South Africa Economy History Research Paper

Pages: 10 (3087 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Literature - African

South Africa Economy

History of South Africa

Political Situation of the Country

South African Economy

Key Macroeconomic Variables

Justice/Judiciary System of the Country

Environmental Concerns

Health Concerns in South Africa

Society/Family/Culture of the Nation

Religion practiced in South Africa


History of South Africa

South Africa has been a land of people with multiple cultural backgrounds since it was inhabited. Several centuries ago, people from different corners of African land migrated towards south and settled there with families. Additionally, many settlers came from European countries during the period of colonization together with black individuals from other African nations who were hired as slaves. Furthermore, many Asians travelled to South Africa in search of better employment and dwelled there.

Amongst the initial groups of foreigners that visited South Africa in sixteenth century, Portuguese were the prominent ones because they had established sea routes that made travelling convenient for them. Afterwards, European individuals entered the region and colonized it during mid-seventeenth century. They started businesses that mainly consisted of farming, which demanded cheap labor; therefore, slaves from other nations as well as locals were hired as servants. Although white population never outnumbered the locals; however, their power and superiority remained dominant.

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Racial discrimination was prominent throughout the history of South Africa where whites were superior to blacks. When precious gemstones were explored in this territory, the local market position strengthened; thus, black population tried to improve their economic status by working extensively on farmlands. However, whites designed policies that dragged local people away from farms into slavery at mines.

TOPIC: Research Paper on South Africa Economy History of South Africa Assignment

A war was then waged between the local tribes and British leaders. After fierce confrontation and widespread destruction, whites stood victorious. During elections in twentieth century, whites became the ruling body who intensified Racial discrimination, as they declared it official.

Although South Africa became a republic after few years, its racial prejudice policies remained unchanged. This triggered nationalism amongst the locals to an extent that under the leadership of their prominent leaders they led an enthusiastic and vigorous revolutionary movement. Consequently, South Africa became independent from the British rule in the last decade of the century.

2. Political Situation of the Country

When the British left South Africa, elections were held in which all local parties participated. Following to it, government was established in which the highest position and power was held by the president who was not only responsible of running the government but also was in charge of directing the matters of state. Furthermore, there was no separate individual who was elected as a prime minister of the state; hence, the duties were performed by the president himself.

South African parliament was based on houses, amongst which lower house that consisted of representatives of the elected as well as opponent parties had rights to choose the president by voting method. During the first free election of the state, the most popular party of that time namely African National Congress, which was headed by the most prominent revolutionary leader won a majority of votes and formed the government. Moreover, other local party and the one that was initially created by the whites formed the opposition in the parliament.

South Africa was primarily engrossed in economic decline and social discrimination for which the government took grave measures to eliminate them by forming groups of government-appointed individuals who were assigned to work in collaboration with the locals for the betterment of their living status. Similarly, government also aimed to elevate South Africans in all facets of life so that they can incorporate themselves in the globalized world and perform well.

As the years passed by, the party formed by the whites during colonial period began to lose its popularity, as it often withdrew itself from any unified pact that it formed with other parties. Another local party gained massive recognition after the second elections, which formed democratic alliance with the former party of the whites, as it was experiencing a drastic decline. This alliance was successful in gaining support of business and white community. However, the popularity of African National Congress remained high at this point also.

3. South African Economy

The economic situation in South Africa is very much similar to the political situation, which appears to be ambiguous and uncertain. This means that South Africa is a mixed economy that has the access to plentiful resources. The developed industries in South Africa mainly include agricultural, mining, manufacturing, engineering, power-producing and financial sectors. The export of various products such as gold, platinum, wine, fruit and coal also add a significant percentage to the economy and the GDP of the country.

South Africa initially did not have the advantage of hi-tech infrastructure, as the country's infrastructure was archaic and outdated, which constrained the growth of the country. However, in the recent times, the country has experiences a significant growth in terms of its infrastructure. This means that South Africa now has a modern infrastructure and sophisticated communication facilities. Overwhelming economic problems that include poverty, lack of economic empowerment especially amongst the underprivileged groups, and a shortage of public transportation are few of the grave issues that impede the economic growth of the country to a great extent.

Tourism is also one of the key economic sectors of South Africa that has great potential for growth. The tourism industry largely contributes to the economy of the country. Indeed, the government is developing strategies and plans with the core objective to enhance and enlarge the tourism industry of the nation, which can be of more valuable contribution to the gross domestic product of the country. Besides, the government also aims to provide development to the people so that more sophisticated jobs can be initiated for the locals as well as embed traditions of travel amongst the general public. The natural environment is also one of the value added feature of the tourism recourses.

The inflation rate of South Africa over the years has demonstrated an increasing pattern due to various factors. This is usually due to the increasing rates of the foreign currencies and increase in the GDP per capita on annual basis.

4. Key Macroeconomic Variables

South Africa is a region that demonstrates middle-income and emerging market, which is rich in its supply of natural resources. In other words, South Africa is a productive and industrialized economy, where the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) or the economic growth is expanded in the recent years. Even though, the facts and figures portrayed fall in the country's GDP fell nearly in 2009, but it was recovered in the years 2010 and 2011. The principal source of economy for the country comes from the manufacturing, services, mining, and agriculture industries, which are well developed. Moreover, financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors are also well-developed that adds to the economic value of the country.

While looking at the unemployment rate, the statistical analyses have indicated the fact that more or less 15% of the students are likely to get a job within one year who has completed their studies up to matriculation. However, the majority of the students that almost makes more than 60% of the students remain unemployed after five years. This signifies the fact that a substantial proportion of the South African population is unemployed, which states that the unemployment rate is high to a considerable level.

National estimates of South Africa with reference to the percentage of the population that falls far below the poverty line have revealed apparent results, where almost fifty percent of the total population is below the poverty line. Considering the investments that include the total business spending on fixed assets, such as factories, machinery, equipment, and inventories of raw materials, the records have exposed that more or less 15% of the total GDP is spent on the investments within the region.

5. Justice/Judiciary System of the Country

South Africa has a unified and cohesive judicial system. The judiciary system of South Africa is an amalgamation of judges and magistrates, who are present in the court of the country. The judiciary is one of the branches of the government that works on an independent basis. The judiciary is basically dependent upon the constitution as well as the laws of the country. They are key responsible body for interpreting the laws of South Africa, which is constituted by the legislature in the enactment.

Rules, regulations and policies are defined by the Integrated Justice System (IJS) of the country, with the primary aim to elevate the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice process. In order to achieve the aims, the justice system created high probability for successful investigations, prosecution, punishment for priority crimes and so forth.

The Supreme Court of South Africa is one of the superior courts of law, which is made up of various divisions based on local and provincial basis. The provincial and local divisions of the Supreme Court have specific authorities that are based over the geographical locations. Appellate Division is considered to be the highest division of the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "South Africa Economy History" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

South Africa Economy History.  (2012, December 24).  Retrieved August 3, 2021, from

MLA Format

"South Africa Economy History."  24 December 2012.  Web.  3 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"South Africa Economy History."  December 24, 2012.  Accessed August 3, 2021.