South Africa

With an abundant supply of natural resources, South Africa is the second-largest economy by GDP in the African continent.

South Africa Overview

The country has 11 official languages – the most commonly spoken first languages are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

Although unemployment, poverty and inequality rates are among the highest in the world and remain a challenge, South Africa has well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors. State-owned enterprises are significant in the country’s economy, with the government owning a share in around 700 enterprises across a wide array of industries.

The country’s major export commodities are gold diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, as well as machinery and equipment.

Landscape and growth

Global State of the Market Report

In 2020, the Advisory Board Centre mapped professionals currently serving on Advisory Boards. This assessment identified over 11,000 professionals on Advisory Boards in South Africa and there is a projected growth of 120% for the sector in the country.

South Africa’s Advisory Board Landscape

Research has identified that the Advisory Board sector is emerging, and Advisors exist as a profession in South Africa. As an emerging sector, advisory board professionals may have opportunities in key sectors including – finance, real estate and business services – and are encouraged to stay open-minded to start-up and emerging industries.

Future Growth Opportunities

There is a growing opportunity for professionals to increase participation in South Africa, by formalising Advisory Board structures and collaborating on a global scale. As this sector grows, it is important to note that best practice credentials will shift the market from informal to formal Advisory Boards over time.

Key Statistics

Population 58.56m
GDP 351.4bn (USD)
Labour Force by occupation
GDP by sector
Import 131.721bn (USD)
Export 123.864bn (USD)
Global ease of doing business rank 84th
Global ease of doing business score 59.6/100