Statistical information South Africa 2023South%20Africa

Map of South Africa | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

South Africa in the World
South Africa in the World


South Africa - Introduction 2023
top of page

Some of the earliest human remains in the fossil record are found in South Africa. By about A.D. 500, Bantu speaking groups began settling into what is now northeastern South Africa displacing Khoisan speaking groups to the southwest. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of present-day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the settlers of Dutch descent (Afrikaners, also called "Boers" (farmers) at the time) trekked north to found their own republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State. In the 1820s, several decades of wars began as the Zulus expanded their territory, moving out of what is today southeastern South Africa and clashing with other indigenous peoples and with expanding European settlements. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred mass immigration predominately from Europe.

The Anglo-Zulu War (1879) resulted in the incorporation of the Zulu kingdom's territory into the British Empire. Subsequently, the Afrikaner republics were incorporated into the British Empire after their defeat in the Second South African War (1899-1902). However, the British and the Afrikaners ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which left the British Commonwealth to become a fully self-governing republic in 1961 after a Whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - billed as "separate development" of the races - which favored the White minority and suppressed the Black majority and other non-White groups. The African National Congress (ANC) led the resistance to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to unban the ANC and negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule.

South Africa - Geography 2023
top of page

Location: Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa

Geographic coordinates: 29 00 S, 24 00 E

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 1,219,090 km²
Land: 1,214,470 km²
Water: 4,620 km²
Note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 5,244 km
Border countries: (6) Botswana 1,969 km; Lesotho 1,106 km; Mozambique 496 km; Namibia 1,005 km; Eswatini 438 km; Zimbabwe 230 km

Coastline: 2,798 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin

Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights

Terrain: vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain

Highest point: Ntheledi (Mafadi) 3,450 m
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Mean elevation: 1,034 m

Natural resources: gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Note: South Africa was the World's leading chromite ore producer in 2022 with an output of 18,000 mt
Land use

Land use
Agricultural land: 79.4% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land arable land: 9.9% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent pasture: 69.2% (2018 est.)
Forest: 7.6% (2018 est.)
Other: 13% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land: 16,700 km² (2012)

Major rivers
By length in km:
Orange (shared with Lesotho [s], and Namibia [m]) - 2,092 km; Limpoporivier (Limpopo) river source (shared with Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique [m]) - 1,800 km; Vaal [s] - 1,210 km
note: - [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds area km²: Atlantic Ocean drainage: Orange (941,351 km²)

Total water withdrawal
Municipal: 3.11 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)
Industrial: 4.09 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)
Agricultural: 11.99 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources: 51.35 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Natural hazards: prolonged droughts

Note: South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Eswatini

South Africa - People 2023
top of page

Distribution: the population concentrated along the southern and southeastern coast, and inland around Pretoria; the eastern half of the country is more densely populated than the west as shown in this [link]: 58,048,332 (2023 est.)
Growth rate: 1.08% (2023 est.)
Below poverty line: 55.5% (2014 est.)

Noun: South African(s)
Adjective: South African

Ethnic groups: Black African 81.4%, Coloured 8.2%, White 7.3%, Indian/Asian 2.7%, other 0.4% (2022 est.)
Note: coloured is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry who developed a distinct cultural identity over several hundred years

Languages: isiZulu (official) 25.3%, isiXhosa (official) 14.8%, Afrikaans (official) 12.2%, Sepedi (official) 10.1%, Setswana (official) 9.1%, English (official) 8.1%, Sesotho (official) 7.9%, Xitsonga (official) 3.6%, siSwati (official) 2.8%, Tshivenda (official) 2.5%, isiNdebele (official) 1.6%, other (includes Khoi, Nama, and San languages) 2%; note - data represent language spoken most often at home (2018 est.)
Major-language samples:
Die Wereld Feite Boek, n’ onontbeerlike bron vir basiese informasie. (Afrikaans)

Gheos World Guide, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

Religions: Christian 85.3%, African traditional 7.8%, Muslim 1.6%, Hindu 1.1%, other 1.3%, none 2.9% (2022 est.)

