Nelson Mandela Capture site in KwaZulu Natal – South Africa
DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world.
Economic growth has decelerated in recent years, slowing to just 1.5% in 2014. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality – among the highest in the world – remain a challenge. Official unemployment is roughly 25% of the workforce, and runs significantly higher among black youth. Even though the country’s modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. Eskom, the state-run power company, is building three new power stations and is installing new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability. Load shedding and resulting rolling blackouts gripped many parts of South Africa in late 2014 and early 2015 because of electricity supply constraints due to technical problems at some generation units, unavoidable planned maintenance, and an accident at a power station in Mpumalanga province. The rolling blackouts were the worst the country faced since 2008. Construction delays at two additional plants, however, mean South Africa will continue to operate on a razor thin margin; economists judge that growth cannot exceed 3% until electrical supply problems are resolved.
South Africa’s economic policy has focused on controlling inflation; however, the country faces structural constraints that also limit economic growth, such as skills shortages, declining global competitiveness, and frequent work stoppages due to strike action. The current government faces growing pressure from urban constituencies to improve the delivery of basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth.
South Africa was designated as AGOA Eligible Country on October 2nd 2000. South Africa has been declared eligible for Apparel Provision on March 7th 2001 and does not benefit the Lesser Developed Country Special Rule for Apparel (3rd country fabric) nor the Lesser Developed Country Rule for Certain Textile Articles (Category 0). Regarding the Category 9 Textile Products, South Africa is eligible to export Handloomed / Handmade and the ethnic printed fabrics but not the folklore annex.