Characteristics of South Africa as a Developing Country

What are the characteristics of South Africa as a developing country in the midst of other countries like her in the whole of the continent of Africa? Yes! That is not far from fetching. South Africa is known for so many things which range from infrastructure to an averagely working economy which cannot be found in other African countries.

South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game.

The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.

South Africa’s remoteness—it lies thousands of miles distant from major African cities such as Lagos and Cairo and more than 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away from most of Europe, North America, and eastern Asia, where its major trading partners are located—helped reinforce the official system of apartheid for a large part of the 20th century.

Today South Africa enjoys a relatively stable mixed economy that draws on its fertile agricultural lands, abundant mineral resources, tourist attractions, and highly evolved intellectual capital. Greater political equality and economic stability, however, do not necessarily mean social tranquility.

Is South Africa a Developing Country?

Well, the apartheid regime had though done so much harm to the growth of the country, yet that unfortunate event cannot be denied to be one of the reasons for the massive growth which the country has over the years witnessed as compensation for the apartheid years of suffering. Let us look at some of the characteristics of South Africa as a developing country:


By recent review, South Africa’s population will continue to grow until 2082, reaching just over 80 million people before plateauing and slightly declining the rest of the century. South Africa’s population growth rate is currently 1.28% per year.

Developing countries have a very large average population compared to developed countries because of uncontrolled population development. This is also a result of the lack of education and health facilities.

Economy and Unemployment

South Africa has an unemployment rate of 46.1% in the second quarter of 2023. In developing countries, the unemployment rate is still relatively high because the available job vacancies are not evenly distributed.

In addition, the level of uneven education is also one of the factors causing the large unemployment rate.

Annual income in developing countries is not as high as in developed countries due to the high unemployment rate.

Developed countries have high per capita incomes each year. By having a high income per capita, the country’s economic value will be boosted. Therefore, the amount of poverty can be overcome.


Unlike in developed countries, security in developing countries is still very minimal and inappropriate. Therefore, crime rates in developed countries such as South Africa tend to be relatively high.

The level of security of developed countries is more secure compared to developing countries. This is also a side effect of sophisticated technology in developed countries. With the sophisticated technology, security facilities and weapons technology also develop for the better.

Read Also: Why South Africa is not a Poor Country?

Technological Innovations

The inhabitants of developed countries tend to have mastered science and technology from which new useful products such as the industrial pendant lights were introduced to the market. Therefore, in their daily lives, they have also used sophisticated technology and modern tools to facilitate their daily lives.

Commerce and International Trading

Due to the low management of natural resources and human resources in developing countries, developing countries more often buy goods from abroad. To eliminate the barriers of being a developed country, South Africa must reduce imports and must refine and develop its agricultural sector.

By contrast, the level of exports in developed countries is higher than the level of imports because of the superior human resources and technology possessed.

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