012)

Index of Economic Freedom

WSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 70 Score: 62.7 (Moderately Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

COUNTRY AND POPULATION OVERVIEW
Time zone UTC+2
Total area 1,221,037 km2 (2006)
Capital Pretoria (administrative capital) (2009)
Currency rand (ZAR) (2009)
Government type republic (2009)
Languages IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census)
Religions Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census)
Total population
1980 1990 2000 2012* 2017**
29.14 million 36.85 million 44.52 million 51.2 million 54.34 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2011
46.6% 48.4% 56.9% 62%
Population median age 25 years (2010)
Population growth rate 1.2% (2011)
Life expectancy 52 years (2010)
Adult literacy 89% (2005/2010)
% of population living on less than $2 a day 35.74% (2011)
Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

63.14 (2009)

(Data were released in 2011, 0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights:2
Civil Liberties:2 (2011)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

135.01% (2011)

(sum of fixed telephone lines and mobile cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population 21% (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)
Cost of living - Mercer index

(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

N/A

CO2 emissions
(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

10.0302 (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2009)

GLOBAL FINANCE RANKINGS AND AWARDS

WORLD'S SAFEST EMERGING MARKETS BANKS

2012:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Absa Bank (Global, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS First Rand Bank (Global, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank South Africa (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Nedbank (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Investec (National, 2012)

WORLD'S BEST TREASURY & CASH MANAGEMENT BANKS & PROVIDERS

2013:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS/Best Overall Bank for Cash Management Standard Bank (Africa, 2013)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS/Best Provider of Money Market Funds Standard Bank (Africa, 2013)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS/Best Bank for Payments and Collections Standard Bank (Africa, 2013)
2012:
  • Best Overall Bank for Cash Management Standard Bank (Europe, 2012)
  • Best Provider of Money Market Funds Standard Bank (National, 2012)
  • Best Bank for Payments and Collections Standard Bank (National, 2012)
2011:
  • Best Overall Bank for Cash Management Standard Bank (Global, 2011)
  • Best Provider of Money Market Funds Standard Bank (Global, 2011)
  • Best Bank for Payments and Collections Standard Bank (Western Europe, 2011)
2010:
  • Best Overall Bank for Cash Management Standard Bank (National, 2010)
  • Best Bank for Payments and Collections Standard Bank (National, 2010)
  • Best CLS-Linked Bank Offering Standard Bank (National, 2010)
2009:
  • Best Overall Bank for Cash Management Standard Bank (National, 2009)
  • Best Bank for Payments and Collections Standard Bank (National, 2009)
  • Best CLS-Linked Bank Offering Standard Bank (National, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST TRADE FINANCE BANKS & PROVIDERS

2013:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank (Africa, 2013)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2013)
2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Developed Europe, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST INTERNET BANKS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (2012)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Absa Online (2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Absa Digital Channels (National, 2010)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (National, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST ISLAMIC FINANCE INSTITUTIONS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Al Baraka Islamic Bank (Europe, 2012)
2011:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Absa Islamic Banking (National, 2011)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Absa Islamic Banking (National, 2011)
2010:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Absa Islamic Banking (National, 2010)
2009:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Absa Islamic Banking (Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009)

WORLD'S SAFEST BANKS

2011:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Absa Bank (Global, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS FirstRand Bank (National, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Nedbank (Global, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Investec (Global, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Absa Bank (Europe, 2011)

WORLD'S BEST EMERGING MARKET BANKS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST SUB CUSTODIANS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Nedbank (National, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2010)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Nedbank (Latin america, 2010)
2009:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Nedbank (National, 2009)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Nedbank (National, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST INVESTMENT BANKS

2013:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS/Best Equity Bank FirstRand (Africa, 2013)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS/Best Debt Bank FirstRand (Africa, 2013)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2013)
2012:
  • Best Investment Bank Standard Bank (Europe, 2012)
  • Best Equity Bank Java Capital (Europe, 2012)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • Best Investment Bank Standard Bank (National, 2011)
  • Best Debt Bank Standard Bank (National, 2011)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Jean-Claude Trichet, 2010)
2009:
  • Best Investment Bank Standard Bank (National, 2009)
  • Best Debt Bank Standard Bank (National, 2009)
  • Best Investment Bank Standard Bank (Gill Marcus, 2009)
  • Best Debt Bank Standard Bank (Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009)
  • Best M&A Bank Rand Merchant Bank (Africa, 2009)

CENTRAL BANKER REPORT CARD

2012:
2011:
2010:
2009:

WORLD'S BIGGEST BANKS

2011:
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Standard Bank (Europe, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Absa Bank (Europe, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Nedbank (Europe, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST FirstRand Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN AFRICA The Standard Bank of South Africa (National, 2010)
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN AFRICA Absa Bank (National, 2010)
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN AFRICA Nedbank (National, 2010)
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN AFRICA FirstRand Bank (National, 2010)
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN AFRICA Investec Bank (Europe, 2010)

TOP 200 EMERGING MARKETS BANKS

2010:
  • OVERALL BIGGEST The Standard Bank of South Africa (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Absa Bank (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Nedbank (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST FirstRand Bank (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Investec Bank (Global, 2010)

WORLD'S BEST FOREIGN EXCHANGE PROVIDERS

2013:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2013)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2013)
2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Standard Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Global, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Standard Bank (Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009)
ARTICLES AND COUNTRIES REPORTS FROM GLOBAL FINANCE ARCHIVE