South Africa is a country with a vast amount of resources such as gold, diamonds, coal, steel, and natural gas, but they also have a large amount of poverty. With all of the these natural resources available and so many of them being very valuable to other countries many wonder why the country is not in a better state of being or reached their peak performance. The country is very successful and modern compared to other nations within the African continent. There are many reasons why the country cannot take advantage of the resources it has, such as the political environment, crime, corruption, economics (local and worldwide economy status), business climate, and investments within the country South Africa is located at the southern tip of the African continent with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) and across the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. The location of the country is considered to be Lesotho (a country of southern Africa forming an enclave within east-central South Africa. Inhabited originally by the San and later by a variety of Sotho-speaking peoples, the area became a British protectorate in 1868 and achieved its independence in 1966 (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Lesotho).
The country’s size is slightly less than twice the size of Texas and has a population of 43,421,021 people. The countries that border South Africa are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, in some regions it is mainly mild temperate with annual rainfall ranging between 5″ up to 40″. The rainy season is occurs between October and April. Then during the spring and summer months it can get hot and humid in most places. The rest of the year, from August to early April the temperatures are mild, but once in a while snow can be seen in the upper regions.
The Essay on Relevance of the Abundance of Natural Resources in U.S. Compared to Countries without Natural Resources
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South Africa has experienced a significantly different evolution compared to other nations within the continent of Africa, the country was created primarily from two factors: immigration from Europe, the amount of immigrants reached levels not experienced in other the other communities and the mass levels of mineralogical wealth that made the country extremely important to Western interests during the Cold War. Due to the diverse growth South Africa is a very racially diverse nation. It has the largest population of Coloured (i.e., mixed racial background), European, and Indian communities within Africa. Coloured residents account for roughly 80% of the population. Racial discrimination occurs between the white minority and the black majority. This issue has had a huge impact on the country’s history and political system, culminating in apartheid which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party. The laws that defined apartheid began to be repealed and/or abolished in 1990 after a long and violent struggle by the Coloured majority, as well as the white minority.. South Africa is one of the few nations in Africa that has never had a coup d’état, which means that regular elections have been held for nearly a century; the Coloured South Africans were only enfranchised back in 1994. The economy of South Africa is the largest and most well developed nation on the continent, with that said modern infrastructures are commonly seen throughout the country.
The political system in South Africa is very different than other countries such as the United States of America. From a business perspective the understanding a company needs to understand how it could affect operations and procedures as well as the ability to honor the dissimilarities. According to http://www.mkeever.com/southafrica.html, “The current president is Jacob G.Zuma and in South Africa the government officials are constantly in the news for the corruption of the country.” ‘South Africa compared to other countries was rated at 4.5 out of 10 on the corruption scale, with 0 being very corrupt and 10 being uncorrupt. Not everyone is treated equally under the current laws enforced by the South Africa government; With the government being so corrupt official and police can take advantage of your business which could make having operations there somewhat of a challenge.
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The legal system is a very important system to be familiar with no matter what country someone is performing business activities in. ‘South Africa has a unified judicial system as well as a constitutional court that deals with the highest constitutional issues. The court provides for due process, including the right to a fair, public trail, legal counsel, and the right to appeal. The trial by jury for South Africa was abolished in 1969’ according to http://countrystudies.us/south-africa/76.htm. With trial by jury no longer available it may scare potential businesses away, but there is the option of appealing the decision and hoping for a judge that sees the reason behind a decision or understands what exactly is occurring. Since the government is so corrupt the possibility of being able to pay a judge off to rule in your favor is more likely than not an option for a business.
Culture aspects and religion
Along with government and legal there also comes the rights of the citizens that need to be considered when doing business in a country. In South Africa the number one concern with the citizens are HIV/AIDS and another distress is the rights of women. HIV and AIDS is a worldwide problem that has been a struggle to get under control. According to, africa.htm ‘an estimated 5.2 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa alone in 2008, more than in any other country. It is believed that also in 2008 over 250,000 residents died of AIDS. Research suggests that approximately 25% of the country’s population is HIV positive.’ Women’s rights in South Africa is another issue that needs to be addressed. Women are affected by poverty and unemployment as well as discriminatory attitudes and practices particularly from male partners. In rural South Africa women live in an environment with high levels of sexual assault and other gender-based violence.
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There are also environmental concerns in South Africa that have a devastating impact on the country. Some of the concerns are the lack of water, overfishing, and pollution. The lack of water is the main concern because it is vital to life. “Less than 10% of South Africa’s rainfall is available as surface water, one of the lowest conversion ratios in the world. The country’s groundwater resources are equally limited” states the World Wildlife Fund. Another issue is overfishing by commercial fisherman, some fish stocks have been over-harvested and several species face local extinction. Also, the country’s marine pollution is a vast public health as well as the functioning of ecosystems. With all of this occurring the price of treating the water has is significantly increased over time. If you are a company that is contributing to the environment concerns it will look bad to the residences, consumers and investors. Not only will those three affect your business, but the WWF will slander your company and in return could potentially damage the reputation of the company.
With so many difficulties South Africa faces a company should take into account the ethical considerations that need to be made by the company. ‘There is a number of large scale communication campaigns making an effort to raise aware of HIV and AIDS as well as other health-related issues. The quality of the education to the people, however, is hindered due to a lack of training for the teachers and unwillingness of schools and even the faculty to educate the inhabitants’ acknowledged by http://www.avert.org/aidssouthafrica.htm. As a business person there are great of opportunities in South Africa, but the ethical choice when making one would be to help out the people affected and potentially could be affected by HIV and AIDS. With helping out the community it would make the company look good in consumers, citizens, and even the employee’s eyes.
With South Africa being such a poor country there are many consequences that come along with that, such as corruption. The country’s corruption rate is very high and has been for many years. The ranking is related to the perceptions of corruption seen by the country’s analysts and business people. The scale used for ranking countries is from 0 to 10, 10 being highly clean and 0 being highly corrupt. In 2005 South Africa was ranked 46 out of 160 countries with a 4.5 out of 10 and in 2009 South Africa moved down the ranking sheet to 55, but up the corruption scale to 4.7 out of 10.
... displaced or assimilated earlier peoples, who often had hunter-gatherer societies. Republic of South Africa (1961–present) In 1487 ... While Mandela attempts to tackle the country’s largest problems – including crime and unemployment – he attends a ... in 1803, but soon afterwards the Dutch East India Company declared bankruptcy. The British annexed the Cape Colony in ...
With corruption being so high, crime follows in the same steps. South Africa is ranked number two with .496008 people killed per thousand behind number 1 ranked Columbia with .617847 murdered per thousand worldwide. There are so many types of crime that occur in South Africa that could be prevented if the economy was stable and the government had more involvement. Residents experience every type of crime imaginable from theft to murder. Visitors experience theft, armed robbery, muggings and even assault. Experts from the U.S. Department of State say that visitors don’t experience the extreme crime, but ‘gangs tend to target people appearing to be affluent, wearing eye-catching jewelry, flashing large amounts of cash and/or making high-value purchases. They also gravitate towards “soft” targets – people who appear preoccupied and not pay attention to their immediate surroundings.” The Department of State advises visitors who feel “they are being followed should travel directly to a police station or other public location.” Rapes are very common in South Africa; the country actually has the highest reported rape incidences in the world. Foreigners are not usually targeted, but there have been reports filed of them being victims. Crime is a very serious issue and can be a concern for businesses. With Crime being so high companies many choose to invest in another country because they feel there are too many threats to enter into the market.