The Republic of South Africa
By John Wendell
September 27, 2000
The Republic of South Africa has had an interesting history. The country gained it’s independence from Great Britain on May 10, 1910. At that time the country was a struggling agricultural nation, and now it is a semi-industrialized nation.
South Africa is slightly less than twice the size of Texas and has a population of 43,421,021 person, With about 15 million economically active in the work force, the unemployment rate is about 30%. The country started of as predominately agricultural with 1,219,912 sq. km of land. They use 67% of the land as pastures, 10% is arable land, 1% is crops, and 7% is forests and woodland. The environmental hazards are that there are prolonged drought which can be very devastating to the economy and to the people because of starvation. A main natural concern is that South Africa has a lack of important rivers and lakes which require extensive water conservation and control measures. The land is rich in mineral resources such as chrome, platinum, uranium, coal, manganese, phosphates, and iron. South Africa leads the world in production of gold, gem diamonds, antimony, and vanadium.
The climate of South Africa has an effect on the crops which the country can grow. The climate is mostly semiarid, and it is subtropical along the east coast. The main agricultural products are corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, and vegetables. The main livestock products are beef, poultry, mutton, wool, and dairy products.
The economy of South Africa is pretty good for a developing nation. The country is middle income, with an abundant supply of natural resources. The household income or consumption by percentage shows that the lower 10% account for 1.4% of the people, and the higher 10% account for 47.3% of the people. The country has a well developed legal, communications, financial, energy, and transportation section. It also has a stock exchange that ranks in the top ten largest in the world. Also it has a modern transportation infrastructure that is uses to transport goods to the many major urban centers throughout the country. The county has gone through some major industrialization over the years. The countries industrialization was fueled by the discovery of gold and then diamonds. The GDP (Gross Domestic Production) is divided such as 5% is agricultural, 35% is industrial businesses, and 60% is service businesses. South Africa exports such commodities as gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment.
Over all, South Africa has come a long way from the way it was in 1910. The standard of living is increasing and the people are doing better for themselves.
Internet Source: “AskJeeves.com” Search-South African Economy
Webster’s Family Encyclopedia: 1989 Edition
Word Count: 443