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Ccr Pestle of South Africa

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Introduction

The country analysis report on South Africa provides a wide array of analytical inputs to analyze the country’s performance, and the objective is to help the reader to make business decisions and prepare for the future. The report on South Africa analyzes the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTLE) structure of South Africa. The report provides a holistic view of South Africa from historical, current and future perspective. Insightful analysis on critical current and future issues is presented through detailed SCPT (strengths, challenges, prospects and threats /risks) analysis for each of the PESTLE segments. In addition, the PESTLE segments are supplemented with relevant quantitative data to support trend analysis. The PESTLE country analysis report series provides an in-depth analysis of 50 major countries.

Features and Benefits

• Understanding gained from the country analysis report on South Africa can be used to plan business investments or market entry apart from a holistic view of the country.
• Political section on South Africa provides inputs about the political system, key figures in the country, and governance indicators.
• Economic section on South Africa outlines the economic story of the country to provide a balanced assessment on core macro-economic issues.
• Social section on South Africa enables understanding of customer demographics through the income distribution, rural-urban segmentation and centres of affluence, healthcare and educational scenario in the country.
• Technological section on South Africa provides strategic inputs on information communications and technology, technological laws and policies, technological gaps, patents data and relevant laws.
• Legal section on South Africa provides information about the legal structure, corporate laws, business set-up procedures and the tax regime.
• Environmental section provides information on environmental policies in South Africa and the performance in terms of important environmental indicators.

Highlights

PESTLE analysis of South Africa identifies issues that affect the country’s performance through the prism of current strengths (strengths), current challenges (weaknesses), future prospects (opportunities) and future risks (threats).
The political landscape discusses the evolution of the political scenario in South Africa in different periods. The economic, social, foreign and defence policies are considered in the political landscape section. It also discusses the performance of the country as per World Bank Governance Indicators.
The economic landscape describes the evolution of the economy of South Africa in different periods. It also examines the country’s performance in terms of GDP growth, composition by sector (agriculture, industry and services), fiscal situation, international investment position, monetary situation, credit disbursement, banking sector and employment. The economic landscape also explains the financial system in the country, especially with regard to financial authorities/regulators.
The social landscape covers the demographics, education and healthcare scenario in South Africa. The social welfare policies of the government along with the country’s performance in terms of healthcare, income distribution and education are also provided.
The technological landscape discusses the structure and policies in terms of Intellectual property, research & development, technology agreements/pacts; and policies related to the promotion of technology in South Africa.
The legal landscape examines the structure of the judicial system, legislation affecting businesses, tax regulations, labor laws, trade regulations and corporate governance in South Africa.
The environmental landscape in South Africa discusses the environmental regulations and policies of the country. The performance of the country in terms of in terms of environmental indicators and impact of environmental policies is also examined.

"Over the period 2004–08, real GDP grew at an annual average rate of 4.7%. This growth was broad-based, with the share of overall national income earned by the black population rising by more than 50% in 2005 from about 40% in 1996. South Africa’s economy grew by 5.2% and 5.6% in 2006 and 2007, respectively, representing stable economic growth for the fourth consecutive year. The growth rate came down to 3.7% in 2008. With much weaker external demand and lower prices for the country’s commodity exports, the South African economy contracted by 1.8% in 2009. However, a growth rate of 2.9% was recorded in 2010 and the economy is expected to expand further, reaching a growth rate of 4.4% by 2014."

Your key questions answered

• What is the outlook in terms of political stability, policies towards businesses, external front and popularity of government in South Africa?
• What is the economic performance of South Africa in terms of GDP growth, fiscal situation, international investment position, monetary situation, credit disbursement, and employment among other economic indicators?
• What is the performance of South Africa in terms of healthcare, income distribution and education?
• What is the performance of South Africa in technology intensive sectors like telecommunications and information technology, patents and R&D expenditure trends?
• What is the legal structure in South Africa and are the laws conducive for investment?
• What is the performance of South Africa in terms of environmental indicators and impact of environmental policies?