Demographic profile: South Africa’s youthful population is gradually aging, as the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined dramatically from about 6 children per woman in the 1960s to roughly 2.2 in 2014, and has remained at this level as of 2022. This pattern is similar to fertility trends in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, and sets South Africa apart from the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the average TFR remains higher than other regions of the world. Today, South Africa’s decreasing number of reproductive age women is having fewer children, as women increase their educational attainment, workforce participation, and use of family planning methods; delay marriage; and opt for smaller families.
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 27.29% (male 7,931,943/female 7,906,715)
15-64 years: 66.17% (male 19,158,920/female 19,253,679)
65 years and over: 6.54% (2023 est.) (male 1,596,882/female 2,200,193)

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: 52.2
Youth dependency ratio: 43.9
Elderly dependency ratio: 8.4
Potential support ratio: 10.9 (2021 est.)

Median age
Total: 30.1 years (2023 est.)
Male: 29.9 years
Female: 30.3 years

Population growth rate: 1.08% (2023 est.)

Birth rate: 18.3 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate: 7.2 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution: the population concentrated along the southern and southeastern coast, and inland around Pretoria; the eastern half of the country is more densely populated than the west as shown in this [link]

Urban population: 68.8% of total population (2023)
Rate of urbanization: 1.72% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas
Population: 10.316 million Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni), 4.890 million Cape Town (legislative capital), 3.228 million Durban, 2.818 million PRETORIA (administrative capital), 1.296 million Port Elizabeth, 934,000 West Rand (2023)

Current issues: lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; desertification; solid waste pollution; disruption of fragile ecosystem has resulted in significant floral extinctions
International agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants
Particulate matter emissions: 19.75 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 476.64 megatons (2016 est.)
Methane emissions: 55.89 megatons (2020 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio: 127 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate
Total: 24.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)
Male: 26.3 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 22.4 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 71 years (2023 est.)
Male: 69.4 years
Female: 72.6 years

Total fertility rate: 2.31 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate: 54.6% (2016)

Drinking water source
Improved urban: 99.7% of population
Improved rural: 90.3% of population
Improved total: 96.7% of population
Unimproved urban: 0.3% of population
Unimproved rural: 9.7% of population
Unimproved total: 3.3% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure: 8.6% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density: 0.79 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access
Improved urban:
96.6% of population

rural: 86.4% of population

total: 93.2% of population

Unimproved urban:
3.4% of population

rural: 13.6% of population

total: 6.8% of population (2020 est.)


Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk: intermediate (2023)
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

Obesity adult prevalence rate: 28.3% (2016)

Alcohol consumption
Per capita total: 7.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita beer: 3.99 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita wine: 1.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita spirits: 1.31 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita other alcohols: 0.7 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use
Total: 20.3% (2020 est.)
Male: 34% (2020 est.)
Female: 6.5% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 5.5% (2017)

Education expenditures: 6.6% of GDP (2021 est.)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 95%
Male: 95.5%
Female: 94.5% (2019)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education
Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2020)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 64.2% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 59.8%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 69.3%

South Africa - Government 2023
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
Conventional short form: South Africa
Former: Union of South Africa
Abbreviation: RSA
Etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent

Government type: parliamentary republic

Name: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
Geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Etymology: Pretoria is named in honor of Andries PRETORIUS, the father of voortrekker (pioneer) leader Marthinus PRETORIUS; Cape Town reflects its location on the Cape of Good Hope; Bloemfontein is a combination of the Dutch words bloem (flower) and fontein (fountain) meaning "fountain of flowers"

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape

Dependent areas

Independence: 31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 22 August 1934 (Status of the Union Act); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule)

National holiday: Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)

