It’s been a rough year for South Africa. The country, which had been experiencing an average growth rate of approximately 5% between 2004 and 2007, has been suffering under a weakening currency, service delivery protests, and lengthy labour strikes.
South Africa holds over 80% of the world’s platinum reserves, and was particularly hurt in the first half of the year when close to 70,000 platinum miners participated in a five month strike. Statistics South Africa reported that GDP decreased by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2014, after an increase of 3.8% during the last quarter of 2013, with the mining and quarrying industry being a major contributor to the drop.
Towards end July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut the economic growth forecast for this year to 1.7%, from 2.3% estimated in April. In comparison, the entire economy of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at 5.4%. And on top of this, in April South Africa lost its long-standing title as the continent’s largest economy to Nigeria.
Source: How we made it in Africa / Kate Douglas