Counting for about 27 % of the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa and 60 % of that of the Southern Africa, South Africa is the 2nd economy of Africa after Nigeria but the most developed surout. If important progress was registered since the end by the Apartheid, in particular from the point of view of the reduction of the extreme poverty, the access to the electricity or the housing, the country still suffers profound social inequalities and is still marked by a strong racism.

The economy developed mainly around the exploitation of plentiful natural resources (gold, platinum, diamond, ferrochrome, coal), with the emergence of a powerful sector of services, in particular financial, the stock exchange of Johannesburg being the 1st of the continent and the 19th capitalization to the world. The part of the service sector financial so clearly progressed, from 17 % of the GDP in 1994 to 24 %. In particular, the banking sector establishes from now on, in the same way as the insurance sector, the main asset of the economy

At the same time, the part of the mining sector in the GDP was reduced, from 9 % in 1994 to 5 %. However, the mining industry always establishes one of the key sectors of the South African economy, half of the exports remaining established by primary products. In front of a mining sector losing momentum, as gave evidence of it the massive strikes of the 1st half-year 2014 in the industry of platinoïdes.

Besides the mining sector, the domestic consumption establishes traditionally one of the main engines of the growth, representing 60 % of the GDP. The emergence of a middle class, which has more that doubled during the last twenty years. The development of the middle class took place in a parallel to the obstinacy of an unemployment of mass, which still affects about 26 % of the working population.


The country has to assure from now on the transition of a mining economy towards a more diversified and more competitive economy. South Africa remains one of the the most promising developing countries thanks to the numerous resources which it has.