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Natural Resources Of South Africa History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

As a MBA students we would like to study country south Africa on the basis of geography, natural resources, typology and at the end of the study we came to know how the south Africa have the present situation on the basis of geography, natural, resources and typology and how it is a different from our country and also could know the benefits potentials from each other in terms of the product which they can import from India or we can import shortage products from south Africa.

Let see something basic of South Africa. South Africa is the southernmost country on the African one of the main continuous expanses of land. It has a long history of conflict and social issues like human rights but it has always been one of the most economically successful nations in southern countries of Africa due to its coastal location and the presence of gold, natural resources and diamonds.

We would like to note something about the history of South Africa

By the 14th century C.E, the region was settled by the Bantu people who moved from central Africa.

1488 – South Africa was first occupied by Europeans.

1652 – Portuguese arrived at the Cape of South Africa.

In following years, Dutch, French and German settlers began to arrive in the region.

In South Africa there were human rights discriminations according black and white peoples. In 1994 Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president and during his time in office he was committed to reforming race-relations in the country and strengthening its economy and place in the world.

Now we would like to move on the main topics of our study. Those are geography, natural resources, and typology


For the better business activities to know about the geography of targeted country is very crucial. Because no of peoples living in certain area might more than in another area that can affect the market share of the company as well as culture, language test of customers and habits. All these things can be different from area to area so there can be many opportunities or threats to business activities from area to area. So there was requirement to know the geography of the South Africa.

South Africa is found at the southernmost region of Africa, with a long coastline that reaches more than 2,500 km (1,553 mi) and along with two oceans (the South Atlantic and the Indian). At 1,219,912 km2 (471,011 sq mi), South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and most of the country is classified as semi arid, it has considerable difference in climate as well as topology.

South Africa is situated within the temperate zone. Which has an average rainfall of 511 mm per annum, but has wide interfere and interregional differences with rainfall diminishing towards the west. This diversity of local climates limits the negative effects of severe droughts and offers some protection against general crop failures.

Location of South Africa is on the very southern tip of Africa; it is a republic which is surrounded by land at the top and the two oceans, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

The Republic of South Africa is between 22 and 35 degrees south latitude and 17 to 33 degrees east latitude. The area of the country consists of 1,219,912 square kilo-meters.

The Republic of South Africa covers an area of 122 million hectare of which 18 million hectare is potential land for cultivation. 8% the potential arable lands are under irrigation, which accounts for nearly half of the water requirement in South Africa. With a population of 42 million and an estimated annual population growth of -0.412%, urbanization and industrialization will increase the pressure on the availability of water resources and the allocation

South Africa is divided into nine provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West Province, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. We would like to mention something facts for the particular area.


Area- 168 966 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is isiXhosa (78.8%), Afrikaans (10.6%)

The Eastern Cape gets progressively wetter from west to east. The west is mostly semi-arid Karoo, except in the far south, which is temperate rainforest in the Tsitsikamma region. The coast is generally rugged with interspersed beaches. Most of the province is hilly to very mountainous between Graaff-Reinet and Rhodes including the Sneeuberge, Stormberge, Winterberge and Drakensberg The northern tropical forests mix with the more temperate woods of the south, creating an interesting forest plant of various species endemic to this region.


Area- 129 825 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is Sesotho (64.2%), Afrikaans (12.7%)

The Free State is situated on flat boundless plains in the heart of South Africa. The rich soil and pleasant climate allow a thriving agricultural industry. With more than 30,000 farms, which produce over 70% of the country’s grain, it is known locally as South Africa’s breadbasket. The province is high-lying, with almost all land being 1,000 meters above sea level. Almost 2.8-million people live in Free State. The Free State can be extremely cold during the winter months, especially towards the eastern mountainous regions.


Area- 16 548 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is isiZulu (19.8%), English (13.3%), Afrikaans (12.4%), Sesotho (11.6%)

Gauteng’s southern border is the Vaal River, which separates it from the Free State. Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border. Most of Gauteng is on the Highveld, high-altitude grassland (circa 1,500 m/4,921 ft above sea-level). Between Johannesburg and Pretoria there are low parallel ridges and undulating hills. The north of the province is more subtropical, due to its lower altitude and is mostly dry savanna habitat. Gauteng has hot summers and cold winters with frost and the Hail is common during summer thunderstorms. Most of research and development of South Africa’s takes place in Gauteng, which is home to many of the country’s core biotechnology companies. The province is highly industrialized and urbanized


Area- 94 361 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is isiZulu (77.8%), English (13.2%)

The province has three different geographic areas. The lowland region along the Indian Ocean coast is extremely narrow in the south, widening in the northern part of the province. The central region is the Natal Midlands, an undulating hilly plateau rising toward the west. Third are the two mountainous areas, the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebombo Mountains in the north.