Political : http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/762502.shtml Political insecurity affects business environment in South Africa: report | |
Political insecurity, nationwide strikes in the mining sector, regulatory concerns and public policy issues are major factors putting unnecessary pressure on the stability of South Africa's business environment, an international accounting firm revealed on Monday.

According to Grant Thornton's quarterly tracker data for the fourth quarter of 2012 released in Johannesburg, 48 percent of South African business leaders think uncertainty about the future political direction of the country is impacting on their future business decisions.

"Business owners have admitted they are delaying making important business judgements about the upcoming prospects for their organizations, with 26 percent seriously considering investing offshore in an alternative economy that's more stable," Grant Thornton South Africa national chairman Deepak Nagar said in the company's International Business Report (IBR).

The report said other core constraints noted which directly impact South Africa business expansion plans include socio- economic factors such as crime and corruption, the lack of available skills in the current workforce and poor government service delivery.

"Next year ?C 2014 ?C is a national election year for South Africa. Those who successfully formulate feasible solutions to these concerns would certainly take the lead on next year's electoral battle ground," he said.

IBR provides quarterly tracker insights into the views and expectations of over 12,000 businesses surveyed in total per year across 44 economies. The data highlights regional and national business owner's perceptions regarding crime, service delivery and political climate for South Africa business owners.

Nagar noted the constraints highlighted by South African business executives each quarter are consistently the same. "The fact that these results indicate such similar business concerns each and every quarter emphasizes just how critical these issues are for South African business owners," he said.

"In line with BRIC business leaders, 42 percent of executives in South Africa agree that overregulation and complex red tape also constrict business growth and this highlights how stifling regulatory systems and processes affect the day-to-day functions within a company," Nagar said.

Economic environment: http://www.idc.co.za/reports/IDC%20RI%20Economic%20Overview%20-%2027%20February%202013.pdf http://www.indexmundi.com/south_africa/economy_profile.html
South Africa Economy Profile 2013 Economy - overview | South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is the 18th largest in the world; and modern infrastructure supporting a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. Growth was robust from 2004 to 2007 as South Africa reaped the benefits of macroeconomic stability and a global commodities boom but began to slow in the second half of 2007 due to an electricity crisis and the subsequent global financial crisis' impact on commodity prices and demand. GDP fell nearly 2% in 2009 but recovered in 2010-12. Unemployment remains high, at nearly one-quarter of the work force, and outdated infrastructure has constrained growth. State power supplier Eskom encountered problems with aging plants and meeting electricity demand necessitating "load-shedding" cuts in 2007 and 2008 to residents and businesses in the major cities. Daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty, lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of public transportation. South Africa's economic policy focuses on controlling inflation, however, the country has had significant budget deficits that hamper its ability to deal with pressing economic problems. The current government must contend with the impact of the global crisis and is facing growing pressure from special interest groups to use state-owned enterprises to deliver basic services to low-income areas and to increase job growth. | GDP (purchasing power parity) | $578.6 billion (2012 est.)
$564 billion (2011 est.)
$546.9 billion (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars | GDP (official exchange rate) | $390.9 billion (2012 est.) | GDP - real growth rate | 2.6% (2012 est.)
3.1% (2011 est.)
2.9% (2010 est.) | GDP - per capita (PPP) | $11,300 (2012 est.)
$11,100 (2011 est.)
$10,900 (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars | GDP - composition by sector | agriculture: 2.4% industry: 32.1% services: 64.9% (2012 est.) | Population below poverty line | 50% (2000 est.) | Labor force | 17.89 million (2012 est.) | Labor force - by occupation | agriculture: 9% industry: 26% services: 65% (2007 est.) | Unemployment rate | 24.4% (2012 est.)
24.9% (2011 est.) | Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 | total: 48.2% male: 44.6% female: 52.5% (2009) | Household income or consumption by percentage share | lowest 10%: 1.2% highest 10%: 51.7% (2009 est.) | Distribution of family income - Gini index | 65 (2005)
59.3 (1994) | Investment (gross fixed) | 19.5% of GDP (2012 est.) | Budget | revenues: $95.27 billion expenditures: $116.5 billion (2012 est.) | Taxes and other revenues | 24.4% of GDP (2012 est.) | Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) | -5.4% of GDP (2012 est.) | Public debt | 43.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
38.6% of GDP (2011 est.) | Inflation rate (consumer prices) | 5.2% (2012 est.)
5% (2011 est.) | Central bank discount rate | 7% (31 December 2009)
11.5% (31 December 2008) | Commercial bank prime lending rate | 8.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
9% (31 December 2011 est.) | Stock of narrow money | $117 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$117.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Stock of money | $44.66 billion (31 December 2008)
$58.49 billion (31 December 2007) | Stock of broad money | $277 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$314.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) | Stock of quasi money | $124.1 billion (31 December 2008)
$141.9 billion (31 December 2007) | Stock of domestic credit | $287.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$284.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Market value of publicly traded shares | $855.7 billion (31 December 2011)
$1.013 trillion (31 December 2010)
$704.8 billion (31 December 2009) | Agriculture - products | corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products | Industries | mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair | Industrial production growth rate | 2.5% (2011 est.) | Current Account Balance | -$21.33 billion (2012 est.)
-$13.68 billion (2011 est.) | Exports | $101.2 billion (2012 est.)
$102.9 billion (2011 est.) | Exports - commodities | gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment | Exports - partners | China 12.7%, US 8.6%, Japan 7.9%, Germany 6%, UK 4.1% (2011) | Imports | $106.8 billion (2012 est.)
$100.4 billion (2011 est.) | Imports - commodities | machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs | Imports - partners | China 14.3%, Germany 10.7%, US 8%, Japan 4.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.5%, India 4%, UK 4% (2011) | Reserves of foreign exchange and gold | $54.98 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$48.87 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Debt - external | $47.56 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$47.49 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Stock of direct foreign investment - at home | $162.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$158.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad | $88.59 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$88.95 billion (31 December 2011 est.) | Exchange rates | rand (ZAR) per US dollar -
8.095 (2012 est.)
7.2597 (2011 est.)
7.3212 (2010 est.)
8.42 (2009)
7.9576 (2008) | Fiscal year | 1 April - 31 March | |

