South Africa

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Globalization and Business Practices

South Africa
In 1652, Dutch traders founded the city of Cape Town, establishing a stopover point on the spice route at the southern tip of what is now South Africa. The British seized the Cape of Good Hope in 1806. In 1867, diamonds were discovered in South Africa, and in 1886, gold initiated immigration and wealth, further subduing the native inhabitants. The Boers unsuccessfully attempted to resist British control with the Boer War. Under the Union of South Africa beginning in 1910, the British and the Afrikaners ruled together. The National Party, after being voted into power in 1948, began a policy of apartheid. Apartheid is defined as the development of separate races. Apartheid in South Africa favored the minority white race over the black majority. The African National Congress led a defense against apartheid. Many African National Congress leaders fought against apartheid, spending many years in South Africa’s prisons. Among these leaders was Nelson Mandela. Protests, insurgency, and boycotts by many Western nations led to peaceful negotiations to end apartheid. In 1994, the first multi-racial election was held in South Africa officially ending the apartheid era. South Africa is bordered by: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe and it is about two times the size of Texas. As of July 2012, South Africa had a population of approximately 48, 810, 427. South Africa is a republic where citizens vote for their government representatives. The National Assembly elects the president for a five-year term. After their first term, the president is allowed to run for a second term. Most recently, President Jacob Zuma was elected into presidency on May 9, 2009. The next election is due to be held in the year 2014. President Jacob Zuma is apart of the African National Congress (ANC). South African law is derived from Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law.

South Africa is an emerging market with middle-income. Between 2004- 2007, South Africa seen economic stability and a boom in their global commodities. In late 2007, a global financial crisis and an electricity crisis in South Africa lead to slower growth of South Africa’s economy. Residents and business in major cities experienced electricity cuts in 2007 because state power supplier, Eskom, had trouble meeting the electricity demand (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sf.html).

Poverty, shortage of public transportation and disadvantaged economic empowerment still exist after the apartheid era. However, South Africa maintains a conservative economic policy. South Africa focuses on controlling inflation and obtaining a budget surplus. South Africa has also been experiencing growing pressure from special interest groups to increase job growth and to deliver services to low-income areas. As of 2011, South Africa had an exceptionally high unemployment rate of 24.9%. In 2010 South Africa’s GNI was $356.6817 billion and GNI per capita in PPP dollars was $10, 360 (http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gnp_mktp_pp_cd&idim=country:ZAF&dl=en&hl=en&q=south+africa+gni).

Major natural resources of South Africa include gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, nickel, phosphates, gem diamonds, platinum, salt, and natural gas. South Africa also includes other natural resources: corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, mutton, wool, and dairy products. Major exports are gold, diamonds, platinum, metals, minerals, and machinery and equipment. In 2009, 13.7% of South Africa’s exports went to China,10.1% went to the United States, 8.7% went to Japan, 7.3% went to Germany, while the United Kingdom received 7.1%, and India 4.3%. South Africa’s major imports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, and foodstuffs. In 2009, 13.4% of South...
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