South Africa


Country Fact Sheet: South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is located at the southernmost point in Africa, bordering the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans as well as Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Lesotho. South Africa is about twice the size of Texas and covers an area of 1,219,912 sq. kilometers.  The total population is 48.601 million and is shrinking at a rate of 0.45% with 62% living in urban areas.  The Administrative capital of Pretoria has a population of 1.08 million with the other main cities including Cape Town (2.35 mil), Johannesburg (1.48 mil), and Durban (2.10 mil). The people are governed by a republic and the country is multilingual with 11 official languages.  English is the primary language used for business and politics and the local currency used is the South African Rand.

South Africa’s economy is fairly strong with an abundance of natural resources as well as developed economic sectors of finance, communications, energy, and transport. Problems still remain with high levels of poverty and unemployment throughout the country and a large separation between rich and poor classes.  South Africa’s main trade partners are the US, Germany, China, Japan, the UK, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Netherlands. Its primary imports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, and foodstuffs. Exports include gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, and machinery and equipment. South Africa’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $592 billion and is growing at a real rate of 2.5% with an inflation rate of 5.7%. South Africa ranked 39th out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.  Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  



Demographic Data   Economic Data    Cultural & Other Data   
Area (sq. km.)   1,279,090  GDP (PPP, $bn)   592  Capital   Cape Town 
Population (million)   48.601  GDP Real Growth (%)   2.5  Other Large Cities   Johannesburg, Durbon 
Population Growth       (%)   -45  PerCap GDP ($)   11,600  Primary Language   Isizulu (24%) English (8%) 
Population Under     15yrs (%)   28.3  Prime Lending               Rate (%)   8.75  Urbanization   62 
Population below poverty line (%)   31.3  Inflation Rate%   5.7  Urban Growth        1.21 
Agricultural Workers    (% of population)   9  Unemployment%   22.7  Literacy  (population %)   86.4 
Industrial Workers     (% of population)   26  Foreign          Direct     Investment ($bn)   139.7  Education spending              % of GDP   6 
Service Workers        (% of population)   65  Debt-External ($bn)   137.5  CPI Score           (1-100)*   43 
Labor Force (mil)   18.06  Exports ($bn)   100.7  Corporate Income Tax %   28 
      Imports ($bn)   105  Ease of Doing Business Ranking **   39 

Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in South Africa

South Africa Franchise Market Report (2016)

Doing Business in South Africa (2012)

Clarifying the South African Law (2010)

South African Franchise Market (2008)

African Franchising: Cross-Continental Momentum (2007)


* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).  

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries.  

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise. 


International Franchising Opportunities

After you have finished researching the international markets, learning international expansion strategies and best practices, and understanding the basics of international franchising law, IFA provides numerous opportunities for franchising internationally.

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