http://www.propertyshowrooms.com/south%20africa/property/investment/south%20africa-investment-economic-factors.asp
South Africa - Economic Factors
When investing in South Africa there are some economic issues of which you should be aware. Below we have listed varioussome facts to assist you in your research.

With a growing middle class in the previously deprived black population and an increase in tourism partly stimulated by the 2010 World Cup, there is a high demand for residential property in South Africa. Furthermore the interest of overseas second homebuyers has helped to keep this market steady.
Capital Growth
The South African property market continues to experience a steady growth and increases in prices of 13.5% in the Western Cape and 15.9% in metropolitan areas are being achieved. Growth has levelled since the boom in property during 2004 when it reached a remarkable 35%, but savvy investors see this flattening in growth rates as a plus and an indicaition of a more stable market.
Off-Plan
Off-plan property purchases are advantageous for investors as part of their investment strategy. In desirable metropolitan areas such as the Cape Peninsula area, off-plan is usually sold out well before the building or renovation project starts. Small initial payments and re-selling before or on completion signify good profits for the wise investor.
Commercial Property
The South African commercial property market achieved returns of 26.7% in 2006, placing it among the top performing markets worldwide, according to the Investment Property Databank (IPD). The growing economy is fuelling a strong demand for commercial property and according to the Economist Magazine this trend in the market is set to continue for some time.
Currency Exchange
The favourable rate of exchange between the Rand and other major currencies has done much to fuel investment interest in South Africa. The low rate achieved by the Rand enables property purchasers from Europe and the UK to buy more for their money.
Cost of Living
South Africa is a country with a two -tier economy - part of the country lives as the developed world and the other as undeveloped world and the cost of living between these differing standards varies greatly. The cost of living in South Africa is generally lower than in the UK, but on a par with most countries in Western Europe. However “living off the land' by buying local produce and not imported luxuries creates a considerably lower cost of living than in many other countries. Clothing in South Africa is extremely cheap in comparison with Europe, which is due to the many factories producing clothes for the international market..
Economic Stability
According to the Economist (Feb 2007), the South African economy is set on a steady growth path and forecast to keep steady for the foreseeable future. While inflation in past years was high, it has now been brought down through strict measures taken by the South African Reserve Bank to within the 3 to 6% target.
Furthermore, the Economist predicts growth in construction and continued expansion in total domestic demand will see a real GDP growth of 4.5% in 2007 and 5.1% in 2008.
Housing Shortage
Various influences such as the rise in house prices, a growing middle class and the 2010 World Cup have all conspired to create a housing shortage. The South Africa rental market is strong and many younger South Africans rent while they save enough to buy the homes of their dreams. The large numbers of tourists, both internal and external, also generate a high demand for accommodation and a profitable short-term rental market in key holiday hotspots.

