Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Magazine article New Internationalist

At a Glance

Article excerpt

Leader: President Jacob Zuma.

Economy: GNI per capita $6,100 (Namibia $4,650, UK $38,540).

Monetary unit: Rand

Main exports: gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment.

The country is rich in natural resources and has good transport infrastructure - though poor public transport. The ANC government has followed a fiscally conservative line, prioritizing low inflation over policies addressing the chronic conditions of the poor.

People: 50.1 million. Population growth rate 1990-2010 1.5% pa. People per square kilometre 41 (UK 253).

Health: Infant mortality 41 per 1,000 live births (Namibia 29, UK 5). HIV prevalence rate 17.8% (surpassed only by neighbours Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland). Lifetime risk of maternal death 1 in 100 (UK1 in 4,700).

Environment: South Africa's climate change response, influenced heavily by government parastatals like electricity producer Eskom (the largest carbon dioxide emitter in Africa) and Sasol, the oil company, has been lethargic and lags behind European countries. …

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