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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Financial Times by Joseph Cotterill.]

Even by the standards of the public outcry that has plagued Jacob Zuma’s scandal-hit presidency recently, April 7 this year was a banner day for protests in South Africa. Thousands of demonstrators brought the national capital, Pretoria, in the province of Gauteng, to a halt as they demanded Mr Zuma resign over his firing, days earlier, of Pravin Gordhan, his finance minister and the strongest critic of graft in the ruling African National Congress government. In the wake of Mr Gordhan’s sacking and the arrival of his successor, Malusi Gigaba, credit rating agencies S&P Global and Fitch cut South Africa’s status to junk.

Gauteng, which is also home to Johannesburg, drives a third of South Africa’s economic output. Johannesburg alone accounts for 17 per cent, with a GDP larger than some African countries, including Cameroon and Ethiopia. Gauteng is the country’s most populous province, and of South Africa’s 56m population, 4.4m live in Johannesburg.

The city is the financial centre for the country and the continent. Johannesburg is home to the JSE, Africa’s biggest bourse, and Africa’s largest lenders such as Standard Bank. The financial sector is a primary source of jobs.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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