South Africa

The second-largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, South Africa benefits from some of the most sophisticated financial markets in the world, paired with a robust regulatory system, and is also home to the headquarters of a number of major multinational players in the fields of industry, energy and financial services.

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Covid-19 and the resulting fall in oil prices and demand has helped to accelerate a global shift towards renewable energy. While a number of sub-Saharan African countries continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels, the region is expected to benefit from the growing market for minerals central to this shift.

South Africa has stepped up plans to expand renewable energy’s contribution to the power mix, signing a series of new procurement deals that will considerably boost overall capacity and provide greater opportunity for private sector investment.

Marketing efforts in South Africa’s tourism industry have picked up on several fronts in recent months as officials look to tap traditional source markets on the back of positive sector growth last year.

Plans to make higher education free for most South African students in a phased rollout took a step forward in late February, with news that the government was allocating R57bn ($4.8bn) to cover tuition fees for low-income, first-year students.

Telecoms companies in South Africa are gearing up to improve mobile broadband services following the launch of the country’s first 5G trials, although sector regulations may delay rollout in the near future.

A strong mid-year performance helped lift South Africa’s economy out of recession and back into positive territory in 2017. However, factors such as high unemployment and an expanding deficit could rein in growth in 2018.

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