2019

South Africa in brief

South Africa in brief

This edition provides an overview of key statistical trends in South Africa drawn from the CRA’s upcoming Socio-Economic Survey of South Africa 2020.
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Key takeaways:

  • South Africa’s race profile shows that the White population (which was previously the second biggest cohort after the Black population) has been overtaken by the Coloured population.
  • There were 382 people per police officer and 116 people per private security officer in 2018/19. The murder rate was 36 per 100 000 people.
  • Diseases/conditions which are the leading causes of death are: tuberculosis for the Black population; diabetes among Coloured and Indian/Asian people, and ischaemic heart disease for the White population.
  • There are 16.3 million employed people; 6.7 million unemployed people (according to the official/strict definition); and 10.2 million unemployed people (according to the expanded definition — which includes people who have given up looking for work).
  • South Africa’s economy relies heavily on the tertiary sector, which contributes 68% to gross value added (GVA), compared to 21.1% for the secondary sector and 10.9% for the primary sector.
  • Salaries are the main source of income for more than two thirds (64.8%) of households and, for some 45.2% of households, grants are the main source of income.
South Africa’s Quality of Life

South Africa’s Quality of Life

This edition of the Macro Review updates the Quality of Life Index (QOLI) first developed by the CRA in 2017. The Index is designed to enable users to gauge South Africa’s progress in improving the quality of life of its residents, and to draw comparisons between South Africa’s nine provinces and the four race groups.
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Key takeaways:

  • The Quality of Life Index (QOLI) benchmarks South Africa’s progress in improving the quality of life.
  • The QOLI draws comparisons between South Africa’s nine provinces and the different race groups.
  • Indicators used in the index are: the matric pass rate, expanded unemployment, monthly expenditure of R10 000+, tenure status, access to piped water, use of electricity for cooking, access to a basic sanitation facility, irregular or no waste removal, medical aid coverage and the murder rate.
  • The best quality of life is in Gauteng and the Western Cape — each province has a QOLI score of 6.4.
  • White South Africans continue to have the highest standard of living, followed by Indian/Asian, Coloured and Black people respectively.
The whole nine yards: profiling South Africa’s provinces

The whole nine yards: profiling South Africa’s provinces

This edition of the Macro Review provides comparative data on South Africa’s nine provinces across various key areas: demographics, the economy, education, health and social security, living conditions, as well as crime and security.
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Key takeaways:

  • Gauteng is the smallest province covering just 1.5% of South Africa’s land area, but accounts for 25.8% of the total population. The Northern Cape is the largest province, covering 30.5% of the country but is home to only 2.2% of South Africa’s population.
  • Together, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape contribute almost two thirds (63.9%) to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and are home to just under two thirds (65.2%) of assessed taxpayers in South Africa.
  • The labour absorption rate — the proportion of the working-age population that is employed — is highest in Gauteng (48.9%) and the Western Cape (53.8%).
  • In 2018, Gauteng had the highest matric pass rate of 87.9%, followed by the Free State (87.4%) and the Western Cape (81.4%).
  • In 2018/19, the Western Cape had the highest rate (1 229 per 100 000 people) for drug-related crimes, Gauteng had the highest motor vehicle theft rate (165 per 100 000) and the Eastern Cape had the highest murder rate (61 per 100 000).
Open for business? A review of the SMME landscape in South Africa

Open for business? A review of the SMME landscape in South Africa

This report is a collaboration between the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA) and Agis, a strategy and economic-development consulting firm active throughout Africa and an investor in three SMMEs.
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The report is presented in three sections. In the first section, the CRA presents high level data on SMMEs in South Africa. In the second section, Rolf Endres and Boikanyo Mothibatsela of Agis share their insights into the opportunities and challenges facing small businesses operating in SA. The final section of the report showcases the joint policy recommendations of the CRA and Agis.

Key takeaways:

  • There are roughly 2.55 million ‘SMME owners’, a proxy measure for the number of SMMEs in South Africa.
  • SMMEs account for approximately 98.5% of formal firms, but only 28% of jobs.
  • Some 74.5% of SMME owners are Black, 4.3% are Coloured, 4.5% are Indian/Asian and 16.7% are White.
  • SMMEs are caught in a cycle of limited bargaining power, cash flow constraints, significant skills and resource gaps and a taxing regulatory environment.
  • On average, 31 companies with taxable income of less than R10 million close down each week.