South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors and a stock exchange that is the 15th largest in the world.
The country possesses modern infrastructure that supports a largely efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the region.
The global financial crisis reduced commodity prices and world demand: GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but has recovered since then. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain a challenge. At present official unemployment levels are at nearly 25% of the available workforce, but the Government is working hard to reduce this.
The current government is being encouraged by special interest groups to use state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth.
Composition of GDP 2013