History: several previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved by the Constitutional Court 4 December 1996, effective 4 February 1997
Amendments: proposed by the National Assembly of Parliament; passage of amendments affecting constitutional sections on human rights and freedoms, non-racism and non-sexism, supremacy of the constitution, suffrage, the multi-party system of democratic government, and amendment procedures requires at least 75% majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council of Provinces, and assent of the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting the Bill of Rights, and those related to provincial boundaries, powers, and authorities requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, approval by at least six of the nine provinces represented in the National Council, and assent of the president; amended many times, last in 2020

Legal system: mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law

International law organization participation: has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship by birth: no
Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of South Africa
Dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission of the government
Residency requirement for naturalization: 5 year

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 15 February 2018); Deputy President Paul MASHSATILE (since 7 March 2023); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; note - Deputy President David MABUZA resigned 1 March 2023
Head of government: President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 15 February 2018); Deputy President Paul MASHSATILE (since 7 March 2023)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 May 2019 (next to be held around May 2024)
Election results:
2019: Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (ANC) elected president by the National Assembly unopposed

2014: Jacob ZUMA (ANC) reelected president by the National Assembly unopposed  

Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of:

National Council of Provinces (90 seats; nine 10-member delegations, each with 6 permanent delegates and 4 special delegates, appointed by each of the 9 provincial legislatures to serve 5-year terms; note - the Council has special powers to protect regional interests, including safeguarding cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities)

National Assembly (400 seats; half the members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies and half in a single nationwide constituency, both by proportional representation popular vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Elections: National Council of Provinces and National Assembly - last held on 8 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024)
Election results:
National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANC 29, DA 13, EFF 9, FF+ 2, IFP 1; composition of permanent members - men 34, women 20, percent of women 37%; note - 36 appointed members not filled

National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 57.5%, DA 20.8%, EFF 10.8%, IFP 3.8%, FF+ 2.4%, other 4.7%; seats by party - ANC 230, DA 84, EFF 44, IFP 14, FF+ 10, other 18; composition as of mid-2022 (396 current seats) - men 212, women 184, percent of women 46.5%; note overall Parliament percent of women 45.3%

Judicial branch
Highest courts: Supreme Court of Appeals (consists of the court president, deputy president, and 21 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges)
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals president and vice president appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), a 23-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes other judges and judicial executives, members of parliament, practicing lawyers and advocates, a teacher of law, and several members designated by the president of South Africa; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the national president on the advice of the JSC and hold office until discharged from active service by an Act of Parliament; Constitutional Court chief and deputy chief justices appointed by the president of South Africa after consultation with the JSC and with heads of the National Assembly; other Constitutional Court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the chief justice and leaders of the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges serve 12-year nonrenewable terms or until age 70
Subordinate courts: High Courts; Magistrates' Courts; labor courts; land claims courts

Political parties and leaders:
African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE]
African Independent Congress or AIC [Mandla GALO]
African National Congress or ANC [Cyril RAMAPHOSA]
African People's Convention or APC [Themba GODI]
Agang SA [Andries TLOUAMMA]
Congress of the People or COPE [Mosiuoa LEKOTA]
Democratic Alliance or DA [John STEENHUISEN]
Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF [Julius Sello MALEMA]
Freedom Front Plus or FF+ [Pieter GROENEWALD]
GOOD [Patricia de LILLE]
Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Velenkosini HLABISA]
National Freedom Party or NFP (vacant)
Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania or PAC [Mzwanele NYHONTSO]
United Christian Democratic Party or UCDP [Modiri Desmond SEHUME[link]

From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Reuben E. BRIGETY II (since 11 August 2022)
From the us embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
From the us mailing address: 9,300 Pretoria Place, Washington DC 20,521-9,300
From the us telephone: [27] (12) 431-4,000
From the us FAX: [27] (12) 342-2,299
From the us email address and website:


Flag descriptionflag of South%20Africa: two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes; the flag colors do not have any official symbolism, but the Y stands for the "convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity"; black, yellow, and green are found on the flag of the African National Congress, while red, white, and blue are the colors in the flags of the Netherlands and the UK, whose settlers ruled South Africa during the colonial era
Note: the South African flag is one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Sudan's

