South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
South Africa’s real GDP growth was 0.2% in 2019. The pandemic and the containment measures to curb the spread of the virus further damaged the economy. Real GDP contracted by 8.2% in 2020, the result of a decline in construction, transport and communication, manufacturing, and mining. On the demand side, all components declined, with the largest contraction, 32.4%, recorded in investment. The Reserve Bank of South Africa cut the policy rate by a cumulative 300 basis points in 2020, from 6.5% to 3.5%, to support businesses and households affected by the pandemic. Inflation was estimated to decline to 3.4% in 2020, within the reserve bank target of 3%–6%. The budget deficit was estimated to widen significantly to more than 14% of GDP, mainly due to spending pressures to contain the economic impact of the pandemic. The country will, however, record its first current account surplus in 2020, estimated at about 1% of GDP, because of the high price of the gold it exports, a low bill for fuel imports, and increased agricultural exports.
Tuscany Office Park, Ground Floor, Building XI, 6 Coombe Place, Rivonia, 2128, Johannesburg South AFrica
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