South Africa - An Overview​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The Republic of South Africa, a multiparty, constitutional democracy, is situated on the southernmost tip of the African continent. With a population of approximately 54 million people, close to 60% of whom are under the age of 35, it is a young, stable democracy.

The country's legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law, influenced by English law, and is subject to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as the supreme law.

South Africa's economy has been completely overhauled since the advent of democracy in 1994. The country's abundance of natural resources (valued in 2010 by Citigroup at US$2.5 trillion, the largest in the world); well-developed and highly regarded banking and financial sector; growing manufacturing and renewable energy sectors; and considerable tourism potential, all contribute to its vibrant emerging market economy.

South Africa is a member of, among others, the Southern Africa Customs Union, the Southern African Development Community, the World Trade Organisation, and the African Development Bank. In 2011 South Africa joined Brazil, Russia, India and China in the political grouping of leading emerging economies that has since become known as BRICS.

South Africa's inclusion in the group has thrust it into the league of the world's fastest-growing and potentially most influential group of nations. South Africa will also benefit from its participation in the US$100 billion New Development Bank (formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank) and, in addition, a reserve currency pool worth over US$100 billion.

Key targets for South Africa's growth towards 2030, and the steps required to achieve them, have been articulated in the National Development Plan that was released by the South African National Planning Commission in November 2011.

“The country’s abundance of natural resources (valued in 2010 by Citigroup at US$2.5 trillion, the largest in the world); well-developed and highly regarded banking and financial sector; growing manufacturing and renewable energy sectors; and considerable tourism potential, all contribute to its vibrant emerging market economy.”

For a comprehensive document outlining the implications of this area of law in South Africa
click he​re.​​​

​​