National symbols: springbok (antelope), king protea flower; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white

National anthem
Name: "National Anthem of South Africa"
Lyrics/music: Enoch SONTONGA and Cornelius Jacob LANGENHOVEN/Enoch SONTONGA and Marthinus LOURENS de Villiers
Note: adopted 1994; a combination of "N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrica" (God Bless Africa) and "Die Stem van Suid Afrika" (The Call of South Africa), which were respectively the anthems of the non-white and white communities under apartheid; official lyrics contain a mixture of Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English (i.e., the five most widely spoken of South Africa's 11 official languages); music incorporates the melody used in the Tanzanian and Zambian anthems

National heritage
Total World Heritage Sites: 10 (5 cultural, 4 natural, 1 mixed)
Selected World Heritage Site locales: Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa (c); iSimangaliso Wetland Park (n); [link]

South Africa - Economy 2023
top of page

Economy overview: upper middle-income South African economy; hard hit by COVID-19; poor utilities management; key rare earth goods exporter; high income inequality; hosts Africa’s largest stock exchange; rising unemployment, especially youth; land rights changes

Real gdp purchasing power parity:
$790.625 billion (2021 est.)
$753.6 billion (2020 est.)
$804.634 billion (2019 est.)

Note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real gdp growth rate:
4.91% (2021 est.)
-6.34% (2020 est.)
0.3% (2019 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use
Household consumption: 59.4% (2017 est.)
Government consumption: 20.9% (2017 est.)
Investment in fixed capital: 18.7% (2017 est.)
Investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
Exports of goods and services: 29.8% (2017 est.)
Imports of goods and services: -28.4% (2017 est.)

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 2.8% (2017 est.)
Industry: 29.7% (2017 est.)
Services: 67.5% (2017 est.)

Agriculture 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: 6.12% (2021 est.)

Labor force: 22.398 million (2021 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
33.56% (2021 est.)
29.22% (2020 est.)
28.47% (2019 est.)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 64.2% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 59.8%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 69.3%

Population below poverty line: 55.5% (2014 est.)

Gini index
Coefficient distribution of family income: 63 (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10%: 1.2%
Highest 10%: 51.3% (2011 est.)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $84.19 billion (2020 est.)
Expenditures: $121.204 billion (2020 est.)
Surplus  or deficit: -4.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt:
53% of GDP (2017 est.)
51.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues: 23.3% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

From coal: 2.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Current account balance:
$15.569 billion (2021 est.)
$6.788 billion (2020 est.)
-$10.037 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices:
4.61% (2021 est.)
3.21% (2020 est.)
4.12% (2019 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance:
$15.569 billion (2021 est.)
$6.788 billion (2020 est.)
-$10.037 billion (2019 est.)

$130.885 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$94.123 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$105.988 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Partners: China 15%, United Kingdom 8%, Germany 7%, United States 6%, India 6% (2019)
Commodities: gold, platinum, cars, iron products, coal, manganese, diamonds (2019)

$104.806 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$79.022 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$103.92 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Partners: China 18%, Germany 11%, United States 6%, India 5% (2019)
Commodities: crude petroleum, refined petroleum, cars and vehicle parts, gold, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$57.597 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$55.008 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$55.056 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

Debt external:
$179.871 billion (2019 est.)
$173.714 billion (2018 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
rand (ZAR) per US dollar - 14.779 (2021 est.)
16.459 (2020 est.)
14.448 (2019 est.)
13.234 (2018 est.)
13.324 (2017 est.)

South Africa - Energy 2023
top of page

Electricity access
Population without electricity: 3 million (2020)
Electrification-total population: 89.3% (2021)
Electrification-urban areas: 87.3% (2021)
Electrification-rural areas: 93.3% (2019)

Electricity production

Electricity consumption: 202,285,870,000 kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity exports: 14.482 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity imports: 7.823 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity installed generating capacity: 62.728 million kW (2020 est.)

