The economy of South Africa is one of the best-developed economies on the African continent. In 2018, the International monetary fund estimated that the South African GDP was the 35th highest in the world at approximately $371 billion while its per capita GDP was the 88th highest in the world at $6,459. The growth of the South African economy can be attributed to the adequate utilization of the country’s natural resources such as minerals, arable land, and the country’s beautiful scenery.
South Africa has been blessed with a wide variety of minerals such as coal, diamonds, and gold which contribute significantly to the country’s economy. South Africa is one of the largest coal producers in the world and nearly 40% of the coal produced is used to generate energy. The rest of the coal is exported to other nations with South Africa being one of the leading coal exporters globally. The US government estimated that in 2002, South Africa was home to roughly 38% of the world’s total gold reserves. In 2005, South Africa accounted for roughly 12% of the world’s total production of gold. In recent years, the amount of gold produced in South Africa has decreased due to the exhaustion of some of the country’s gold reserves. South Africa is also one of the world’s major producers of diamonds as the country produced more than 15,800,000 carats in 2005. South Africa also has vast uranium reserves which are considered to be the second largest in the world.
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South Africa is rich in a variety of minerals. In addition to diamonds and gold, the country also contains reserves of iron ore, platinum, manganese, chromium, copper, uranium, silver, beryllium, and titanium. No commercially exploitable deposits of petroleum have been found, but there are moderate quantities of natural gas located off the southern coast, and synthetic fuel is made from coal at two large plants in the provinces of Free State and Mpumalanga.
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