Social :
Social development in South Africa
Dantjie Jagman, one of the collective of farm labourers who own New Beginnings
Wine Farm near Paarl in the Western
Cape. The workers were given a portion, and bought another portion, of the
Nelson's Creek farm on which they worked. (Image: Rodger Bosch,
MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library)
South Africa is marked by huge discrepancies in wealth, resources, and educational and career opportunities. This is not only a legacy of apartheid: it's a feature of newly industrialising countries everywhere, as they try to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised world.
Introduction
The Department of Social Development (DSD) aims to provide "comprehensive, integrated, sustainable and quality social-development services". It also seeks to create "an enabling environment for sustainable development in partnership with those committed to building a caring society".
The DSD, which is responsible for policy and oversight in the critical areas of social assistance and social-welfare services, flags its approach as being "in the spirit of Batho Pele" (which means "people first").
These objectives were formulated in the context of the Millennium Development Goals. The eight goals, comprising 18 specific targets, were adopted at the United Nations as part of the Millennium Declaration in 2000.
The eight goals are: * to eradicate extreme poverty * to achieve universal primary education * to promote gender equality and empower women * to reduce child mortality * to improve maternal health * to combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases * to ensure environmental sustainability * to develop a global partnership for development
To achieve these goals, the DSD is collaborating with the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations, organised labour and other role-players.
Its activities are designed to complement overarching national programmes such as the National Skills Development Plan, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (Asgisa).
Since 2004, the department's tasks have expanded and the social welfare system has grown significantly - with beneficiary numbers increasing from 3.8-million in April 2001 to more than 11-million in March 2006, according to the South Africa Yearbook.
The proliferation of HIV/Aids in South Africa has also led to the expansion of the DSD's mandate: it has a growing responsibility for a broad set of initiatives to improve the lives of South Africans - by coordinating home-based care for people living with HIV and Aids, food-relief programmes and programmes for particularly vulnerable groups. It also oversees the National Development Agency.
In 2004, after 10 years of democracy, the emphasis - which had initially been on designing a strategy - shifted to monitoring and evaluation of programme implementation. The national government has identified a set of development indicators that also shapes the policies of the DSD.
The South African Social Investment Exchange (Sasix) has raised some R2.4-million for selected projects since its launch in June 2006. Individuals or companies can buy shares in social investment projects of their choice, as a cost of R50 per share, from the Sasix website. Sasix, an initiative of the Greater Good South Africa Trust, was launched with an initial offering of 16 social projects in four targeted sectors: enterprise development, early childhood development, food security, and orphans and vulnerable children.
The Cabinet has approved a set of key indicators as evidence-based indexes of social development. The Policy Coordination and Advisory Services (PCAS) in the Presidency - working with the clusters of directors-general and with departments - has compiled data on each of the 72 development indicators, informed by international good practice adapted to South African conditions.
As of 2004, these indicators were arranged into clusters based on 10 broad themes: * economic growth and transformation * employment * poverty and inequality * household and community assets * health * education * social cohesion * safety and security * international * good governance
The following areas fall under the ambit of the DSD: * unemployment * the Expanded Public Works Programme * poverty and social assistance support * HIV/Aids * crime * housing * water * sanitation * electricity * land restitution * education
Unemployment and poverty
South Africa's official unemployment rate rose from 23.1% in the first quarter of 2008 to 23.2% in the second quarter. The unemployment rate for black South Africans was 27.4%, for coloureds 19.1%, for Indians/Asians 11.7% and for whites 4.1%. Some 26.3% of all South African women were unemployed, and 20.6% of South African men.
The unemployment rate was highest in Limpopo (29.5%) and the Eastern Cape (27.4%), and lowest in the Western Cape (19.7%) and Gauteng (21.8%).
Expanded Public Works Programme