Area- 125 755 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is Sesotho (52.9%), Xitsonga (17%), Tshivenda (16.7%)

province’s Johannesburg-Pretoria axis, the most industrialized metro pole on the continent. The province is at the centre of regional, national, and international developing markets. The province contains much of the Waterberg Biosphere, a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. The Waterberg Biosphere, a massif of approximately 15,000 km2 (5,800 sq mi), is the first region in the northern part of South Africa. Rich in natural beauty, wildlife and culture, Limpopo has a thriving tourism industry. In addition to the Kruger National Park, there are 54 provincial reserves and several luxury private game reserves. Valuable archaeological artifacts have been discovered in the area


Area- 76 495 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is siSwati (27.7%), isiZulu (24.1%), Xitsonga (10.4%), isiNdebele (10.1%)

Mpumalanga falls mainly within the grassland biome. The Lowveld and the escarpment form a transitional zone between this grassland area and the savanna biome. The Mpumalanga is a summer-rainfall area, with occasional winter snow on high ground in the escarpment. The escarpment area sometimes experiences snow on high ground. Thick mist is common during the humid and hot summers. Lake Chrissie is the largest natural freshwater lake in South Africa and is famous for its variety of aquatic birds, particularly flamingos.


Area- 106 512 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is Setswana (63.4%), Afrikaans (9%)

Apart from a narrow strip of winter rainfall area along the coast, the province is a semi arid region because of little rainfall in summer. The weather conditions are extremely frosty and cold in winter, with extremely high temperatures in summer. The area is known worldwide its spectacular annual explosion of spring flowers which, for a short period every year, attracts thousands of tourists. The Northern Cape has a wealth of national parks and conservation areas. Here is the Orange River more impressive than at the Augrabies Falls, which ranks among the world’s largest cataracts on a major river.


Area- 372 889 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is Afrikaans (53.8%), Setswana (33.1%)

The Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest province, and distances between towns are enormous due to its sparse population. The south and south-east of the province is high-lying (1200m-1900m) in the Roggeveld and Nuweveld districts. The west coast is dominated by the Namaqualand region, famous for its spring flowers. This area is hilly to mountainous and consists of Granites and other metamorphic rocks. A summer-rainfall region, highly cold in winter ,temperatures range from up to 31°C in summer to as little as 3°C in winter. It’s most famous attraction is the Sun City complex. Sun City is one of the world’s biggest entertainment centres, with a casino, an 18-hole golf course, theatres and concert halls, beaches and a wave pool at the Valley of the Waves.


Area- 129 462 square kilometers

Predominated languages- is Afrikaans (49.7%), isiXhosa (24.7%), English (20.3%)

It’s the country’s fourth-largest province of South Africa. The southern coastal area is fertile, and fishing is the most important industry along the west coast. Sheep farming is the Main support of the Karoo, and other forms of farming take place in the better watered parts of the province. Saldanha, north of Cape Town, is South Africa’s only natural harbour, and notable harbour for iron exports and the fishing industry. Other towns include Worcester and Stellenbosch in the heart of the winelands, George, a centre for indigenous timber and vegetable production, Oudtshoorn, known for its ostrich products and the world-famous Cango caves, and Beaufort West on the dry, sheep-farming plains of the Great Karoo.


As we know natural resources of any country is biggest wealth of that country. Because natural resources help to industrialization or economic development of that country so we found various natural resources of South Africa which performing as a wealth of South Africa. South Africa’s most of natural resources are being obtained from mining industry. As well as there is a well developed fishing industry due to the long sea area. We mentioned dominant resources like


Up until a few years back South Africa was the world’s largest gold producer. China surpassed South Africa as the world’s largest producer in 2007. South Africa is estimated, by US Geological Survey, to have 6000 metric tons of gold reserves. 95% of South Africa’s gold mines are underground operations, reaching depths of over 3.8 km. Coupled with declining grades, increased depth of mining and a slide in the gold price, costs have begun to rise, resulting in the steady fall in production. The future of the gold industry in South Africa therefore depends on increased productivity. The main gold producing area is concentrated on the Archaean Witwatersrand Basin. The Witwatersrand basin, which has been mined for more than 100 years and has produced more than 41000 metric tons of gold, remains the greatest undermined source of gold in the world.


