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South Africa Brief Description Essay

1620 words - 7 pages

South Africa
Brief description
South Africa is a republic which is surrounded by land at the top and the two oceans, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Located on the southern tip of Africa, with an area of 1.2 million sq. km its location is also responsible in a major way for the economic and social-political milieu of the republic of South Africa. It has four capital cities namely; administrative, Pretoria; legislative, Cape Town; judicial, Bloemfontein. Other famous cities include Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The population is 49.3 million as of 2009 composed of black 79.7%; white 9.1%; colored 8.8%; Asian (Indian) 2.2%. The annual population growth rate as of 2009 was 1.2%. ...view middle of the document...

Economy
GDP (2009): $287 billion.
Real GDP growth rate: 3.1% (2008); -1.8% (2009); 3.7% (5-year average).
GDP per capita (2009): $5,787.
Unemployment (first quarter 2010): 25.2%.
Natural resources: Almost all essential commodities, except petroleum products and bauxite. It is the only country in the world that manufactures fuel from coal.
Industry: Types--minerals, mining, motor vehicles and parts, machinery, textiles, chemicals, fertilizer, information technology, electronics, other manufacturing, and agro-processing.
Trade (2009): Exports--$71.9 billion; merchandise exports: minerals and metals, motor vehicles and parts, agricultural products. Major markets--China, U.S., Japan, Germany, U.K., Sub-Saharan Africa. Imports--$75.7 billion: machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, textiles, and scientific instruments. Major suppliers--China, Germany, U.S., Saudi Arabia, Japan.
GDP composition (2009): Agriculture and mining (primary sector)--7%; industry (secondary sector)--20%; services (tertiary sector)--73%. South Africa is one of the largest producers of platinum, manganese, gold, and chrome in the world; also significant coal production [Background Note: South Africa, 2010].
Education system
Education is compulsory for children aged 7 to 15 years of age and the education system is categorized into three parts namely:
* General Education and Training (GET)
* Further Education and Training (FET)
* Higher Education and Training (HET)
School life spans 13years or grades, from grade 0, otherwise known as grade R or “reception year”, through to grade 12 or “matric” – the year of matriculation. General Education and Training runs from grade 0 to grade. Further Education and Training takes place from grades 10 to 12, and also includes career-oriented education and training offered in colleges, community colleges and private colleges. Diplomas and certificates are qualifications recognized at this level [Education, 2010]. The matric pass rate, which was as low as 40% in the late 1990s, has improved considerably. A total of 581 573 full-time students and 38 595 repeat students sat the matriculation exams in 2009, 60.6% of whom passed. Education is in transition. Under the apartheid system schools were segregated, and the quantity and quality of education varied significantly across racial groups. The laws governing this segregation have been abolished. The long and arduous process of restructuring the country's educational system is ongoing. The challenge is to create a single, nondiscriminatory, nonracial system that offers the same standards of education to all people. The adult literacy rate is 87.2% for Females and 88.9% for Males. (UNDP 2009)
Market for clothes in South Africa
Overview of sector trends
TIPS data, as presented in Table 1, shows that the South African clothing sector has performed poorly. By comparing the average of the indicators for the period 1994-8 with the average for the...

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