Location, Location, Location: South Africa is located in the southern-most portion of the African continent. The terrain includes wide interior plateau enclosed by rugged hills.
Government: South Africa is governed as a republic with a recently revised constitution and democratically elected president.
Size Matters: The total land area of South Africa is 1,219,090 sq km, ranking as the 26th largest country in the world.
Cities: The five largest cities in South Africa are Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, East Rand and Pretoria, respectively.
Did You Know? South Africa maintains three capital cities: the executive capital city of Pretoria, the judicial capital city of Bloemfontein and the legislative capital city of Cape Town.
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Population: As of July 2009, South Africa’s population was estimated at 49,052, 289, the 34th most populous country in the world.
Business Environment: South Africa was ranked the 32nd best country in the world for business in a 2009 Doingbusiness.com ranking.
Top Industries: In terms of paid jobs, the labor force in 2007 was comprised of services (65%), industry (26%) and agriculture (9%).
Taxes: South Africa sanctions a Corporate Income Tax of 28%; an Individual Income Tax of 0-40%; and a Value Added Tax of 14%.
Quality of Life: In a recent “Quality of Living Global City Ranking” by Mercer, Cape Town was ranked as the 87th best city in the world.
Weather: South Africa typically experiences a semi-arid climate ranging to subtropical along the eastern coast.
K-12: South Africa sustains over 28,000 primary education schools spanning from grades 1 to 12. In recent times, the country introduced new educational technologies to a previously antiquated schooling system.
College Education: More than a million students are enrolled in South Africa’s various universities of higher education, which are all autonomous and free of government control.
In General: South Africa is widely considered an emerging marketplace with a vast supply of natural resources and relatively well developed financial, communications and energy sectors.
Services: The services sector typically makes up the greatest proportion of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and labor force. A budding tourism industry and growing financial activities lead the services sector.
Industry: South Africa is the largest energy producer and consumer in Africa. In addition, the nation’s mining industry is a worldwide leader, producing a great portion of the world’s supply of diamonds as well as many additional valuable metals and minerals.
Agriculture: South Africa excels as a net exporter of farming goods, boasting a large agricultural sector. The commercial farming sector is moderately well developed, led by corn, sugar, citrus and wine.
A Closer Look: South Africa boasts the 25th largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world according to 2008 estimates.
Did you know? The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the largest stock exchange on the African continent and the 17th largest in the world.
Sources: In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include: the CIA World Factbook, Worldwidetax.com and Wikipedia.com.