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) was set up by the South African government in 2004 to fight poverty by using existing government budgets to create jobs in labour-intensive projects over five years. In 2008 it reached one of its major goals more than a year ahead of schedule, having created over a million new job opportunities.
In his State of the Nation address in 2003 former President Thabo Mbeki announced the new initiative, aimed at drawing at least 1-million jobless people into productive work between 2004 and 2009. Of those, 40% would be women, 30% youth and 2% disabled.
The EPWP arose out of the 2003 Growth and Development Summit, which explored the causes of unemployment. The programme is the major instrument of the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) poverty alleviation strategy, working as a bridge between South Africa’s formal and informal economies.
The EPWP has two major components: creating employment using labour-intensive methods, and giving people skills they can use to find jobs when their work in the EPWP is done.
Although the projects have a limited lifespan, the main focus is on skills development and access to work, which allows the previously unemployed to take their first steps into the job market.
In her annual budget speech in parliament in May 2008, then-Minister of Public Works Thoko Didiza said the target of a million jobs had been reached by the end of April. Exactly 1 077 801 work opportunities had been created, way ahead of the March 2009 deadline.
The EPWP had also surpassed its targets for women and youth, who made up 47% and 40% respectively of those employed.
Poverty and social assistance support
Eradicating poverty is the highest priority in the government's programme to improve the lives of South Africans: it has set itself the goal of halving poverty between 2004 and 2014.
In June 2007 the Presidency's Policy Coordination and Advisory Service (PCAS) unit released the Development Indicators Mid-Term Review, which indicated that poverty was being successfully tackled and that the number of South Africans surviving on less than R3 000 a year had also decreased - from 50% to 43% of the population.
Since 2002, strong overall income growth, including the expansion of social grants, has resulted in a rise in the income of the poorest 20% of the population. However, the rate of income improvement among the poor has not matched that of the rich; thus, while income poverty is declining, inequality has not been reduced.
The South African Social Security Agency Act and the Social Assistance Act cover the social grants function of the DSD. The DSD also manages a poverty relief programme. The Independent Development Trust (IDT) has been contracted to provide implementation support for projects that fall within this programme.
Income transfers to households, mainly through social assistance grant programmes, stood at R74.2-billion in 2005. In 2006/7, they received an additional R2.7-million.
In April 2007, 12.1-million South Africans were receiving social assistance grants, amounting to R5.1-billion. Grants are disbursed in the following categories (April 2007 figures): * Foster-care grant: 405 813 recipients (R620 a month) * Care-dependency grant: 98 690 recipients (R870) * War-veterans' grant: 2 317 recipients (R890) * Old-age grants: 2 194 066 recipients (R870) * Disability grant: 1 425 105 recipients (R870) * Child-support grant: 7 910 748 recipients (R200) * Grant-in-aid: 32 280 recipients (R200)
These grants amount to some R61-billion a year, about 3,3% of GDP, and contribute more than half of the income of the poorest 20% of households.
The 2007 Budget brought increases in social grants, thanks to success in recent years in curbing corruption in the country's social grants system. The Budget also made R10-billion available over the next three years to improve the services provided by social welfare organisations in communities. In addition, R25,5-million has been set aside for the establishment of a social-security inspectorate to root out fraud.
There has been a strong decline in the headcount poverty rate since 2001 - mainly due to the expansion of social grants and the creation of more jobs.
Between 2000 and 2005, the Living Standards Measure (LSM) data shows a significant decrease in the number of people in the poorest categories (LSM 1-3), with a marked reduction of the number of people living in LSM 1. The number of people living in LSM 4-10 shows an increase and in part reflects the growth of the middle classes.
HIV/Aids
Since 2000, there has been a trend of increasing mortality, especially among the young. This seems to be related to the increase in HIV prevalence rates since 1998.
The DSD is collaborating with the Department of Health to fight the spread of HIV/Aids. The social impact of the disease is evidenced by the increase in the number of orphans and child-headed households - which results in the disintegration of families and communities.
