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South Africa Global development partner with great potential
South Africa has since developed into a stable democracy. The constitution it adopted in 1997 is very progressive. It contains, among other things, a comprehensive catalogue of human rights. The country has a free media and an active civil society.
The World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income country. Yet the country is currently ranked just 109th out of 191 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).
South Africa was one of the African countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. The very strict lockdown that was imposed to contain the disease had massive social and economic repercussions. Unemployment rose to about 35 per cent, and the economy shrank by more than 6 per cent in 2020. The country is recovering only very slowly.
German development cooperation with South Africa
The development partnership between Germany and South Africa is aimed at helping the country to overcome the development challenges that still persist, especially in the areas of good governance, energy, health, vocational education and violence prevention. The other aim of the two countries’ cooperation is to support global climate action efforts and strengthen South Africa’s important role for democracy, peace and stability on the African continent.
South African-German development cooperation focuses on the following core areas:
- Climate and energy, just transition
Area of intervention: Renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
Areas of intervention: Good governance, and peacebuilding and conflict prevention
- Sustainable economic development, training and employment
Area of intervention: Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
In addition, Germany and South Africa are also cooperating in the area of “Health, pandemics and One Health”.
At the government negotiations between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the South African government in October 2022, a total of 355 million euros was pledged for bilateral development cooperation over two years. As much as 320 million euros is earmarked for projects supporting a socially just energy transition in South Africa, of which 270 million euros will be provided as low-interest loans and 50 million euros as a grant.
Additional grants amounting to 35 million euros will support projects in South Africa that foster technical and vocational education and training, combat corruption, prevent violence and promote vaccine production and logistics.
SDG trends for South Africa
- On track or maintaining SDG achievement
- Moderately improving
- Trend information unavailable