01.03.01. Strength of the economy | South Africa

01.03.01. Strength of the economy | South Africa

12 Aug 2022

The South African GDP per capita (PPP, purchasing power parity) is recorded as US$12 294.88 in 2017. GDP decreased by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2018, with the largest negative contributors being agriculture (-0.8, i.e., decreasing by 29.2%), transport (-0.4, i.e., decreasing by 4.9%), and trade (-0.3, i.e., 1.9%) (StatsSA, 2018a). Positive contributions primarily came from the mining (0.4, i.e., increasing 4.9%) and finance, real estate and business service industries (1.9%) (StatsSA, 2018a). The third quarter in 2018 saw the Real GDP (measured by production) increasing by 2.2% for which the largest contributors to growth were the manufacturing (7.5%, contributing 0.9 of percentage point to GDP), finance (2.3%, 0.5 percentage point), and transport and trade industries (5.7%, 0.5 percentage point) (StatsSA, 2018b). These figures have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns with a reduction in productivity and increase in unemployment by 2021.

The World Bank categorises South Africa as an Upper-middle-income country (The World Bank, 2018a).  South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world and this categorisation by the World Bank is not what most of the South Africans experience in terms of their living conditions.


StatsSA. (2018a). Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter. In Statistics South Africa: Release date 04 September 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/00128775.1994.11648537

StatsSA. (2018b). Gross domestic product: Third quarter. Available from: https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0441/P04413rdQuarter2018.pdf

The World Bank. (2018a). Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in South Africa:An Assessment of Drivers, Constraints and Opportunities. Available from: https://documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/530481521735906534/overcoming-poverty-and-inequality-in-south-africa-an-assessment-of-drivers-constraints-and-opportunities