About R4.2-billion is expected to be spent in 2006/07 on social-sector employment programmes. These include home- and community-based community care (HCBC) and early childhood development, community health workers and social-development partnerships with NGOs.
The Department of Social Development's HCBC Programme is based on the premise that vulnerable children and their families are better protected and supported within their communities.
In 2006/07 the programme: * identified 206 889 orphans and vulnerable children and extended appropriate services to them * assisted 34 025 child-headed households access counselling and support services * provided meals to 102 723 children through various community multipurpose centres * assisted 356 073 affected families and distributed 155 754 food parcels * distributed 47 607 school uniforms * provided stipends to 11 059 caregivers * funded 750 nongovernmental and faith-based organisations
Among the social-service priorities are the care of child-headed households, the strengthening of HIV and Aids programmes, and the appropriate management of children in conflict with the law.
The Lovelife Groundbreaker Partnership Programme has been integrated into the Expanded Public Works Programme to extend its support. Its emphasis is on young people and inculcating behaviour changes.
The emergence of many child-headed households has led to a focus on caring for such vulnerable children. The department chairs the National Aids Children's Task Team, a multisectoral team focusing on the care of children infected with or affected by HIV/Aids.
The DSD has also developed the integrated and consolidated Five-Year National Social Development Strategic Plan, which is being implemented in partnership with other stakeholders such as the United Nations Children's Fund.
Crime
The DSD is tasked with the implementation of the Probation Services Act; as a result, it is responsible for many interventions (such as reception, assessment and referrals) and crime prevention programmes. South Africa's prison population is on the increase again, following a reduction through a remission programme in 2005.
The DSD's Victim-Empowerment Programme (VEP) facilitates the support, protection and empowerment of victims of crime and violence, with a special focus on women and children. Home-based supervision programmes benefited about 1 000 children in conflict with the law. The number of children in correctional-service facilities declined by 40% between 2004 and March 2006.
According to the South African Yearbook, the VEP is a major component of the agreement between the Department of Social Development and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, for the establishment of one stop centres for women and children who are victims of abuse, especially domestic violence.
Housing
There has been a sustained growth in the delivery of housing units, albeit low relative to the backlogs. Houses completed between 1994 and March 2006 amount to 2.3-million.
In February 2007, the housing minister announced the establishment of a Housing Development Agency in an effort to double the number of houses being built and to meet its target of eradicating informal settlements by 2014.
Although about two million low-cost houses have been built since 1994, there are still 2.4-million households in informal settlements. The Department of Housing has projected that delivery will increase to 265 000 houses in 2006/07, based on a conservative estimate of 30% growth in the final quarter. In order to eradicate the housing backlog, annual delivery rates of more than 400 000 units are required, at a cost of between R345-billion and R548-billion, with costs decreasing as the delivery rate increases.
In the 2007/08 Budget speech, housing will receive an additional R2.7-billion - which brings the total allocation for the next three years to R32-billion. The housing budget will have risen from R4.6-billion in 2003/04 to R12.5-billion by 2009/10.
The private sector has also come on board to increase access to housing: four major banks entered into a memorandum of understanding with the government in 2005, paving the way for R42-billion to be spent on low-cost housing in the country. Financial group Absa has committed R2.6-billion to provide 100 000 low-cost houses by 2010, fulfilling its part of the agreement.
Water and sanitation
Since 1994, the percentage of households with access to water at equal or above the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) standard increased from 61,7% to 84,7%. This rate of delivery has been achieved in the face of a 26% increase in household numbers. In recent years the backlog in the provision of water has been reduced to 17%. The Department of Water Affairs anticipates that the country will achieve universal access to water by 2008 and to sanitation by 2010.
