The South Africa economy is by far the largest in southern Africa, accounting for greater output than the rest of the region combined. Yet, in global terms, it is a dwarf. It is the most advanced economy on the African continent, but it suffers from significant shortfalls in skills and infrastructure. It is predominantly a services economy, and a home to advanced financial services companies; but international investors mostly view it as a resources economy. Its affluent suburbs and conspicuous consumption starkly contrast with impoverished peri-urban townships. Such uneven urban prosperity is divided by a chasm of inequality from the poverty of South Africa’s rural dispossessed. These apparent paradoxes are less puzzling than they first seem. Middle-income countries typically display extreme contrasts in economic development, with wealthy urban elites living alongside extreme poverty and economic backwardness.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The South African Economy
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number