South Africa is the world’s largest producer of ferrochrome. The country holds about 70% of the world’s total chrome reserves, mostly located in the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) ores, and produces 75% of the world’s ferrochrome. India and Kazakhstan are other major producers. South Africa produced an estimated 9,600,000 tons of chromium ore in 2011. Samancor Chrome is the second largest ferrochrome producer in the world, with total chromite resources exceeding 650 million tons.


South Africa is the sixth largest holder of coal in the world with 31 billion tones of recoverable coal reserves, equivalent to 11 % of the world’s total coal reserves. Although most of the coal is consumed by the South African energy sector, with 77% of the country’s primary energy needs provided by coal. There are three major coal producers: BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa; Anglo American Coal and Xstrata. Universal Coal’s thermal coal projects are located in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province – a region traditionally rich in coal.83 % of the total amount of coal produced in South Africa is mined in Mpumalanga.


South Africa currently accounts for about 75% of the world’s identified manganese resources. These mostly occur near Hotazel in the Northern Cape Province. According to the USGS, reserves were estimated at 15 billion tons in 2011. South Africa was the world’s largest producer of manganese in 2011, producing 3.4 million tons.


Most of South Africa’s nickel and cobalt are produced as by product of platinum mining activities on the Bushveld Igneous Complex. According to the USGS, South Africa produced 34,000 metric tons of nickel in 2009.


Foskor is one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and phosphoric acid. The Foskor Group comprises two main mining and production facilities Situated in the Northern Province (Limpopo) of South Africa


The PGE include platinum, palladium, gold, rhodium, osmium, rhenium, iridium and ruthenium. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are produced in substantial quantities. South Africa is the largest producer of platinum in the world and holds a large percentage of global reserves. According to the US Geological Survey, South Africa produced 140000 kilograms of platinum and 79000 kilograms of Palladium in 2009.


Palabora, South Africa’s leading copper producer is located 360km north east of Pretoria, close to the Kruger National Park. Copper is also produced at the Exxaro owned Black Mountain polymetallic mine near Aggeneys in the Northern Cape.


According to the 2012 BP Statistical Energy Survey, South Africa consumed an average of 547.25 thousand barrels a day of oil in 2011, 0.64% of the world total.

South Africa is the leading economic power in Africa as well as a key player in the African oil industry. Today the country processes approximately 20 million tons per annum of crude and consumes 23 million tones of liquid fuel products of which 45 % is gasoline and 26% diesel. The major liquid fuel markets are in the Gauteng area of South Africa


According to the USGS, South Africa produced 53 million metric tons of iron ore in 2009, making it the world’s 7th largest producer. It also estimated, in 2009, that South Africa has 1000 million tons of crude ore reserves and 650 million metric tons of iron content reserves. Most of South Africa’s iron ore reserves are located in the Northern Cape, adjacent to the massive Kalahari manganese field.

India’s Import of Iron Ore or Coal from South Africa

Approximately 40m metric tonnes of iron ore are mined per annum in South Africa, of which about 12m metric tonnes are consumed locally and 27m metric tonnes are exported.

Based on the import figures of the current financial year, Indian government officials figure that India’s coal imports from South Africa could well end up at about 20 million of the total 100 million tons coal imports expected by the end of March.

As per government estimation almost 50 million tons of iron ore for India’s steel requirements would have been imported to meet the annual projected demand of 160 million tons. Nearly half of this imported ore will be from South Africa.


South Africa has the most diverse range of diamond deposits in the world. South Africa produced 6,139,682.00 carats in 2009. South Africa produces in the region of 5% of global production and is ranked 7th in the world in terms of rough diamond production. Company De Beers, which contributes in the region of 45% of the world’s diamond market, shut down approximately 60% of its operations in 2009. Company Petra has bought many mines previously owned by De Beers. Most production is sourced from kimberlite mines, followed by alluvials and then marine. South Africa’s kimberlite mines are located mainly in the central northern parts of the country.

Import of Diamond from South Africa

India is aiming its efforts at increasing India’s relationships with major diamond-producing African nations, and has created a comprehensive plan to ensure direct rough diamonds imports from Africa instead of Europe. India happens to be the world’s largest importer of rough diamonds, as well as exporter of cut and polished diamonds.

