South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 and transitioned to a constitutional democracy in 1994, is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources, such as gold, platinum, and diamonds. It has well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. As of January 2015, South Africa's stock exchange was the 17th largest in the world and the largest in Africa by market capitalisation. Its currency is the rand (ZAR). South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, and three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative).
South Africa has a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the region.
Following a substantial slowdown in economic growth resulting from the global financial crisis of 2007/08 (South Africa experienced negative growth of nearly 2% in 2009), the South African economy experienced a muted recovery, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth peaking at 2.2% in 2013. Subsequent to 2013, growth unfortunately again slowed (with GDP growth of only 1.5%, 1.3%, and 0.3% in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively). In 2017, however, the domestic growth outlook improved, with annual growth of 1.3% (much of this attributable to 3.1% growth year-on-year for the final quarter of 2017). In March 2018, the South African Reserve Bank (the SARB, which is South Africa’s central bank) forecast growth for 2018 of 1.7%. The forecasts for 2019 and 2020 are 1.5% and 2%, respectively.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the SARB has a targeted inflation band of 3% to 6%. The year-on-year inflation rate (as measured by the consumer price index [CPI] for all urban areas) measured 4.4% in January 2018, before declining to 4% in February 2018. Inflation is expected to average 4.9% in 2018, 5.2% in 2019, and 5.1% in 2020.
PwC South Africa provides in-depth industry experience in a wide spectrum of market sectors, including the following:
- Banking and capital markets.
- Energy, utilities, and mining.
- Engineering and construction.
- Entertainment and media.
- Financial services.
- Forest, paper, and packaging.
- Government and public services.
- Hospitality and leisure.
- Industrial manufacturing.
- Retail and consumer.
- Transportation and logistics.
PwC South Africa's experienced team of advisers can assist with managing tax risk and controlling and minimising the tax burden by providing innovative and practical tax and business solutions in the areas of corporate, international, and indirect taxes; mergers and acquisitions; compliance; transfer pricing; and human resource services.
In addition, PwC South Africa has an Africa Tax Desk, which, amongst other services, provides the following assistance:
- The provision of quick responses to preliminary and generic questions that companies would like answered when considering investment in Africa.
- The facilitation of investments and business operations by providing access to the right contacts for tax (and legal) advisory services to investors in Africa.
- Coordination between companies investing into Africa and respective PwC offices in other countries.