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South africa

About South Africa

South Africa - The Rainbow Nation

South Africa, the southernmost country on the African continent, is renowned for its varied topography, great natural beauty and cultural diversity. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and by the Indian Ocean on the south and east. Its neighbors are Namibia in the northwest, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north, and Mozambique and Swaziland in the northeast. The kingdom of Lesotho forms an enclave within the southeast part of South Africa.

Many different peoples make up South Africa, each with their own language and history. The country has 11 official languages and many more unofficial ones. Blacks, Asians, Whites and indigenous people make up South Africa’s 47.5 million population. This colourful mix of cultures gives South Africa its nickname, “Rainbow nation”.

South Africa has been a democratic republic since holding its first truly open election on April 27, 1994. In April 1994, the country became a fully multiracial democracy in the form of a parliamentary republic. It provides for a strong central government headed by a president, who is elected by parliament for a five-year term. Cape Town is the legislative capital, Pretoria the administrative capital, and Bloemfontein the judicial capital of the nation. Johannesburg is the largest South African city.

After the end of the minority white rule 1994, the government inherited an economy wracked by long years of internal conflict and external sanctions. From 2004 onward economic growth picked up significantly, both employment and capital formation increased. Very much Africa\\\'s superpower, today South Africa has the largest economy of all African Union members.

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.

South Africa has a mixed economy and considered a newly industrialized nation. The principal manufactures include processed food, beverages (including wine), textiles, clothing, forest products, chemicals, iron and steel, metal products, machinery, and motor vehicles. South Africa is a world leader in the production of gold, diamonds, aluminosilicates, chromium, manganese, vanadium, and platinum. Other leading minerals extracted are copper ore, coal, asbestos, iron ore, silver, and titanium. Uranium is also mined. After the apartheid-era, tourism has also made a comeback, and now contributes significantly to the economy.

The main imports are machinery, transport equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, industrial raw materials, and foodstuffs. The chief exports are manufactured goods, precious metals, chemicals, arms, foodstuffs, and diamonds.

The currency of South Africa is South African rand (ZAR) and it is the most actively traded emerging market currency in the world.

Natural resources, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing have made South Africa the largest economy on the continent , but problems with unemployment, poverty and AIDS present huge challenges for the government. However, the South African government is introducing many new policies to attract investors to the country. The government is also trying hard to eradicate the vestiges of the apartheid era - poverty, poor infrastructure, racial discrimination and unequal distribution of wealth in an attempt to make South Africa a preferred destination for investors and tourists alike.