South Africa—Country Workforce Profile
compiled by René Carapinha
August 2009—As our country profile details, the country of South Africa suffers from negative aftershocks of years of Apartheid. Despite the country’s well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that is 17th largest in the world, black South Africans still have an average income several times smaller than that of the white population. The Apartheid State ended in 1994, but a legacy of poor education, poverty, and economic disempowerment was left behind among certain groups.
More recently, the South African economy has been negatively affected by the global economic crisis, causing a slight downturn from the last quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, leaving the unemployment rate at a staggering 23.5%. The employment rates in South Africa also show a sharp divide between genders, 60% of the male population is employed, while just 31% of women. Similar gender inequalities are found in other African nations, such as Nigeria and Nigeria.
Given South Africa’s status as a newer democracy, and the fading yet present effects of Apartheid, up-to-date information on the economy, population and workforce demographics, and government programs is necessary and invaluable to employers attempting to enter and succeed in the South African market.