South Africa provides indigent households with a free basic six kilolitres of water a month, amounting to about 25 litres per person per day - an example the UN has called to be emulated worldwide.
The government's goal is for all people in South Africa to have access to a functioning basic sanitation facility by 2010. Households with access to basic sanitation increased from 50% in 1994 to 71% in 2006. In April 2006, the backlog was more than 3.7 million households; hence, the delivery rate should increase to achieve the target. Progress is being made to eliminate the bucket system in established settlements by the end of 2007.
Electricity
The provision of electricity, even though it has fluctuated in some years, presents a steady picture of progress. A key objective is the electrification of all households and the provision of free basic electricity to poor households. The electrification programme has seen 3,5 million homes electrified since 1994. In line with the Integrated National Electrification Programme, the government has established the Free Basic Electricity Programme: this allocates 50Kwh a month free to people in a certain income bracket.
Land restitution
South Africa has settled at least 90% of land claims lodged since 1994, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights announced in July 2007. About 74 000 of the 79 000 claims lodged between 1995 and 1998 have been settled, and the commission aims to complete the restitution process by 2008.
The government is expanding programmes to enhance agri-expertise and provide financial support to first-time farmers. The mutually supportive relationship between the Land Affairs and Agriculture departments is also receiving further attention.
Education
South Africa will spend an extra R8.1-billion on improved teacher salaries, teacher assistants and school support staff over the three years from 2007/08 - the aim being to achieve a 40:1 ratio for primary school learners per teacher and a 35:1 ratio for secondary school learners per teacher.
The government has embarked on an intense drive to harness and improve the skills of South Africans to ensure accelerated economic growth. The Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa), which was launched in March 2006, is a high-level task team that will identify urgent skills needs and advise on how they can be met.
Jipsa has already identified several interventions in need of urgent attention, such as mentoring programmes and overseas placement of trainees to fast-track their development. Others include special training programmes, bringing back retirees and expatriate South Africans, and drawing in new immigrants. Also planned are a major upgrade of Further Education and Training colleges and a revamp of the Adult Basic and Education Training programme.
Since 2000, many more male learners than females have been receiving primary education. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) for total school enrolment (Grade 1 to Grade 12) indicates that gender parity has been achieved. However, it is important to also consider the difference in enrolment patterns between primary and secondary schools.
Between 1994 and 1999, the senior certificate pass rate fluctuated between 47% and 58%. After 1999, the pass rate improved substantially, reaching 73% in 2003. From 2004 onwards, there has been a slight drop in the pass rate each year.
The number of literate people in the country has increased between 1995 and 2005. The government aims to increase literacy and reduce the adult illiteracy rate by 50% between 1990 and 2015 - by rolling out a R6.1-billion literacy campaign over the next five years, targeting 4.7-million South Africans who were previously denied access to education.
Technological factor : http://www.southafricaweb.co.za/page/technology-south-africa Technology in South Africa
South Africa sees itself as a technology leader in Africa. The country has even bigger ambitions for the future: * To strengthen its bio-economy to become a world leader in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; * To become a key contributor to global space sciences and technology; * To achieve energy security with clean, affordable and reliable energy supply; * To play a leading role in formulating scientific and technological solutions to climate change; * To contribute to a greater global understanding of shifting social dynamics and the role of science in stimulating growth and development in developing countries.
One of the main challenges in achieving these ambitions is the erosion of South Africa's knowledge base due to emigration of highly skilled professionals. Scientists, engineers and technologists remain in short supply in most sectors. That is one of the reasons why the country is still dependant in a large measure on natural resources and resource-based industries.

Legal :
Environmental :

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