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources
Fossil fuels: 87.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Nuclear: 5.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Solar: 1.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Wind: 2.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Hydroelectricity: 2.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Biomass and waste: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Total petroleum production: 97,900 bbl/day (2021 est.)
Refined petroleum consumption: 622,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate exports: 9,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate imports: 397,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil estimated reserves: 15 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum
Products production: 487,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products exports: 105,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products imports: 195,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 1,229,544,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)
Consumption: 4,771,551,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)
Exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Imports: 3,542,007,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)
Proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions: 470.358 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From coal and metallurgical coke: 387.835 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From petroleum and other liquids: 73.163 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From consumed natural gas: 9.361 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita: 98.474 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

South Africa - Communication 2023
top of page

Telephones fixed lines
Total subscriptions: 1,309,590 (2022 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2022 est.)

Telephones mobile cellular
Total subscriptions: 100,259,890 (2022 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 167 (2022 est.)

Telephone system

Broadcast media: the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operates 46 free-to-air TV stations;, a private station, is accessible to more than half the population; multiple subscription TV services provide a mix of local and international channels; well-developed mix of public and private radio stations at the national, regional, and local levels; the SABC radio network, state-owned and controlled but nominally independent, operates 18 stations, one for each of the 11 official languages, 4 community stations, and 3 commercial stations; more than 100 community-based stations extend coverage to rural areas

Internet country code: .za

Internet users
Total: 42.48 million (2021 est.)
Percent of population: 72% (2021 est.)

Broadband fixed subscriptions
Total: 1,303,057 (2020 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

South Africa - Military 2023
top of page

Military expenditures:
0.7% of GDP (2023 est.)
0.8% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.9% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1% of GDP (2019 est.)

Military and security forces:
South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army (includes Reserve Force), South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), South African Military Health Services

Ministry of Police: South African Police Service (2023)

Note: the South African Police Service includes a Special Task Force for counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and hostage rescue operations

Military service age and obligation: 18-22 (18-26 for college graduates) years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 2-year service obligation (2023)
Note: in 2020, women comprised about 30% of the military

Terrorist groups
Terrorist groups: Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)
Note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in South Africa - Transportation 2023
top of page

National air transport system
Number of registered air carriers: 17 (2020)
Inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 243
Annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 23,921,748 (2018)
Annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 716.25 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: ZS

Airports: 407 (2021)
With paved runways: 130
With paved runways civil airports: 21
With paved runways military airports: 7
With paved runways joint use (civil-military) airports: 1
With paved runways other airports: 101
With paved runways note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)
With unpaved runways: 277
With unpaved runways note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control

Airports with paved runways: 130
Civil airports: 21
Military airports: 7
Joint use (civil-military) airports: 1
Other airports: 101
Note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with unpaved runways: 277
Note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


Pipelines: 94 km condensate, 1,293 km gas, 992 km oil, 1,460 km refined products (2013)

Total: 30,400 km (2021)
Standard gauge: 80 km (2021) 1.435-m gauge (80 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 19,756 km (2014) 1.065-m gauge (8,271 km electrified)
Other: (2014) 1,150 km (passenger rail, gauge unspecified, 1,115.5 km electrified)

Total: 750,000 km (2016)
Paved: 158,124 km (2016)
Unpaved: 591,876 km (2016)


Merchant marine
Total: 107 (2022)
By type: bulk carrier 3, general cargo 1, oil tanker 7, other 96

Ports and terminals
Major seaports: Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay
Container ports teus: Durban (2,430,295) (2021)
Lng terminals import: Mossel Bay

South Africa - Transnational issues 2023
top of page

Disputes internationalSouth Africa-Botswana: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons
Refugees country of origin: 22,388 (Somalia), 15,240 (Ethiopia) (mid-year 2022); 42,080 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2023)
IDPs: 5,000 (2020)

Illicit drugs: leading regional importer of chemicals used in the production of illicit drugs especially synthetic drugs;

DHGate Shopping

You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it