India is concentrating negotiations in African countries that will help ensure India’s strong standing in the diamond market. Namibia accounts for about 6 per cent of rough diamond production, while Angola accounts for 10 percent. Botswana and South Africa account for 25 percent and 12 percent the world’s rough diamond production, respectively.


In South Africa there is various agriculture products produces or grain cultivates according to climate situation like temperature, soil quality, water availability, and skills available in that particular area. As a result those areas are known for particular products. We would like to mentioned measure production of product according to area wise.


Trees grow well at Pongola, Hluhluwe, Mtubatuba and Makhathini where the climate can be described as warm-subtropical. The Natal coastal region of north Empangeni, and the Pongola valley are suitable areas for cashew production.

India provides a large cashew processing industry, and is dependent on over five-lakh (50,000) tons of raw cashews from Africa. More than 60 countries all over the world receive cashew imports from India processing centers. Unfortunately, the cashews grown in India have caused concern in the market for poor quality over recent years.


Currently, South Africa does not commercially produce any rice, mainly due to the high water requirements of the crop in a generally dry country. South Africa is dependent on rice imports to satisfy the local demand. India has exported rice to South Africa 27496 MT in 2011and 1, 02,205 MT in 2012.


The winter cereals comprises of the wheat, barley and oats. South Africa is said to be one of the major exporters of wheat to other countries owing to the large production in the country. The main areas of South Africa which are engaged in agriculture include the Crocodile, Vaal. The Hart Rivers’ area too is actively engaged in farming. As much as 40,000-50,000 hectares of land is being planted with wheat in the North West Province of South Africa. India does not produce enough wheat to be self-sufficient. India can import wheat from South Africa.


Maize is produced throughout the country under diverse environments. Approximately 80 million tons of maize grains are produced in South Africa annually on approximately 3.1 million hector of land. Half of the production consists of white maize, for human food consumption. Maize is a warm weather crop and is not grown in areas where the mean daily temperature is less than 19 °C or where the mean of the summer months is less than 23 °C


Most of the world’s sugarcane is grown between 22°N and 22°S, and some up to 33°N and 33°S.There are in the region of 42 300 registered sugarcane growers in South Africa. Most farming takes place in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The South African sugar industry produces an estimated average of 2,5 million tons of sugar per season. South Africa produced a total of 2 273 499 tons in 2010/11 of which 1 399 657 tons was for the national market and 873 842 tons for the international market.


The tree requires a warm climate and ample moisture. At present no more than 200 ha of coffee are under production in South Africa, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces. South Africa is a net importer of coffee and consumes more than 20 000 ton per annum. India has exported coffee to south Africa of Us dollar 30522 in 2011.


Wool is produced throughout the country. The largest proportion of the South African wool clip is from harsh, low-rainfall areas than in the higher rainfall areas of the coastal belt and the Highveld. Approximately 91% of the clip is produced in four provinces, namely the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and Northern Cape. South Africa export 10% of its total wool export to the India.


South Africa has a coastline of some 2 798 km, extending from the Orange River in the west, on the border with Namibia, to Ponta do Ouro in the east, adjacent to Mozambique. The western coastal shelf is highly productive, in common with other upwelling ecosystems around the world, while the east coast is considerably less productive but has high species diversity, including both local and Indo-Pacific species.

So ultimately geographical characteristics vary from provinces to provinces and according to that there is an agriculture products are produces and being exported. There are main industry is mining in South Africa through which company obtains various natural resources as result of that natural resources South Africa’s industrial and economic development has been enhanced.


Location of South Africa is on the very southern tip of Africa; it is a republic which is surrounded by land at the top and the two oceans, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

South Africa is divided into nine provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West Province, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Northern Cape is a largest province of South Africa with 372 889 square kilometers. Mpumalanga is the second-smallest province after Gauteng.

English is the main language of South Africa, there is considerable difference in home languages between the provinces. IsiXhosa, for instance, is spoken by almost 80% of people in the Eastern Cape, while around 78% of those in KwaZulu-Natal speak isiZulu.

There are various natural resources like oil and gas ,iron ore, gold platinum, rough diamond, chromium, coal, nickel, manganese

Iron ore and rough diamond industry has trading relation with India.

There are various agriculture products India can export from South Africa like maize, wheat, wool because it produced throughout the country in South Africa.

On the other side South Africa can import from India like rice and coffee because there is not suitable climate to produce these things in South Africa.

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