In the last 20 years, South Africa’s growth and development have placed this country on the global stage and now is an influential player in world affairs. Senior enlisted leaders must understand the importance of South Africa’s continued development and support to United States national interests so that commands will be informed facilitators to the strong bond between these two nations. This paper will discuss South Africa’s background information, government, strategic importance, and future direction of this emerging nation.
South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa, its coastline stretches 1,553 miles from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then north to the border with Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. South Africa has three capitals. Cape Town, in the Western Cape, is the legislative capital and is where the country's Parliament is found. Bloemfontein, in the Free State, is the judicial capital, and home to the Supreme Court of Appeal. Pretoria, in Gauteng, is the administrative capital, and the ultimate capital of the country. It is home to the Union Buildings and a large proportion of the public service. The largest and most important city is Johannesburg, the economic heartland of the country. ("South Africa's geography," 2012)
The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma released the country’s 20 year review March 11th, 2014. This report reflects on South Africa’s progress in reconstruction and development since 1994. According to the 20 year review “South Africa’s reintegration into the global community has seen its diplomatic, political and economic relations expand rapidly”. ("South africa's expanding," 2014) Over the last 20 years South Africa has increased its foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations to 315 and currently is second to the United States in regards to diplomatic offices. Additionally, South Africa has served on the United Nations Security Council, has become a member of emerging economies BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa dialogue forum). South Africa’s has growth and foreign influence in last two decades has been remarkable..
South Africa is currently a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors and a stock exchange that is the 15th largest in the world. Even though the country possesses modern infrastructure that support a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain a challenge, with official unemployment at nearly 25% of the work force. Eskom, the state-run power company, has built two new power stations and installed new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability....